LinkedIn’s regional bet in India pays off

LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network with more than 562 million members globally, has achieved a new landmark in India with 50-million user base, which is largely driven by Tier-II cities and students.

This assumes significance as LinkedIn India is localising its product ecosystem, participating in government’s upskilling efforts and empowering professionals. As LinkedIn’s fastest-growing and largest market outside the US, India member base grew from 3.4 million in November 2009 when the company began its operations and doubled in the past four years.

Besides cross-section of industries such as information technology, financial services, education, automotive and telecommunications, LinkedIn members represent talent pool from Microsoft office to team management and from project management to business development.

Speaking on this significant milestone, LinkedIn Country Manager - India and Head, International Product Akshay Kothari said “India’s current economic sentiment has elevated it from ‘stable’ to ‘positive’, giving way to a renewed faith in the country’s high growth potential.”

Focus on local approach

In India, LinkedIn has focused on a localised approach to democratise opportunity and connect professionals to make them more productive and successful. LinkedIn’s ‘Made in India’ journey began with the launch of the lightweight mobile website in September 2016, followed by the launch of ‘LinkedIn Lite’ Android app in July 2017. The LinkedIn Lite Android App, a lightweight version of the flagship app, was built to provide opportunities to professionals in low connectivity areas.

Developed by LinkedIn’s R&D centre in Bengaluru, the first one outside Mountain View, US, Lite has witnessed unprecedented global success and its story is symbolic of the big bets that LinkedIn is taking to build global products out of India. The company recognises India’s strategic importance and is bolstering its efforts in the country to support the tech talent pool to innovate local solutions that can also be scaled and exported to other countries.

According to company sources, 30% of new sign up happens from student community. “Our members-first, localised approach has helped us cross the 50 million mark in India. We are at the beginning of an exciting journey, as we democratise opportunity for every member of the Indian workforce. As we go ahead, we will continue to focus on students, career starters, and professionals beyond knowledge workers,” Kothari said. LinkedIn established its first technology centre in Bengaluru by November 2011. In 2016, the company crossed 30-million member milestone. Sensing growing opportunity in Indian job market, LinkedIn decided to go for localised approach to democratise opportunity and connect professionals to make more productive and successful.

This assumes significance as the country is going through fourth industrial revolution backed by Industry 4.0, creating seismic shift in job profiles across business verticals. Besides the launch of lightweight mobile website in September 2016, LinkedIn India expanded its presence by unveiling LinkedIn Lite Android app in July 2017.

Premium product

In May 2018, LinkedIn announced the pilot launch of ‘Resume Builder’ for its Premium members in India, a product feature that helps professionals create a visually compelling resume with ease. The success of this will be tested over the next few months and will expand to all members over the course of the year.

To further penetrate India market, the company got closer to the government agenda to upskill and bridge employment gap. LinkedIn’s “Economic Graph”, a digital representation of the global economy, is collected based on actions of millions of members, companies, jobs, and skills, and helps LinkedIn spot trends on talent migration, hiring rates, and in-demand skills by region. To further the government’s ‘Skill India’ campaign to upskill people and bridge the education-to-employment gap in September 2017, LinkedIn partnered with IL&FS Skills to upskill and improve the employability of blue-collar workers in India. Recently, LinkedIn signed a MoU with the Kerala Government’s Skill Mission.

Through original video content series ‘How I Got Here’ and ‘Second Innings’, produced in the LinkedIn video studio in Bengaluru, the platform is bringing together industry leaders to share their stories.

The Campus Editor Programme brings student voices and perspectives to LinkedIn’s members worldwide. LinkedIn Placements helps the students to find their first jobs and the company has 7,00,000 jobs listed in its website.

Influencers

LinkedIn has added new business leaders and renowned public figures to the LinkedIn Influencers list in India, with cricketer Sourav Ganguly being the newest entrant in March 2018. Narendra Modi, Priyanka Chopra, Sachin Tendulkar, and Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw are some of the other names that are part of the list of prestigious 500+ global influencers whose professional journeys continue to motivate members.

With the backing of its two major business verticals of the company, talent solutions, which includes recruitment listings and subscriptions, and the rest from marketing solutions, the company is expanding its presence in India going forward.

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LinkedIn’s regional bet in India pays off

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