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Walmart goes in search of tech talent in India to take on Amazon

Walmart goes in search of tech talent in India to take on Amazon
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US retail giant Walmart Inc. is looking to increase its headcount in India by hiring 1,000 more employees in technology roles, a report in The Economic Times said.

The aim behind the appointments is to drive product development from India, the report added.

Currently, Walmart has a workforce of 1,800 employees and its tech divisions in the country are based out of Bengaluru and Gurugram, the report said.

We are trying to be more product-oriented. We have taken whole projects and moved them over to drive the Indian ownership of the product. We think that is helping but this will help even more (in retaining talent),” Clay Johnson, Walmart’s chief information officer, was quoted as telling ET.

While Johnson did not disclose the exact number of products the retailer outsources to India, he did mention that the company’s return process for 5,000 of its US stores was entirely created in the country, the report said.

According to Walmart, its attrition rate increases at the two- and seven-year areas, stating that this figure is normal.

Johnson told ET that the company was also working with Indian IT services providers to innovate on technology solutions in order to stay ahead of the competition in the country.

In May this year, Walmart bought around 77% stake in Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart for $16 billion. The deal valued Flipkart at $20.8 billion. Co-founder Sachin Bansal and other investors such as SoftBank, its largest, South African tech conglomerate Naspers, Accel Partners and Tiger Global exited their investment in the homegrown e-tailer.

The next 10 years in Indian e-commerce will see Walmart go head-to-head with Amazon in the country, Seth Freeman, senior managing director of GlassRatner, a US-based financial advisory and restructuring firm, had told TechCircle.

Other analysts that TechCircle spoke to said that Walmart’s success in India will hinge on how soon it ventures into the grocery and offline sectors. Competitor Amazon already has an online grocery business in the country but it still to catch up with market leader BigBasket. However, in this segment, Walmart core strength in offline supply chain would give it an edge over Amazon.

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