We are biased towards the young
Young people do not come with any baggage and are open to innovation, experimentation, hard work and are ready to accept failures and learn from them
The e-commerce industry in India is realistically only four to five years old. It started with a big bang, a lot of bullishness and then a little disillusionment. However, it gradually grew and today it is a thriving industry. The key factor that is driving this growth is the inability of organized offline retail to grow and expand in India as rapidly as e-commerce can through its technology and reach. Consequently, the industry is gaining momentum that is attracting more young players with fresh ideas. Now, in order to scale, the industry will need to hire more people.
As we also embark the growth ride and endeavour to cross the Rs 500-crore mark in a couple of years, we need a large workforce with the right kind of talent that fits our culture. Getting the best talent on board is the core of our expansion strategy as we look at hiring actively across verticals like operations, marketing, buying and technology.
Although we are comprehensively looking at both fresh and experienced talent across all these areas, as a young organization, we are biased towards young people. We ardently believe that young people do not come with any baggage and are open to innovation, experimentation, hard work and are ready to accept failures and learn from them. This bias is the main reason why the average age of our workforce is 27 and the average work experience is between three to four years. We also have a mix of people with very specialized domain experience of over 10 years or so. However, there is an inclination towards youngsters who have the capability to be the leaders quickly.
E-commerce is a young industry. Therefore, a lot that we do is fresh and path breaking so it’s difficult to find people with relevant experience. Hence, there is a clear need to develop people in-house. This is why while we do look for fresh talent, at the same time we have to hire people with a lateral previous experience, who have the ability to adapt to the online space and train the freshers. To get experienced people for certain specific requirements, we hire from other organizations that specialize in that particular requirement. We also hire generalists who not need have experience in a particular domain but display an ability to quickly learn and understand.
There is no restriction of the background, provided the candidate has a zeal for learning. For instance, we recently hired someone, who comes from an operations background, for a digital marketing role. With a mindset like this, the e-commerce industry is not only creating opportunities for people from all domains but also giving talented people a chance to innovate and explore their own potential better.
The overall internet business is growing and e-commerce is a part of the larger scope which gaming, mobile, payments etc. has brought in. With this growth, the e-commerce sector is helping develop the broader internet industry in India. Going further, technology is one area that could face a talent scarcity even in coming times. However, there will be also be a new pool of talent who’s trained and developed with an understanding of how internet works and has the skill sets required to grow in this industry, but for now there is surely a competition to get the best of talent on-board. On the other hand, there is already a clear shift in talent preferences as people from corporates and premier institutes are turning to jobs in the emerging e-commerce firms. The e-commerce wave of hiring will significantly aid the growth of the broader internet industry while there will also be a lot of cross-pollination across industries.
As told to People Matters