Kris Lakshmikanth, CEO of the recruitment firm Headhunters India, was recently at Indian Institute of Management Ranchi to give a lecture. He had lunch at the institutes cafeteria, and when he was about to pay the bill the cashier requested him to pay through Paytm. Lakshmikanth was a bit surRs prised that digital wallets had made a strong headway in a place like Ranchi. He, however, knew it was coming. “Digital wallet and digital payment companies are spending huge money on their marketing efforts as they want to penetrate deep into the Indian market and want to bring into their fold scores of retailers and shopkeepers. Some are employing marketing people and some are going in for direct selling agents to move ahead in this fiercely competitive yet untapped market. They also need good product engineers at the backend as they need to constantly innovate to bring in more features in their product,” said Lakshmikanth.
Before the demonetisation, just about four lakh merchants in the country accepted digital payment. The num- l her has been going up rapidly ever since, and Paytm, the market leader, is planning to sign up 50 lakh merchants by the end of March. And, it will be hiring some 20,000 sales people across the country soon, i All digital payment service providers have similar expansion plans. Said Srikanth Nadhamuni, chairman of the Bengaluru-based Novopay, “Our expansion will require additional sales and marketing manpower. We will continue to add technical manpower to new banking 1 and financial transactions supported by our solution. We are also hiring machine learning engineers to add predictive analytics capabilities across the board, and android developers and java developers of all levels.” Gurgaon-based digital wallet service provider
MobiKwik, which has a network of around 2.5 lakh direct merchants and some 4 crore users, is planning to hire 200 employees in engineering, business development and marRs keting teams in the next six months. Mumbai-based digital payment company ItzCash has around 75,000 retail touch points across 3,000 cities, and is present even in the northeast. “We are aiming to close the current financial year with the volume of our business touching ?15,000 crore and to become the first payment company to become fully profitable. We currently have 450 people and we will be increasing our workforce by around 10-15 per cent shortly. This hiring will be in the sales, product and IT teams,” said Bhavik Vasa, chief growth officer at ItzCash.
Interestingly, many of these companies are looking for non-conventional skill-sets. “More than years of experience and subject knowledge, what we value in people is an entrepreneurial attitude, a certain level of persistence,” said Jubin Shaju, associate vice president at Chillr, a Mumbai-based company which offers a multi-bank mobile app for money transfers, payments and recharges. Gurgaon-based Oxigen Services, which offers micro payments of services and remittances, recently hired around 50,000 direct selling agents and 500 supervisors. The company, which provides back end services to many digital wallets, has also hired 200 engineers. “The company is in the process of bringing in community shopping centres, neighbourhood stores, restaurants and takeaway shops into its fold.
For this we will require direct selling agents who can speak the local language and understand the local requirement,” said Meher Sarid, group president (corporate affairs and HR), Oxigen Services. Hiring is expected to be as strong in the ancillary ser- I vices as well. Knowlarity, a company which provides j cloud-based communications solutions and manages the , calls for banks and financial technology companies, has ramped up the number of people after the demonetisation. “We expect businesses to go cash-less aggressively. ‘ We are looking to hire people who can help automate our payment processes.
We are also looking for creative engineers who can solve business problems with the use of technology,” said Ambarish Gupta, founder and CEO of Knowlarity. Recruitment agencies are flooded with inquiries on suitable talent from these companies. “Many of the digital wallet companies are hiring even IIM graduates,” said Lakshmikanth. “They are likely to be placed as sales managers or marketing managers across the country. At the marketing level, the level of experience will be focused on skill sets such as previous retail experience. If they are able to sell products to retailers, they will be preferred by such companies.”