A decade after they were said to boom but failed, e-commerce sites are up once again — and this time for real, as internet penetration expands. And thanks to that, jobs are booming in the sector.
We are not talking about high-profile companies but smaller shopping sites that have quietly built up their presence in smaller towns – called the Tier II and III cities. India’s internet user base is expected by industry to grow 40% this year from last year's 71 million – big enough to make some shopping sites thrive.
As customers hunt for bargain prices at the click of a mouse with easy credit card payments, the challenge for e-commerce firms is to provide customer support and fulfilment of orders for which staff are required.
E-shopping websites such as Flipkart.com, Naaptol.com, Snapdeal.com, Myntra.com and Letsbuy.com are among those in an expansion mode.
“We are now more than 500 and now we are looking at increasing our manpower strength to over 1,000 by the year-end,” said Manmohan Agarwal, chief executive officer, online fashion goods store Bigshoebazaar.com.
Snapdeal.com, which recently raised $12 million in venture funding, aims to double its headcount by the year-end from the current 400.
“This is a new business to explore and we are hiring people who can help us in rolling out new categories and developing new categories to win against the competitors,” said Kunal Bahl, CEO, SnapDeal.
Naaptol.com, which raised Rs 33 crore last year, is also hiring more than 50 people every month.
According to Ray Periera, director, recruitment process outsourcing at Kenexa, aUS- based human capital firm, hiring in this sector has increased considerably.
“E-commerce websites are desperately hunting for high-performing professionals who will be able to handle various aspects of the business and build the infrastructure,” Periera said.
The sector is also able to expand thanks to inflow of venture capital funds that give its fledgling entrepreneurs elbow room to spend.