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The IUP Journal of Entrepreneurship Development :
Talent Acquisition Challenges Faced by Indian E-Commerce Startups: Culture as a Moderator
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E-commerce startups in India have been on an upsurge for a little more than a decade offering abundant product choices to customers. But the startups need right workforce to take forward the vision of an entrepreneur. Startups also face high attrition. Acquisition for e-commerce startups is a challenge, as startups usually face competition from established business houses which often are an attraction to the applicants. This study explores the culture in such startups and the key challenges faced by them in acquiring the desired talent. This study has been done with the support of the existing literature and personal interviews with human resource personnel, hiring managers and founders of the organizations selected. A few consultants were also contacted. The findings reveal that though startups attempt to provide a culture of freedom and independence, it is coupled with high work pressure and sense of ownership with almost no gestation period. The fast and rapidly changing nature of the startups during the early growing years throws a challenge while recruiting the desired talent.

 
 

A lot of startups have come up in a little more than a decade in the e-commerce field in India. These are a mix of retail and technology, often termed as online retail as well. In Indian economy, e-commerce is being seen as a game changer that has witnessed substantial growth and is emerging as one of the key employers offering various employment opportunities with profiles ranging from technology, logistics, sourcing, planning, customer care, online marketing and the like, besides support functions. In India, the size of e-commerce in 2015 was $16 bn and it has been projected to touch $101.90 bn by 2020 (Deloitte, 2016). A report from Morgan Stanley projects it to be $119 bn (Maheshwari, 2016). The same report also stated that the number of online shoppers in India will see an increase from 50 million in 2015 to almost 320 million in 2020. This echoes the enormous industry growth which may give boost to employment as well.