This addition of engineering talent, which seems to now form the backbone for most e-commerce companies, is happening as Snapdeal nears a run rate of $2 billion (Rs 12,000 crore) in annualized sales.
Snapdeal has a registered user base of 25 million and a seller base of 50,000, which is expected to double in the next six months.
The e-tailer, which has investors like Ratan Tata and Azim Premji, will hire 400 engineers in Bangalore. This will be its second development centre – the only one currently is in the National Capital Region – and will open in 45 days.
Snapdeal has a 300-strong development team in NCR. Pune and Hyderabad are the other cities which the company is looking at to set up development centres in.
Rohit Bansal, co-founder and COO, Snapdeal, who was in the city, told TOI that in the next 12 months software engineers (numbering 1,300) would form the company’s largest employee base. At present its engineering, supply chain and category management divisions each have about 300 employees.
“Software engineers will disproportionately be larger than any other team, as we think of ourselves as a technology company more than anything else,” said Bansal.
Bansal said the development centres would focus on key areas such as supply chain, consumer and supplier facing technologies, big data, and mobile. Within that basket, mobile is expected to be a big focus area given that over 60% of Snapdeal’s sales are generated through handsets.
The four-year-old company will be hiring from top engineering colleges like the IITs and NITs and would also look to laterally hire engineers having 3 years to 20 years of work experience.
Bansal declined to talk about any innovations the company is planning, but provided an overview of SafeShip, a proprietary order delivery platform for sellers. SafeShip aggregates courier companies in India, standardizes the delivery processes, and has an algorithm which automatically finds the best courier company to fulfil consumer orders.
“As soon as an order is placed in our system, based on the package size, it decides which courier company can give the best service at the most affordable rate,” explained Bansal.
Earlier this year Snapdeal raised $240 million from existing investors including BlackRock, Temasek, eBay, Intel Capital, and Bessemer Venture Partners.