Firms play white knight to those given pink slips

Illustrations: Ajay Mohanty
Playing the white knight to hundreds of professionals, several e-commerce and software companies have come as a glimmer of hope in the ongoing lay-off season. Online companies such as Paytm and MobiKwik, as well as a host of information technology (IT) firms, are offering jobs to those sacked by e-commerce players such as Snapdeal, Stayzilla and Tolexo.

Resumes of data analysts, marketing, business development and other professionals are being vetted by companies looking for experienced hands. On Friday, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Paytm, tweeted that his company would ‘welcome them with open arms’. “Hello, tech/product people in Delhi NCR. Feeling the heat of business restructuring? We welcome you @Paytm and @PaytmMall with open arms,” he tweeted. One97 Communications, the parent company of Paytm wallet, Paytm Marketplace well as payments bank, is on an expansion mode. It is expected to start its much-awaited payments bank soon, and would launch a marketplace app PaytmMall. For these, the company requires at least 700-1,000 new professionals.

Wallet company MobiKwik, which on Thursday said it would invest Rs 300 crore in expansion, marketing and consumer acquisition, is also sifting through a bunch of these resumes. “We need people in tech, marketing and business development. We also have positions open in Bengaluru, where we are setting up an office,’’ said Bipin Preet Singh, founder and CEO, MobiKwik. It’s looking for professionals across all verticals, especially data analytics. The wallet player is planning to open 13 offices across India and would need at least 700 professionals at mid to higher positions.

Venture capital firm Blume Ventures has also reached out to many, from its portfolio companies, who lost their jobs.

Human resource consultants say a weak market is also the best time for companies to pick talent because it sets realistic expectations for both — the employee and the potential employer.  Even IT companies such as HCL Technologies and Tech Mahindra are learnt to be looking at candidates who were recently told to leave by their respective organisations.

“While talent was looking at entering the e-commerce because of excitement, now the pendulum appears to have swung to the other side with talent wanting to move out as business is becoming tougher,’’ said Ronesh Puri, managing director, Executive Access. This is also a good time for organisations to pick talent from the e-commerce industry, given the mood in the sector, Puri added. 

According to senior executives at Paytm, they have already received 350-450 resumes from Snapdeal and its sister concern, FreeCharge. “We have some applications from Stayzilla employees too. Queries have risen since our founder tweeted on Friday morning. We are in the process of evaluating and calling people for interviews,” said an executive.

This is not the first time Paytm has pulled off a recruitment coup. Last May, it took in some of the IIM-Ahmedabad graduates who were left in the lurch by online marketplace major Flipkart, when it deferred their joining dates. 

Snapdeal was recently in news for its plans to sack 800 employees and its co-founders, Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, taking a 100 per cent pay cut. 

It is also in talks to sell its digital wallet company, FreeCharge.

The Kunal Bahl-led company has in the past one year become 80 per cent lighter when it comes to number of employees. From 10,000 in February last year, the headcount is down to less than 2,000. Leading homestay and alternate stay aggregator, Stayzilla, has also suspended operations. Business goods and supplies portal Tolexo, is learnt to be laying off as many as 300 employees, which is around 85 per cent of its workforce.

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