Article: Giving people the right enablers to succeed


Giving people the right enablers to succeed

Workforce expansion is about having the right pool of talent at the right time, says Saurabh Nigam, VP-HR of Snapdeal
Giving people the right enablers to succeed

The increasing number and the growing size of investments in the e-commerce industry sends out a positive message to the talent community


The e-commerce space in India has just touched the tip of the iceberg. It has a huge potential for growth and expansion and can easily become one of the biggest industries in India in the coming years. The proof of the pudding is already there: The industry has grown tremendously in the last four years. We have been able to achieve over a $1 billion of top line revenue within a few years of our existence. The growth has been exponential and with increasing penetration of internet and awareness around technology, we expect a further 15-20 times growth in the coming years.

The other factors responsible for our fast growth are:

Technology: No business in a digital commerce or online space can be successful in the absence of a strong technology platform. We have a strong tech team that has laid the foundation of our success.

Marketplace model: We were the first company in the Indian online space to have adopted the marketplace model as it was a strong way to scale up, raise volumes and expand our product portfolio. It gave us a lot of flexibility to widen the scope of our business.

Talent: The most important driver of our fast growth is people. We have always focused on the quality of people more than the headcount and have also sought a cultural and organizational DNA fit. It is very crucial for our people to be aligned with the vision.

Understanding the customer: Keeping in mind our customers, we have been able to diversify our product offerings, introduce new products and categories.

To scale further, we are looking at expanding our workforce double-fold by the end of this financial year. With the industry still in its nascent stage, talent is not readily available. There is a huge demand-supply gap in talent and the biggest challenge it poses is getting the right people on board at the right time. The war for talent is only going to intensify further and to be on the edge we are making our hiring process more and more scientific. We look at testing attitude along with various behavioural and functional skills and assessments while hiring candidates. Apart from looking at Tier I and II campuses for the best of talent and tying up with institutes for special course content, we are also hiring from other industries in order to get lateral experienced talent.

Another key driver in attracting talent is the increasing number and size of investments in the industry. The growing interest of investors in the e-commerce organizations sends out a positive message to the talent community and is a reinforcement of the fact that these organizations are heading in the right direction. On the other hand, it is still not easy to keep pace with the business changes and have the right pool of talent ready at the right time.

Once you have the right people, it is essential to be committed to retaining them as well. In order to be able to do the same, one needs to plan the right kind of interventions. We sincerely invest in developing skill enhancement programs, job-rotation or job-enrichment plans, learning and development initiatives and leadership development programs for people who have stayed with us for long and deserve the right kind of opportunities and mentoring to take up leadership roles. We also have performance based ESOP plans that help create a sense of ownership amongst our people.

With a focus on getting the right people, it is also important to provide people the right kind of enablers to succeed and to reward them. Timely reward and recognition goes a long way in not only retaining talent but also in creating a strong employer brand.

As told to People Matters

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Topics: Entrepreneurship, #GlobalPerspective

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