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Snapdeal Hires 250 MBAs As E-Commerce Powers Up B-School Recruitment

Ambitions hiring plan underscores booming MBA jobs market in online retail

Tue Sep 8 2015

Snapdeal has hired 250 MBA graduates this year as the Indian e-commerce darling seeks to double its 5,000-strong workforce.

The ambitions hiring plan underscores the booming jobs market in online retail, spearheaded by e-commerce giants such as Amazon and Alibaba.

Saurabh Nigam, vice-president at Snapdeal, said that the company is seeking MBA-qualified talent to fill non-technical positions across sales and marketing, strategy, category management, supply chain and product management.

Snapdeal, one of India’s largest e-commerce groups, recently valued at $5 billion, launched a structured hiring plan for business schools for the first time this year.

Saurabh told the Economic Times that the company hires MBA graduates from across business schools including the prestigious Indian Institutes of Management, MDI Gurgaon, SP Jain, and the Indian School of Business.

“There is a sea of talent in our country and we are not restricted to just premier MBA institutes to fuel our growth as an organization,” he added.

The company plans to develop an extensive campus engagement plan this year.

Career opportunity in e-commerce abounds across India, as global internet companies are lured by the rapid proliferation of low-cost smartphones, and the country’s young, tech-savvy population.

India’s online market is worth $2.3 billion — just a fraction of total retail sales — but this is forecast to surge to more than $30 billion by 2020, according to Technopak, a consultancy. Morgan Stanley says the Indian internet market could reach $137 billion by 2020.

Snapdeal is competing for talent with Flipkart, a local rival valued at $11 billion, which is hiring for technology and leadership roles, and Amazon, which is investing $2 billion in India.

Amazon expects to place MBA hires in operations, consumer business, HR and finance. The company has also been recruiting experienced people from FMCG — fast moving consumer goods — offline retail, and logistics backgrounds. Its employee base in India grew by 48% last year compared with 2013.

Amazon’s push is part of a wider global ramp up in recruitment of more senior hires such as MBAs. Amazon is a top-three recruiter at a number of leading business schools across Europe and the US, including HEC Paris, Michigan Ross, and London Business School.

Washington’s Georgetown McDonough School has seen strong demand for MBA hiring from Amazon, said Angela Williams, associate director of the MBA Career Center. There have been full-time job and internship offers in marketing, finance, operations and product management, for markets in the US, China and Japan.

Deb Findlay, a recruitment lead at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, said there is a growing trend of e-commerce companies recruiting MBA students.

“E-commerce companies often look for people who are highly analytical, commercially savvy and who are able to make strategic decisions from large volumes of data — attributes common to many MBAs,” she said.

“We are seeing an upswing in demand for MBAs from the retail sector,” said Paula Quinton-jones, director of career services at Hult International Business School London, and the popularity of e-commerce groups like Amazon among MBAs is increasing.

Conrad Chua, head of MBA careers at Cambridge Judge Business School, said that MBA jobs in retail are centred on logistics, customer insights, and third-party partnerships — “a reflection of the changes that technology is bringing” to the industry.

In May, Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba launched a recruitment program that targets MBA students from the top global businesses schools.

Paytm, an Indian mobile payments platform, recently said it plans to double its headcount in 2016.