E-retail sector to grow 8 times in 5 years
It is an opportunity for talent to enter early, learn, innovate, gain experience, grow and become experts within a few years
In India, e-commerce began with a lot of anxiety about its future. However, with the gradual penetration of internet and increasing awareness around technology in India, a lot of new players have now emerged in the sector. China ($220 billion) and the US ($250 billion) have the bigger market share of the e-commerce industry than India ($2-3 billion). The gap has been quite significant in the past, but the recent spurt of funding and hiring in the Indian e-commerce sector suggests that the gap is going to close soon. The e-retail space in the Indian e-commerce industry is set to grow rapidly up to 5-8 times in the coming 4-5 years.
With increased funding, the e-commerce companies are earnestly investing in both quality and the number of people they need. The rising investments in this sector are leading to job creation, also indicating a good time for talent to look at the growth potential with the upcoming online industry in India. Moreover, since there is not much experienced talent available currently, it is an opportunity for talent to enter early, learn, innovate, gain experience, grow and become experts within a few years. The industry is able to offer its talent a perfect package of good compensation, immense learning on the job and fast-paced growth.
As we grow and expand, we are looking at hiring people at all levels from junior and mid to the senior level as well – into operations, technology, product management, analytics and even HR. It’s not surprising that there is no lateral industry or experience that is not useful for the talent required in the e-commerce space. Since the e-commerce industry also works on the same basic business principles as any other industry, barring the technology function, the scope of finding premium talent widens further. In an endeavour to balance out the hiring of freshers and experienced people, we are looking at a ratio of 1:10 for top to mid-level and 1:6 for middle-management to freshers. The quality of middle-management people is very crucial to us as they are the ones who are responsible for engaging and developing the teams and fostering a culture of growth.
It is our open communicative culture that helps us drive talent flow. We encourage our people to refer their friends and are very approachable for anyone who would like to get into a quick-learning and fast growth mode. The attitude, mindset and the ability of a person to learn are more crucial to us than the previous experience. On the contrary, e-commerce will be a tough place for people who are resistant to evolving fast.
Another unique feature that pulls talent towards e-commerce companies like us is the quick, visible growth that comes from short-term, result-oriented projects on the job. For anything one does, the impact becomes evident soon enough as the online market is highly reactive to anything new and unique. This quick feedback motivates people to put in more efforts for positive results adding to their individual experience and growth. Unlike a usual follow-the-instructions kind of role, the e-commerce industry provides people the freedom to innovate, execute new ideas and enjoy immediate results of the same. Even failures are considered as learning milestones and not roadblocks.
Considering the existing talent scenario and the lucrative talent pulls of the e-commerce industry, other organizations will have to be on their toes and find unique ways to show that they are a great company to work for or they might risk losing the best of their talent. The factors driving talent will not just be about the multinational brand name or a fancy designation anymore. It will be more about the work culture, the growth rate, amount of learning offered and the flexibility to innovate and experiment.
As told to People Matters