E-commerce startup Flipkart expands its reach to the US
Facing growing competition from both domestic ecommerce brands like Snapdeal and Shopclues and global names like Amazon, Flipkart finally decided to increase the reach of its base of operations. In tweet Flipkart Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Peeyush Ranjan mentioned that Flipkart will start operating form the infamous Bay Area, with their new office opening in Palo Alto, California.
In a move that puts it ahead of its domestic rivals, this can be seen as the first few steps that Flipkart has taken in order to establish itself as global e-commerce player. Situated at the hub of both innovations and funding opportunities, Flipkart has now positioned itself to find easier access to up and coming technologies and funding opportunities American investors and venture capitalists. This move also bring Flipkart in proximity with its biggest competitor in Indian markets; Amazon.
This shift opens up interesting options for Flipkart as an employer. With the Peeyush Rajan mentioning that Flipkart is ready to begin operations in California, it now has access to a completely different talent pool. Although there have been many instances of Indian based startups successfully attracting top talent form the Bay area, a geographical positioning will certainly add its merit. To be able to find more talent from the region, which probably has the best in the world would be of great benefit as it hopes to expand its reach across global markets. This move will also help Flipkart to enable talent mobility. This, in turn, will help them create strong value propositions for domestic talent as an exposure to Palo Alto work culture in itself becomes a strong motivator.
These advantages come with its own sets of dangers that Flipkart might need to be cautious about if it is to successfully leverage the advantages that this move provides to the startup, from a talent stand point. Although the sentiment with a company like Flipkart has stayed strong in the talent market, Flipkart has recently had to defer the joining letters of many students hired across various colleges in India. This was soon followed with the startup announcing that it would lay off around 1,000 employees on the performance related issue. This ended up affecting around 1 to 2% of the workforce, several media reports mentioned. It has also suffered recent fluctuations in its valuations, which might make investors speculate about its growth. Flipkart will have to pay close attention to such factors as they try to acquire talent from the Bay area. It would also need strong HR framework to ensure the culture is able to sustain itself with new talent coming in.
Although most of this is speculative in nature, the move surely opens up a lot of doors for Flipkart as it follows in the steps of other Unicorn startups like Mu Sigma, a data analytics company and Zomato, among others.