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BENGALURU/NEW DELHI : Armed with fresh funding and on a strong growth trajectory, startups are looking to hire in key technology and leadership roles, particularly in edtech, e-commerce, software-as-a-service (SaaS) and fintech that have gained significant scale.

After a spell of robust hiring focused on sales, marketing and operations to try and protect their revenue in 2020, startups are now looking to launch new products, ramp up tech capabilities and expand leadership as they grow.

Edtech startup Byju’s is planning to hire 6,000-8,000 people in the next 12 months, including top-level executives to spearhead its initiatives.

“As we expand our footprint, we plan to scale up our recruitment in technical and non-technical roles. Technology hiring will take centre stage this year at Byju’s. The team is steadfastly launching new products and looking at skilled tech and product professionals in the artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science and analytics divisions," said Pravin Prakash, chief people officer, Byju’s.

Social commerce platform Meesho, after a $300 million funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, is planning to use part of the money in building the team. “We are doubling the tech and product team and will also strengthen the senior leadership," said Vidit Aatrey, founder and CEO, Meesho, which currently employs around 700 people.

To be sure, overall hiring in startups will be relatively tempered in 2021, compared to last year, with firms set to hire more strategically as they move to the next growth stage.

Online tutoring firm Vedantu plans to hire 2,500 employees in product, technology, academics and business in the next three months after hiring nearly 5,000 people across all functions as demand for online learning increased, said CEO and co-founder Vamsi Krishna.

Edtech startup Toppr also plans to double its team, adding around 3,000-4,000 employees across departments with a focus on product, technology (engineering) and content, said a spokesperson.

“In 2020, our employee base grew 3x and 2021 is when we are expecting to reach more aggressive milestones not only in India but in select global markets as well," said Mayank Kumar, managing director and co-founder, upGrad, an e-learning firm.

Last year, upGrad beefed up its global leadership team and there will be more leadership appointments in 2021, including country heads, he said.

Anshul Lodha, regional director at executive search firm Michael Page India, said alongside consumer tech and edtech firms, SaaS and fintech firms that have raised funding and witnessed high demand will steer the new hiring spree.

“After massive hiring last year, startups are focusing on building out tech teams as they diversify product portfolios and leadership roles in various capabilities," Lodha said.

Fashion e-marketplace Myntra said its overall hiring will be about 15% of the existing headcount. Sports technology startup Dream Sports, which has 600 employees, will be hiring across levels in technology, product and design.

“We are looking to onboard almost 250 new employees across Dream Sports, out of which at least 100 will be in technology within Dream11. Some of the multiple positions that we are looking forward to fill are in our product strategy, analytics, frontend, data science, security, design, legal and corporate communications team," said Kevin Freitas, chief human resource officer, Dream Sports.

E-commerce major Amazon India said it created nearly 2 lakh jobs across information technology, skill development, content creation, retail, logistics, and manufacturing. This includes direct and indirect roles in Amazon Web Services, Alexa, Amazon Advertising, Technology, Retail and Operations, Amazon Payments, Prime Video.

“In 2021 too, Amazon will be hiring talent across these areas," a spokesperson said.


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