In an overall buoyant job market, Jan 2017 recorded growth in jobs beyond the top metro cities, when compared with Jan 2016. The Index recording a YOY increase of 3%, from 1659 in Dec 2016 to 1707 in Jan 2017. Within top metros Delhi/NCR, Mumbai and Bengaluru witnessed a decline in hiring activity of 11%, 8% and 6% respectively. Amongst other metros, the jobs index recorded a growth of 3% in Hyderabad and Chennai, 15% in Pune and 24% in Ahmedabad when compared y-o-y. The IT-Software Industry in India has been buoyant with no visible impact in hiring of professionals. Insurance jobs also went up by 20% in the same time period. While the Telecom/ISP industry saw a 23% slump, the BPO industry saw a 5% gain in Jan 2017 as compared to Jan 2016. Jobs in the Oil & Gas and Power, Infrastructure industry saw a 28% fall in Jan 2017 as compared to Jan 2016. Construction and Engineering jobs decreased by 10% during the same period. Banking and Financial services jobs saw 1% fall in Jan 2017 when compared to Jan 2016. While IT- Software jobs saw a drop of 2% YOY, BPO jobs saw a gain of 6% for the same time period. Accounts/Finance and Production jobs decreased by 6% and 11% respectively since Jan’16. Sales/BD and HR saw a 1% and 2% decrease respectively in Jan’17 when compared to Jan’16. Teaching and Education saw a 20% increase in Jan’17 when compared to Jan’16. Hiring in Marketing and Advertising saw a 6% fall in the same period.
Ola, India’s largest ride-hailing service, continues to witness a spate of top-level departures, at a time when the Bengaluru-based start-up is locked in a fierce market-share battle with Uber and is almost certain to raise its next round of funding at a lower valuation. Apart from the exits of chief financial officer (CFO) Mr. Rajiv Bansal and marketing chief Mr. Raghuvesh Sarup, Ola’s chief operating officer of offline initiatives Mr. Anuj Bhargava—one of the company’s key architects behind recent initiatives such as Ola Play—has also resigned. As part of the Ola Play initiative, Ola installed tablets in its cabs through which customers can access personalized content such as music, movies, shopping, and also control the air-conditioning. Several other senior directors have quit in the last few weeks. Ola confirmed Mr. Bhargava’s departure from the company, but denied the exits of any other executives. Mr. Sriram V. Iyer, head of engineering and senior director at Ola, has also quit. The exits come at a time when Ola is facing unprecedented churn across its ranks and, as a result, has been forced to hire executives from top companies such as Pepsi to fill some of these vacancies. Ola has simultaneously conducted a reshuffle across its business units, the people mentioned above said. In January, Ola named Mr. Vishal Kaul, a PepsiCo veteran, as its chief operating officer (COO) and elevated former COO Mr. Pranay Jivrajka as a founding partner. In January, Ola also hired former SAB Miller India executive Mr. Shalabh Seth as the chief executive of its leasing subsidiary Ola Fleet Technologies Pvt. Ltd to help grow the supply of cars. The company has, however, struggled with senior-level exits. Some of the senior executives who have quit include Mr. Sunder Sahni, a former executive at e-commerce firm Lazada Indonesia who was hired as vice-president of new initiatives, and Mr. Abhimanyu Rawal, head of Ola’s luxury car business.
With an aim to cut costs, struggling e-commerce firm Snapdeal is likely to downsize its team by around 1,300 employees, a major chunk of which is expected to happen soon. The segments which will be affected the most include marketplace health team from which around 38 people are being let go off. One of the people quoted above on the condition of anonymity said that this includes downsizing of the California team as well. Snapdeal had set up its data centre in California in May last year. The company has an estimated headcount of over 4,000 employees now. Responding to a query, a Snapdeal spokesperson said: “On our journey towards profitability, it is imperative that we continue to drive efficiency in our business, which enables us to pass on the value to our consumers and sellers. As in the past, and like all good companies do, we will continue to assess resource allocation in furtherance of our goals of enhancing customer and seller experience while driving high quality growth.” A bunch of senior level executives have already exited the company including Mr. Tony Navin, senior vice president of partnerships and strategic initiatives and Mr. Abhishek Kumar, head of merger and acquisitions and investments. The move comes barely a month after Mr. Jason Kothari the former chief executive officer of beleaguered real estate startup Housing.com was parachuted into the company as its chief strategy and investment officer.
Flipkart-owned online fashion portal Myntra has appointed Ms. Gunjan Soni as head of its recently acquired unit Jabong, as the company looks to extend its lead in the online fashion space – one of the few large categories where the Indian firm outperforms rival Amazon. Ms. Soni’s elevation to the position comes at a time when Mr. Ashutosh Lawania, who along with Mukesh Bansal co-founded Myntra in 2007, has quit to start his new venture. The void Mr. Lawania creates will be filled by chief people officer Mr. Manpreet Ratia, who will take on the additional charge of supply chain. The movements have resulted in a comprehensive top level management rejig at Myntra, with CEO Mr. Ananth Narayanan continuing to remain the top boss for both of Flipkart’s fashion units. Myntra’s rejig follows that of parent Flipkart’s which saw the elevation of former Tiger Global executive Mr. Kalyan Krishnamurthy to the position of CEO in January. Mr. Naresh Krishnaswamy, who joined Myntra as a business analyst in 2012 has been given a seat in the top management, while continuing to head sales and new initiatives. He has been responsible for key sale events, driving engagement through price reveals and gamification of the Myntra platform. Apart from being given the responsibility of handling Myntra’s supply chain, Mr. Ratia, an ex-Amazon India executive, will also look at consumer experience. In December, Myntra pushed its timeframe to turn profitable by a quarter from December 2017 to March 2018. The firm said it plans to double sales to $2 billion by then. Amazon, which has been aggressively catching Flipkart continues to lag significantly to the Indian company in the fashion space thanks to Myntra and now Jabong.
India’s largest e-commerce marketplace Flipkart has suffered another bout of senior-level exits at its engineering team. As per latest developments, Mr. Ashish Gupta, vice president, engineering, and Mr. Ashish Vikram, vice president, engineering (ad and big data) are leaving the firm. Mr. Gupta, who joined Flipkart in 2012, was heading its Demand Shaping Platform group. He has worked with Firetide Networks and Mobera Systems in the past. Mr. Vikram, who joined the company in 2014, had earlier worked with Yahoo and Kalido. He has moved on to pursue an entrepreneurial venture, a video-based social learning platform called VideoKen. The fresh exits come a little over a fortnight after two senior vice presidents of engineering— Mr. Hari Vasudev and Mr. Ashish Agrawal—resigned from the e-commerce firm. In the first week of January, there were a number of senior-level exits from Flipkart, both at its flagship marketplace and its subsidiary online fashion retailer Myntra. The list included Myntra’s supply chain head and senior vice president Mr. Rajul Jain, who was one of the co-founders of lifestyle e-tailer Yebhi.com; Mr. Sharad Agarwal, vice president and distinguished engineer at Flipkart who was heading data strategy; and Mr. Raghuram Talluri, vice president and head of customer experience at Myntra. All of them left the company in December. India’s consumer Internet businesses, which quickly became multi-billion-dollar companies, are facing growth pangs and witnessing many top-level exits. Other home-grown e-commerce unicorns, such as Snapdeal and Ola, are also struggling to retain senior talent.
Campus hiring have cooled at India’s top business and engineering schools, including at some IITs and IIMs, and some are yet to conclude the final campus placements which were to be completed by mid-January, said officials at several placement cells. Demonetisation, which sapped demand and hit consumer-facing firms, and rising protectionism in the US and UK, which threaten Indian IT companies, are likely reasons for the development, these officials said. It also threatens to get worse. Human resources (HR) outsourcing and technology firm PeopleStrong says campus hiring numbers may fall 20-25% from current levels by the end of 2020. “Campus hiring will see a gradual decrease in the next one year,” said Mr. Pankaj Bansal, co-founder and CEO, PeopleStrong. “There are various reasons for this gradual decrease. Some of them include: reduction in hiring numbers of IT giants due to global economy slowdown, automation of transaction-heavy jobs through Artificial Intelligence and lack of job-readiness in the campus pass-outs.” “Though the number of companies visiting campuses has gone up, the net total number of offers has remained constant,” said Mr. Kaustubha Mohanty, convener, All IITs Placement Committee, the panel responsible for campus hiring across all Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). “Total offers being rolled out by a company has seen a drop. The exact numbers will be available only after the end of ongoing placements,” he said. Mr. Abhishek Totawar, chairperson, placement and external relations, at Indian Institute of Management Tiruchirappalli, said, “Placements did slow down this year, compared to previous years. The number of offers being made by consistent top recruiters has gone down. We will know if the average package has been impacted once placements are over.”
Mobile payments and commerce platform Paytm plans to hire 100 people in Bangalore to support “tremendous” growth that it is seeing in its travel vertical. Paytm said that over 10 million travel tickets were booked on its platform since the launch a few months back. The Noida-based firm added that its travel vertical crossed USD 500 million in annualized gross merchandise value (GMV) in January 2017.Paytm, which offers bookings for air, bus and train tickets, besides hotels, is eyeing a 4x growth in the category by the end of this year. “This year we plan to further accelerate our growth and firmly establish ourselves as a dominant player in the online travel market. To catalyse our growth, we are currently ramping up our team in Bangalore and looking to hire over 100 members across Technology, Operations and Business functions,” Mr. Abhishek Rajan, Vice President – Paytm said.
Two professors from IIM Lucknow, Mr. Bharat Bhasker and Mr. Shailendra Singh have been appointed as Directors of IIM Raipur and IIM Ranchi respectively, a statement from the premier institute said. The Appointments Cabinet Committee, chaired by Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, approved names of directors for 10 IIMs – at Bengaluru, Bodh Gaya, Sirmaur, Visakhapatnam, Tiruchirappalli, Nagpur, Sambalpur, Raipur, Rohtak and Ranchi, it said. Mr. Bhasker is from the IT and Systems department at IIM Lucknow and his areas of expertise include Data Management, Network Security and Software Engineering. He was also the acting Director at IIM Lucknow in 2015. Mr. Shailendra Singh is a Ph.D from IIT Kanpur and is currently posted at the Human Resource Management department at IIM Lucknow. He is also involved in consulting work in the field of Education Management. IIM Lucknow Director Prof. Ajit Prasad said: “IIM Lucknow is immensely proud of the fact that two of its faculty have been given the huge opportunities to lead institutes of national importance. As one of its core functions and as a prideful tradition, IIM Lucknow has been at the forefront of, contributing significantly to, mentoring up and coming IIMs.”
Aircel is laying off a part of its 8,000 employee workforce as the company inches closer to merging its wireless business with Mr. Anil Ambani-owned telco Reliance Communications. As per reports around 700 employees were handed out pink slips. A spokesperson from Aircel confirmed the layoffs but denied that there were 700 employees being sent away. “They (layoffs) were a small fraction. There is a certain kind of business realignment happening,” the spokesperson added. The employees were given a week’s notice along with a severance package which includes basic pay for the next six months. The downsizing of workforce is being carried out to remove duplicate human resources once the company merges its operations with RCOM. Aircel is not the only company that is hit by rising competition in the telecom industry. Post launch of Reliance Jio, smaller operators are either looking for an exit or phasing out operations. In this month Telenor was reportedly in discussions with RCOM for merging its business unit and spectrum holding with the Aircel-RCOM merged entity. It was also in talks with Airtel for a possible $350 million merger deal. Idea Cellular, on the other hand, was in talks with Vodafone Group for a potential merger deal.
WhatsApp has been providing its service free to all its users worldwide ever since launch. The IM app does not make money through ads like Instagram and Facebook either, so naturally, it is looking for alternate and innovative ways to monetise its extremely popular service soon. To do that, WhatsApp has reportedly appointed Facebook executive Mr. Matt Idema as their new COO. According to a report, Mr. Idema was announced as the newly appointed COO and “monetisation will be his key focus.” However, his full role is reportedly still being ironed out. Mr. Idema was Vice President of Product Marketing at Facebook, and was responsible for “product strategy and global go-to-market for all of Facebook’s Advertising and Business Products.” The report added that Mr. Idema will begin his new role at WhatsApp in the coming weeks and will report directly to WhatsApp CEO Mr. Jan Koum.
Bank of Baroda, India’s third-largest state-run bank, is looking to a slew of senior managers poached from foreign lenders including Barclays Plc and Standard Chartered Plc to help drive profitability at the 108-year-old company. In the past three months, the Mumbai-based lender has hired Mr. Manoj Piplani, a managing director of Barclays’s U.K. card business, to lead its card and payments operations and Mr. Ratnesh Kumar, managing director at Standard Chartered, to head its investment-banking arm. The bank also added a former Citigroup Inc. employee to transform its Nainital Bank Ltd. unit and recruited advisers for its chief executive officer from firms including JPMorgan Chase & Co. The hiring will have a “multiplier effect” as the recruits train others and put new structures in place, CEO Mr. P S Jayakumar said in an interview. “Cash management, supply-chain management and the retail side are other areas in which we made hires from competitors and we’re currently looking for people in analytics.” Mr. Jayakumar, 54, and Chairman Mr. Ravi Venkatesan, former chairman of Microsoft Corp.’s Indian unit, were brought to Bank of Baroda in 2015 by Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi’s government as it attempted to overhaul the banking system. More than a year later, the executives still face the lingering challenges of swelling bad loans, declining profitability and underperforming shares.
Silicon Valley has asked its foreign employees to stay put in the United States to keep their jobs in the Trump era. Indian techies living and working in California—a longtime tech hub—who are eligible for transmutation to H1B visas from L1 are cancelling their summer trips home accordingly. They fear that the travel ban will deprive them of both visas and jobs in spite of the federal court order overturning it. Two major airlines—both flying on the India-San Francisco route—have reported over 200 passengers cancelling their tickets to India in the last week alone. Indian techies are avoiding flying out to other countries either. Their companies have also advised them to stay put in the US, quoting the strict Trumpist provisions in the visa interview process. “Embassies/Consulates’ visa processing time is likely to increase for all applicants,” an advisory sent to employees of four companies said. Major companies situated in the Silicon Valley are Apple Inc, Cisco Systems, Google, Facebook, Hewlett-Packard etc. Their companies have mailed them that they should leave the US only in case of an emergency since entry into America has been tightened by the new government. Companies in Silicon Valley are advising their employees not to travel out of the US unnecessarily. Over 200 such employees have cancelled their outbound flight tickets in California. An advisory read “The vast majority of non-immigrants employed in the US (e.g., nationals of India, China, other Asian and European countries) should not be impacted. However, we recommend avoiding unnecessary international travel until this situation settles further. Additionally, due to the fact visa interviews will no longer be waived across the US.”
A year after implementation of the new pay- and pension-related recommendations of the Seventh Central Pay Commission (CPC), the government is likely to approve the revised allowances proposed by it for central government staff after the ongoing state elections are over, by March 15. The reworked allowances are likely to be effective from April 1 and at least in the case of the employees in metro cities, the house rent allowances (HRA) could be a little more generous than the CPC’s award, sources told FE. Taking note of employees’ representations, a finance secretary-led panel is looking at HRA of 30% of basic pay for those in cities with a population of over 5 million, against 24% recommended by CPC, the sources said. In the Sixth CPC award period (2006-2015), HRA was 30% for these cities. A draft Cabinet note for implementation of the revised allowances would be circulated soon, the sources said. HRA accounts for about 60% of the total allowances bill. The financial implication of revised allowances would be broadly in line with the CPC’s estimate of around R29, 300 crore (including for the railways) in the first year. The secretaries’ panel is reviewing the commission’s recommendations pertaining to allowances including rationalisation of some 196 existing benefits. The pay panel has suggested the abolition of 52 benefits and merger of 36 with existing ones to end their separate identities. With just R4, 500 crore additional allocation in the Budget (factoring in business-as-usual growth) for allowances and assuming R7, 600 crore expenditure would be borne by the railways, the additional allocation required from the general Budget could be around R17, 000 crore, sources said.
The exodus of top executives at Twitter continues as the company’s Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion Mr. Jeffrey Siminoff is quitting at the end of this month after its Chief Human Resources Officer Ms. Renee Atwood has quit, media reports said. Ms. Atwood, who had joined Twitter in August 2016 from Uber, has left the company for personal reasons. According to the sources quoted in the report, company’s CEO Mr. Jack Dorsey sent a note around the company letting employees know about Siminoff’s upcoming exit, revealing that Mr. Siminoff was leaving on his own accord. Mr. Siminoff joined Twitter in December in 2015. Twitter is going through a major overhaul under CEO Mr. Jack Dorsey as many top-notch executives have quit the company in the recent past. Mr. Dorsey brought in two board members in a bid to revive the company and earn the trust of investors. Several high-profile Twitter executives and managers have jumped the ship in recent months. Twitter editorial director Ms. Karen Wickre and Mr. Shariq Rizvi, who confounded the direct response ads team at Twitter, announced their departures in late 2016. Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Mr. Adam Messinger and its Vice President for products Mr. Josh McFarland also quit.
Employees are willing to pay for additional insurance if it is provided by their employers. This is because employer facilitated insurance offers better coverage, efficiency in cost and better claim recovery. This was the key theme of Marsh India’s 9th annual Employee Health and Benefits Survey. According to the survey, 92 per cent of the employees were willing to share premium costs and buy voluntary plans offered to them by their employers. The survey was conducted among 500 corporates and over 2,000 employees. It included employees for the first time this year. Of the total employees who were surveyed, 33 per cent were willing to spend 1-2 per cent and another 37 per cent were willing to spend 3-5 per cent of their annual salaries on voluntary insurance plans. Top-plans in health insurance and term life is one big focus area for employees. Another area which saw high demand was coverage for outpatient department and parents. Almost 83 per cent of employees also said they are looking to customise their insurance offered by employer such as increasing room rent and maternity limits. There is also increasing demand for voluntary programmes to cover assets like car or house and travel insurance, provided it is facilitated by the employer.