Amazon.com Inc. will continue investing heavily in India, the chief of its local operations said, dispelling concerns of slower spending by the US e-commerce company after its chief financial officer Brian Olsavsky said that while the India investments were starting to show results, they had hit margins, contributing to lower-than-expected results in the third quarter. “Not at all,” Amazon’s India chief Amit Agarwal said in an interview on Monday when asked whether Amazon would slow down investments in India. Amazon, which initially said it would invest $2 billion in India, had said in June that it would invest an additional $3 billion in the country. That investment is on track, Agarwal said, adding that the company is “excited about the momentum that we see in India”. “India is very early in its e-commerce trajectory. Amazon is very early in its e-commerce trajectory in India. To transform how India buys is going to take a long time; it will take a lot of investment and… for many years. This is just the beginning.” Amazon is betting big on its Prime service in India and expects the loyalty programme to dominate sales in the coming months. “Prime continued to be the top seller in all of October, not just for wave one (of the Great Indian Festival). Prime membership continues to be a top seller and it is going to be so going forward every month. My belief is that Prime membership will be the top seller every month based on the trends that we are seeing,” said Agarwal. On Monday, Amazon also said that it witnessed record numbers during its month-long Diwali sale event, the Great Indian Festival, with sales jumping 2.7 times from last year. This year’s Diwali sale has proven to be the biggest showdown in the history of Indian e-commerce, with Amazon India and rival Flipkart going all out to woo shoppers. While Flipkart claimed to outsell Amazon India during the first leg of the sale season, Amazon claims it came back strongly during the latter half of the sale season, with bigger discounts in key categories such as smartphones and large appliances. “October this year for us was 2.7 times of last year’s October—which is incredible because last year was 4 times the October before,” said Agarwal, adding that this growth came even as “conversations” suggested growth in India’s e-commerce business was going to be flat. Agarwal said that October could be an inflection point for e-commerce in India. “We had categories from phones to Amazon Fashion to appliances growing three to 11 times; even newer categories such as luxury and beauty grew 46 times; grocery and everyday consumables, 7.1 times; furniture, 11.8 times; gold jewellery, eight times—so a lot of these categories are showing robust growth.” Agarwal said that 70% of the company’s new customers in October came from tier-II and tier-III cities, adding that it was confident of carrying the momentum from its Diwali sale well into November and December. Mint couldn’t independently verify the numbers, but, in general, all e-commerce marketplaces (including Snapdeal, Amazon and Flipkart’s smaller rival) did well in October, carrying forward their momentum from their annual sales. “When I look at the gaps between the waves, our growth rates in those gaps continued to the same extent. We’re growing at 150% year-over- year. At peacetime, the growth rate is still what I’m telling you. And as we exit out of wave three (the third sale event in October), we don’t see a slowdown,” Agarwal said. “The broader e-commerce story is not just a Flipkart-Amazon battle. Of course, both Flipkart and Amazon are trying to get a fair share of the pie in key categories such as electronics, fashion and large appliances. And despite drags on margins, nobody is going to reduce investments in India. What you will see, however, is that they will focus on innovation. For example, during the festive season, smartphone sales shot up and a lot of the sales jumped due to things like product exchanges. Another new innovation was something like Amazon Prime. So, you’ll see a lot of that going forward,” said Sreedhar Prasad, partner-e-commerce at KPMG
Every few months, headhunting firms and recruitment consultants release surveys about hiring trends in the country and in the recent past, every survey has something for the Non Resident Indian.
India today, offers better employment opportunities as compared to some of its global peers.
But while landing a job in itself might not be difficult, there are some sectors that are keenly looking out to hire those with global experience. “Some sectors require a certain level of skill and experience that are not available within India Companies in these sectors look at hiring from outside India. And if you are an NRI, with these sought after skills, you might just be the right person the company is looking for,” says Aseem Juneja, a cross border talent expert and founder of Indbound.com.
And while the salaries in India tend to be around 40-70% of dollar salaries, because these skills are much in demand, salaries can be much higher. Kris Lakshmikanth Founder CEO of The Head Hunters India Pvt Ltd.
Says, “Salaries could go up to 100% of dollar salaries in a lot of these cases.”
So which are these sectors? Let’s take a look.
Healthcare here mainly includes biotechnology, contract research and manufacturing, clinical research and pharmaceutics.
According to this E&Y Report , the Indian biotechnology sector was valued at USD 4 billion in 2010 growing at nearly 21%, in value over 2000-2010. It is estimated that as of 2012, the Indian CRAMS sector (Contract Research and Manufacturing) will be valued at USD 7.6 billion growing at a CAGR of 47.2% from 2007 till 2012. Express Pharma envisaged that by 201 India would be conducting 15% of all global clinical trials.
“India is fast becoming a hub for outsourcing in the healthcare sector,” says Kris Lakshmikanth Founder CEO of The Head Hunters India Pvt Ltd, adding, “Multinational companies like Pfizer, Novartis, Eli Lilly etc look at India as a skilled and cost effective hub to outsource certain functions. This includes research in areas like stem cell and vaccinations, contract research and clinical re search. While the employees of these outfits are largely from within India, the leadership team of these units is typically those with global experience.”
“Typically, those with a post doctoral qualification with research experience in the US would fit the bill,” he says.
“The telecom sector in India has seen an explosive growth in subscriber base and volumes. However, margins in voice based service are thin and companies are looking beyond voice. They are looking at value added services (VAS) and the availability of high bandwidth, upgrades and rollouts of technologies (3G etc) is making that possible,” Juneja explains.
This report from PriceWaterhouse Coopers states: The mobile tariffs in India are one of the lowest in the world and due to hypercompetition in telecom it is not expected to rise in near future. VAS remains only effective tool to increase the ARPU/share of wallet of subscribers. Multilingual content, application support around languages, killer applications and readiness of handsets could drive over Rs 55,000 crore of VAS revenue by 2015.
With the launch of 3G services and expected launch of high bandwidth BWA services, VAS currently has reached its inflexion point.
The constituents of VAS ecosystem such as mobile operators, content creator, handset manufacturer will need to show greater collaboration to achieve full potential of VAS.
“Companies need people to build applications and bring innovative services to the table. And currently, much of these skill sets are only available in the developed markets like the US,” Juneja says.
According to this McKinsey Report India’s Eleventh 5-year plan envisages infrastructure investments of close to USD 500 billion with USD 430 billion of this in the core transport and utility sectors. About one fourth of this is expected to be met through Public Private Partnerships.
As the Government in India slowly opens up the infrastructure sector to private companies, the need for experts in this area is increasing.
“Be it building ports, roads, even nuclear plants, private companies are looking to hire individuals who have the experience in infrastructure development,” Juneja says.
Having said that, Lakshmikanth adds, “In this sector, companies are looking at experts from countries like Australia and not so much the US. The infrastructure development in the US happened a long time back. The more modern developments have happened in countries like Australia.”
The entry of Amazon.com in India has cast away any doubts about the future of Ecommerce in India. This report says that some USD 3 billion worth of e-commerce was transacted in 201 And, according to Helion Venture Partners, USD 20 billion worth of e-commerce will be done in five to seven years, with 12-15% of shopping going online in this period.
“As Indian Ecommerce and deal companies like Flipkart, Snapdeal etc become popular there is an increasing need for people who have worked in Ecommerce environments – those who can create infrastructure to handle large traffic, build applications, enhance user experience etc,” says Lakshmikanth.
Companies in the US are far ahead in terms of Ecommerce, so as an NRI who has worked in that sector in the US, you will be much sought after in India.
5) INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
While India continues to remain a hub for cost effective technology operations, certain niche technology operations still require global expertise.
“Technology companies in India for instance might be building a DNA sequencing program for multinational healthcare companies. The functional support for this program will most likely come from someone who has that kind of research background which is available in developed markets” Lakshmikanth says. Juneja too cites the example of pharma analytics as an area that needs expertise from developed markets.
Another area – large logistics and supply chain companies that use Indian technology companies to build their modules. “These companies typically need global experts to offer functional support,” Juneja says.
In addition to the above, smaller sectors in areas like wine making, gaming etc which are starting to become popular in India are hiring those with global expertise. According to some estimates, wine consumption in India is expected to grow by 25-30% annually between 2009 and 2012 and the Indian Gaming Industry is expected to grow at acompounded annual growth rate of 32% to Rs. 3,100 crore by 2014.
Contact us for further information at innovation@dieIdee.eu
Quelle: India Newsletter 02.2012 published by the Indian Embassy of Vienna