After a year of job uncertainties and salary reductions, the startup ecosystem is stepping up its hiring plans with most large startups gear up their growth plans. According to a survey by Scalar, venture capital-funded start-ups, especially in edtech, logistics and gig-economy will be key drivers of the job market in 2021.
Live learning platform Vedantu plans to hire 1,500 employees across all levels with domain expertise in the field of technology, product, finance, strategy & HR this year. “Due to the tremendous potential of online learning in current times, it is our duty to ensure that all students and teachers get a perfect experience of our product. Hence, we are ramping up our hiring across all domains from India’s premium B-schools and engineering institutes,” said Vamsi Krishna, CEO & co-founder, Vedantu.
Mumbai-based edtech start-up Lido learning is looking at hiring close to 1,000 employees in the next one month. The recruitment is diverse, spanning across roles like tutors, customer support personnel, sales and marketing executives, in addition to building strength for already existing teams. The numbers represent hiring around 500 tutors, and over 400 sales and customer support executives.
“There has been a big surge in startup hirings in the past two to three months and it is not only limited to fintech or edtech. All segments including consumer tech, SaaS, gaming and media tech are now picking up,” said Anshul Lodha, regional director at global recruitment consultancy Michael Page.
The Covid-19 outbreak impacted several startups as business contracted and many had to take harsh decisions of giving pink slips. For instance, Food tech platform Swiggy which had handed pink slips to over 1,400 employees after the pandemic broke out last year, has gone back to 2019 level hiring plans for the March quarter with an increased focus on technology and product functions.
“Attracting the right talent in engineering, product, data science & ML is our primary focus while also looking at strengthening our business category and supply chain teams for our new initiatives. This would be a mix of both entry-level roles (15-20 per cent) and lateral hires,” said Girish Menon, Head of HR at Swiggy.
The need to hire aggressively also comes at the back of fund raise that the startup ecosystem has seen as they see business demand rising. Walmart backed PhonePe managed to reach the milestone of 1 billion monthly payment transactions.
PhonePe has about 700 positions to close in 2021. “Despite the lockdown, our headcount grew by 700 people across roles since the end of February 2020 taking our employee strength to 2,240,” said a PhonePe spokesperson.
The Tiger Global-backed startup is also expanding its offline merchant network to 25 million (currently at 16 million) by the end of 2021 across rural and semi-urban areas.
This expansion will be creating 10,000 jobs across 5,500 talukas wherein people will be hired from the locally available talent pool to service the merchants.
Fintech unicorn Razorpay will be hiring 650 employees across its engineering, products, customer experience, sales and marketing teams in the next 10 months, to meet the growing payment and banking needs of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and freelancers. The Bengaluru-based startup had onboarded 550 employees in 2020.
According to Teamlease, freshers hiring is expected to be higher this year given that the 2020 pass-out intake just started around November-December 2020 and the activity has increased in Q1 of 2021. “Freshers hiring is expected to more than double compared to last year. Lateral is also in the positive trajectory, some of the roles that laterals are preferred are full stack developer, content writers (mostly copy writers) whereas for roles testing, sales, teachers and digital marketing companies are open to take freshers,” said Kaushik Banerjee, Vice President and Business Head of Teamlease & Freshersworld.
IPO-bound Zomato, which had laid off 13 per cent of its 4,000 workforce last year on account of Covid-19 related impact, is planning to hire 400 employees this year, according to reports.
Online grocery platform Grofers, another startup which is drawing up IPO plans, has an ongoing talent reinforcement primarily in technology, supply chain and demand functions. “Our focus continues to build high performing teams across the organization with a blend of fresh perspective and diverse experience,” said Ankush Arora, Head HR, Grofers.