Flipkart is hiring talent to engineer rejig in the middle
BENGALURU: After an exodus of the senior management from the company over the past year, online marketplace Flipkart is now hiring to strengthen its engineering team.
The company will focus on hiring mid-management employees in three core areas for engineering including mobile experience, cloud infrastructure and personalisation.
The renewed focus on hiring comes after a year of high-profile exits from the company who were recruited during 2015. Close to six senior vice-presidents and directors have left the company since January when Tiger Global’s Kalyan Krishnamurthy took over as chief executive officer.
Since January, the company has seen the return of old hands to helm key operations for supply chain of mobile phones, grocery among others.
The current focus is on hiring engineers with typically two to five years of experience, which is a key area of investment for the company.Flipkart will also hire contract workers to strengthen the operations of its captive logistics unit Ekart.
“Engineering will drive our innovation edge. The assumption is that e-commerce industry is driven by capital, but it is (actually) driven by innovation. We are proud to have a truly world-class engineering function which is a source of innovation. The first investment is to grow that,” said Nitin Seth, chief operating officer of Flipkart in an interview to ET.
“We will strengthen the two to five-year experience layer, with cutting-edge expertise. They will come from both India and overseas as well,” said Seth, adding that while focus on engineering did not waver over the past year, the lay-offs in 2016 were done to improve speed and efficiency rather than as a cost-cutting measure by the company.
Apart from improving the experience on mobile, the teams will focus on building the company’s cloud infrastructure and focus on research areas such as machine learning, natural language processing, artificial intelligence and other areas of data science to make shopping on the platform a personalised experience.
With about a billion dollar coming its way as part of the recent round of funding, the company is also looking to strengthen its sourcing for key categories including lifestyle, large appliances and furniture as well as the new category for grocery.
The company, which has a workforce of 7,800 employees on its rolls, has around 240 members in the top management. This does not include the numbers for Flipkart-owned fashion verticals, Myntra and Jabong.
“In 2015, we made a big shift. There was a large influx of new leaders and it got difficult for the company to fully absorb. The Flipkart culture, which is a very distinct culture, got diffused with the size and the suddenness of the change. When I joined last year, it was about strengthening FK culture,” said Seth.