Flipkart started out in 2007 and has grown to a valuation of USD 12 billion as of December last year. It raised USD 2 billion during this time and is looking to raise more money in this year as well. With such rapid expansion, the company has upped its hiring and is now looking at very strategic positions: Technical positions that have deep domain knowledge and an experience in scale. This particular breed has come up as a strategic skill gap for the rapidly blooming Indian e-commerce sector on the whole as well.
The scale and growth of the Indian e-commerce boom is enormous and could easily overshadow the dotcom boom of the Silicon Valley in terms of numbers. India will have 100 million online shoppers by next year and the country's e-tailing sector will become a $15 billion market by 2016 according to a research by Forrester Consulting. Looking at these figures, the need for individuals with technical skill and experience in scale becomes a great deciding factor for growing e-commerce companies in India which are looking to dominate the market and fight off competition from international giants like Amazon.
Most e-commerce companies believe that local talent with such experience is hard to come by. In line with this talent need, Flipkart has fixed its sight on Silicon Valley and is hiring aggressively. Such hires have worked well for Flipkart and another e-commerce player, Infibeam in the past and they're keen on adding more such employees to their rolls as they expand at breakneck speed. Last month, Flipkart hired Google engineering leader, Punit Soni, to be its chief product officer in Flipkart's commerce division. Peeyush Ranjan, a senior engineering director at Google, will also be joining Flipkart's commerce division in the coming months. Even other software giants like Infosys are looking towards the Silicon Valley for this skill gap. Google and Facebook have emerged as the places of choice to poach talent when one looks at the hiring pattern so far.
A number of other Indian e-commerce players like Snapdeal, Zomato, Quikr, Jabong have also been very active in raising funds and acquiring companies across geographies in the last year. With rapid expansion in numbers across other companies as well, the trend of persuading highly qualified Indian from the Silicon Valley to shift base to India could become a very prevalent trend. It remains to be seen how the local Indian talent market will work towards fulfilling this gap in the near future.