Flipkart, Myntra woo foreign educated for managerial role

Written by Sayan Chakraborty | Bangalore | Updated: Jun 27 2014, 13:58pm hrs
ManagersIndian e-tailers are wooing foreign educated for managerial role.
Leading homegrown e-tailers like Flipkart and Myntra are looking beyond the domestic boundaries to fill key management positions across verticals. Looking to surge ahead of the competitors in the country's $3.1-billion e-commerce market, they are hiring Silicon Valley executives and even Stanford and Harvard graduates at middle and senior management positions. The count is slated to increase.

While global exposure gives candidates an edge over others, a dearth of local talent to fit in the leadership role also prompt the e-tailers to look abroad. Hiring talent from the international markets also boosts brand value of the e-tailers.

Fashion and lifestyle portal Myntra, which was recently acquired by Flipkart, has foreign nationals and people with a stint abroad in various departments, the concentration being a little higher in technology and fashion teams. Besides, around 30-35 employees in Myntra have degrees from foreign universities, including premier institutes like Stanford and Harvard.

According to Pooja Gupta, Myntra VP-HR, the number of such incumbents have increased and more such hirings are on the card. We rope in such talents because they bring in fresh perspective and diversity to the team. People who work in the Bay area or have studied abroad are a good culture fit for us with their flexibility, professionalism, data orientation and non-hierarchical attitude, Gupta told FE. Myntra will focus on hiring candidates from top business schools and tier I companies, who can hit the ground running within a few days of joining.

Online marketplace Flipkart, which plans to nearly double its headcount from 13,000 to 25,000 this year, is no exception. We are open to hiring across geographies, including alumni from international colleges like Wharton and Stanford. We are in touch with these campuses and are exploring potential partnerships, said Mekin Maheswari, chief people officer, Flipkart.

In the last two years, the company has hired over 15 expats and Silicon valley executives in senior and middle-management positions. Some of them hold key positions in the company, including interim CFO and head of retail Kalyan Krishnamurthy, logistics VP Suraju Datta, VP of Financial planning and analysis Vaibhav Gupta and VP of Retail and head of brand relations Michael Adnani.

It is mainly the lack of talent locally. Overseas hires come with a larger and mature market experience. You want to hire people who come with a mature e-commerce market experience. They also give company an edge while showcasing their brand to internal and external stakeholders, said Kamal Karnath, the managing director at staffing agency Kelly Services.

Another industry expert says not only the big guns like Flipkart and Myntra but even niche players like Caratlane have made similar hirings.