‘India is going through a renaissance moment’, believes Niket Desai, Chief of Staff, Flipkart

19th Nov 2015
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Earlier in May, you may have seen Sachin Bansal, the trailblazer to the Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart, disagreeing vociferously to an article titled – 'India's Snapdeal says the country doesn't have the programmers it needs'.

He tweeted

“Don't blame India for your failure to hire great engineers. They join for culture and challenge.”

And why wouldn't he? Peeyush Ranjan, Head of Engineering, and Punit Soni, Chief Product Officer at Flipkart, have come all the way from Silicon Valley entrenched with expertise of the American startup ecosystem.

In April 2015, we also saw Niket Desai taking over the position of Chief of Staff after wrapping up with his previous venture Punchd, in Silicon Valley, which was acquired by Google.

That makes all three of them closely associated with Google in the Silicon Valley.

While we caught up with him, he explains

“All great companies at some level have to become global. It's not that they have to be present in multiple geographies, but rather think how they approach problems from a mindset which is varied. I think by getting a few ‘valley type' of people will help give another set of perspective.”

He adds further

“There are different eras to an organisation and this era for Flipkart is all about – How do you build a world-class organisation out of India.”

According to Niket, there is a tremendous interest especially amongst Indian nationals in the US to come back and put to use their expertise in India.

People are excited about the opportunities in India. So India is having a kind of renaissance moment with the government facilitating through policies and more customers coming up to adopt while creating demand for newer technologies,” he adds.

Thus, functioning in two different geographies, Bengaluru and San Francisco, was different for Niket.

He sees a lot of excitement here in Bengaluru. While comparing the two cities, he feels that people go to San Francisco to start a venture knowing that it is a startup hub. However, people come to Bengaluru not just to start a firm but also figure out what to do next.

He calls out for the infrastructure which stands out to him. In San Francisco, there are tons of people who have built startups and technologies both from a legal and policy perspective which are kicking off to help people. While in Bengaluru, such things are just beginning.

Adding another perspective he claims

“One of the good things about Bengaluru is the fact that it is much cheaper. The cost of living in San Francisco makes it hard for people to stay there. It is adversely affecting the number of people who can come and build things for the US ecosystem.”

In an exclusive interview with YourStory, we find out more about what Niket does as the Chief of Staff in the e-commerce behemoth, and how does he facilitate Flipkart to deliver the delight that they are supposed to.

Video Credits: 

Cameraperson: Nataraj

Video Editor: Anand