Article: Culture fit is the most important attribute


Culture fit is the most important attribute

People not only enjoy working with us, but get their talented friends to the team, says Pankaj Chaddah, Co-founder of Zomato
Culture fit is the most important attribute

The sector is attracting talent from various lateral industries and consequently changing mindsets and bringing in true diversity in companies


Numerous e-commerce start-ups have emerged in the last four to five years. A few managed to survive and have been able to raise funds to grow further. In the coming years, the online retail market is soon going to be saturated with a few major players controlling the business. But, there will be an upsurge of companies who will innovate further and disrupt the online space. Some innovations have already shaped up through companies offering online gifting, curated selling, social selling etc. In the coming year, these companies will hopefully attract more funds as compared to the bigger companies in the space.

Zomato, on the other hand, is beyond the usual e-commerce categories as we are an online content and product company. Since our content is unique and manually curated, we are a strongly people-driven business and people are our first priority. Everything in our business from content to product to revenue depends entirely on the quality of people we have. We look beyond hiring for roles; we hire great people. A culture-fit is the most important attribute we look for while identifying the best match. This is why we look at hiring people who have the willingness and the passion to work hard for the product irrespective of their background. This hiring practice in turn breaks the biggest barrier talent has while switching industries or roles. While a few years back it was impossible for someone to enter a new industry after having spent even four to five years in a specific industry, the e-commerce industry is now attracting talent from all kinds of lateral industries, consequently changing mindsets, bringing in true diversity in talent, breaking all barriers.

The ability of the e-commerce industry to attract talent from all domains has also sent out strong messages in the graduating talent community, creating a strong dent in the herd mentality of graduates, which was until recently only about vying for sectors like consulting, banking etc. On the contrary, graduates from premier institutes are now more attracted to join emerging start-ups than established firms. Another reason for this shift is the increasing risk appetite of the e-commerce talent market.

Considering this shift and our employer brand, there are no threats to us in terms of talent as the kind of people we have with us are capable of attracting more people to work with us. Our people are cared for in a way that they not just enjoy working with us, but also get their talented friends and acquaintances to be a part of our team. This makes our people our biggest strength and at the same time the huge pool of Indian talent based abroad is also what we see as an opportunity to explore in terms of talent. We have begun campaigning in Europe and the US to get back the extraordinary Indian talent to work with us. While expanding outside India, it is the start-up network that helps us find the best candidates in other geographies.

The only threat that this industry would face in the coming times is going to be in terms of retaining the best talent. The overall industry is currently in a growth phase because of which it is attracting a lot of funds and consequently has the capability to pay huge packages to attract talent. However, this practice in the longer run will lead to an intra-industry talent war where each one would try poaching the best talent with equally competitive packages. Hence, it is alright to pay a level above the traditional employers, however taking a significant leap in terms of compensation is a short-sighted measure to attract talent, which will only lead to a huge gap that will become very difficult to fill up in the longer run.

As told to People Matters

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Topics: Entrepreneurship, #ExpertViews

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