Amazon India Hires ‘Heavy Weights’ To Battle E-Commerce Rivals

According to the Fashion Design Council of India, designer Varun Bahl will open the Amazon India fashion week for Autumn/Winter 2016, which is due to take place in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium for five days starting March 16.

According to International Business News, the event will be a fashion gala extravaganza and is associated with Maybelline of New York.

This is only the second year that Amazon India has sponsored the event, which was announced on the FDCI’s press release page.

Amazon India has invested greatly in the region since starting its operation in 2013 and according to Deccan Chronicle, the company’s rival Flipkart has nearly matched them on their investment amount.

null

The article insinuates that the investment from Amazon India was necessary in order to help them remain in good standing with the laws there; they’ve allegedly complained they’re subject to fines and held to a different standard than they are used to in the U.S, and in comparison, refers to China who also require similar standards.

As a distant rival, Alibaba is the largest e-commerce corporation in Asia and appears to be much bigger than Amazon, but according to a Wall Street Journal article from 2014, the company naturally considersAmazon to be its competition.

Which may be why the economic section of the India Times is reporting that Amazon India was on an aggressive hiring spree; allegedly, they hired a dozen top managers over the last three months to consolidate earnings in order to gain momentum in the region.

Some of these top managers are already coming from rival businesses such as Puneet Gupta who was previously with Jabong, an online fashion and lifestyle site, and Pranav Bhasin of MakeMy Trip, an online travel service.

Amazon India will be competing with the Fashion industry Amazon India is looking to consolidate earnings, but has also put Puneet Gupta in charge of fashion, food and groceries. It is likely they can put markets like this one in Mysore City to use. [Image by Randy Adams Via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0]The source says that Gupta is to head marketing and sales for Amazon India’s fashion, food and grocery departments, while Bhasin has been appointed as director of product management.

International Business Times reports that India’s e-commerce market – which Amazon India is clearly looking to dominate – is expected to triple to $68.8 billion by what is referred to as FY20, or the year 2020.

Currently, Amazon India is competing with Snapdeal and Flipkart who are also competing in the region, which is also referred to as the Amazon of India.

However, according to a report by CNBC, there is a feeling by the Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust that their valuation on start-ups such as Flipkart are simply too lofty, and they have reportedly reduced the company’s valuation from $80.6 million as of June 2015 to $58.9 million in December.

Flipkart.com Start up location Live Mint explains how the Flipkart business structure operates, in a complex network of independent entities throughout India. Likely, this image shows what could be the equivalent of a authorized “dealer” in Kolkota. [Image by Sankarshan Mukhopadhyay via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0]The article also says that valuations have also been reduced for U.S. based companies like Palantir Technologies and DropBox.

Bipin Preet Singh, the CEO of Indian start-up MobiKwik, was quoted in the article as to why this might have happened to the Amazon India rival.

“When there’s too much money chasing a few companies, valuations go out of hand.” Singh said, adding investors remain bullish in India’s medium to long term prospects although in the short run, new money, even with lower valuation, will be hard to come by.

One of the often referred to reasons for the overall guesstimate that the e-commerce market will grow, is not only because India has one of the largest populations in the world but, because a great percentage of its potential consumers are still in rural locations and are not digitally accounted for, at the very least connected through a cell phone.

Overall, the e-commerce tech market looks at India as prime real estate to compete.

One example of trying to unify consumers with a company like Amazon India is India’s Aadhaar project which has been trying to get every citizen entered into a centralized digital database, which includes biometric data, to make it easier for people in rural areas to get the services they need.

Naturally, Internet companies are also working on servicing those out-of-range communities through government programs.

But, the Economic Times also quotes Ashish Sangeneria on Amazon India’s hiring strategy.

“Amazon is far more experimental in hiring compared to its competitors. Given that its processes and global experiences are so strong, the company can help people from different backgrounds be successful.”

Sangeneria is a consultant with an executive search and advisory firm called Longhouse consulting, who specialize in staffing top level management.

The hiring spree reported is currently for upper-level positions. Amazon India is likely already ramping up hiring for lower level positions to compete on a larger scale.

[Image by Manish Swarup | AP Photo]