WalmartLabs India to ramp up workforce

Engages with startups as part of growth strategy

WalmartLabs India to ramp up workforce

WalmartLabs India, the independent technology arm of Walmart Global eCommerce, hopes to register a growth of 30 per cent in its employee base by the end of this year, giving primacy to analytics.

Walmart Global Technology Services India Vice President and Managing Director Jayakumar K said the lab wants to make use of outstanding talent and the startup ecosystem.

“Right now we have a team strength of 750 and it will reach 1,200 by the end of this fiscal. Our hiring strategy is primarily led by our requirement for analytics division of our eCommerce division,” Jayakumar told Deccan Herald.

He said that two years ago, the team in India developed an in-house platform called Pangaea to avoid the vendor lock-in period for the company. “We have succeeded in the seamless execution of the project, and during this holiday season, we have performed well. This is a major accomplishment for our Bangalore Lab, and all our software now runs on this platform,” he said.

He said the India centre is focussed on data analytics as it gives business excellence to the company. “We have been doing innovation in competitive intelligence, pricing, and  internally analysing our data to find the customer demand. Our team also provides time-bound intelligence by giving certain offers on Internet-based data as part of our promotional offers,” he said.

Walmart, which still owns the second-largest eCommerce business after market leader Amazon, is striving hard to be the leader by going for inorganic growth. “We have acquired 15 startups globally, and want to make our next acquisition in India. WalmartLabs Senior VP and CTO Jeremy King, during his last visit, made it clear that the company will go hunting in the Indian startup ecosystem,” he said.

As part of that strategy, the company has selected 30 startup companies, and further narrowed it down to 10. “We kick-started the ecosystem of working with startup a couple of months back. The startups are working on mundane areas like cataloging to virtual reality. We have companies working on video solution and in hardware space too,” he said.

He said the company is working along with them to give access to Walmart ecosystem where their solutions can touch base problems of scale like that of Walmart eCommerce platform.

During the first three quarters of 2015, Walmart realised online sales of $13.2 billion compared with $71.8 billion by Amazon.  Even though Walmart’s online sales account for just 2.5 per cent of revenue, the segment holds the best promise of growth for the company.

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