E-commerce in India may have had a bad year but employee salaries were on a high

Shivam Srivastav July 13, 2017

E-commerce in India had a forgettable 2016. Last year saw many painful stories from the sector, with Snapdeal dominating headlines as it struggled to stay afloat and then finally putting itself for sale and Flipkart undergoing yet another management reshuffle, prolonging uncertainty over its future strategy. But when it comes to working for a startup, no other industry pays as much as e-commerce in India, according to a report compiled by Cutshort, a AI-based platform used by professionals to find jobs. Cutshort looked at salary data from Indian IT startups over the last 18 months.

Salaries of the top 5% of earners in e-commerce ranged from Rs 34 lakh per annum to Rs 1.2 crore per annum and came from companies such as Flipkart, Amazon, Myntra, Askme, Zopper, and Craftsvilla, says Verma.  

Whether you are a newbie or have years of experience, e-commerce startups pay you the most, although at the very top of the employee chain, fintech startups take over the lead. The report looked at real salaries of 50,000 Cutshort users, which included employees of Flipkart, Snapdeal, Paytm, Myntra among many other tech startups.

According to Nikunj Verma, co-founder and CEO of Cutshort.io, the reason e-commerce, despite having a bad year, gave out the best compensation is because it got the lion’s share of total funding of more than $15 billion between 2014 and 2016. Salaries rocketed due to an intense war for talent within and by this sector, says Verma.

Salaries of the top 5% of earners in e-commerce ranged from Rs 34 lakh per annum to Rs 1.2 crore per annum and came from companies such as Flipkart, Amazon, Myntra, Askme, Zopper, and Craftsvilla, says Verma.

For top e-commerce paymasters, the average salary is around 11 lack per annum at 1 year of experience.

FactorDaily also spoke to Ashish Sanganeria who is a partner at Longhouse, a unit of the Careernet group, which is responsible for setting leadership teams for portfolio companies of VCs. He says that the compensation for roles at the top level are particularly influenced by the kind of stakes that rides on the individual, especially for a startup in the e-commerce space which is a dynamic industry.

Even when it comes to hiring , e-commerce companies are the most lucrative with Flipkart finding itself in pole position.

“Due to their reputation in the talent market and high brand recall, Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal and Ola indeed emerged as top choices for recruiters to hire from on CutShort,” said Verma.

Graphics: Cutshort

According to Sanganeria, the number of premium roles may be fewer in such companies but the compensation packages are still good. “Even at a beginner level, e-commerce companies are competing for the same talent pool that traditional companies like HUL (Hindustan Unilever Ltd) would go for, and offer more stability than startups, thus they need to match their offers,” he adds.

Verma has a slightly different take on this situation. He believes that the recent focus on profitability in general and the ongoing consolidation in the e-commerce space will result in less competition for talent in the sector. As a result, salaries are expected to rise more slowly than they have in the past, with even hyperlocal delivery and food-tech having similar trajectories.

According to Verma, given the recent investor interest in the fintech space, it will be interesting to watch how salaries play out in a sector that values domain expertise. This may result in another talent war with new competition entering this space.


Disclosure: FactorDaily is owned by SourceCode Media, which counts Accel Partners, Blume Ventures and Vijay Shekhar Sharma among its investors. Accel Partners is an early investor in Flipkart. Vijay Shekhar Sharma is the founder of Paytm. None of FactorDaily’s investors have any influence on its reporting about India’s technology and startup ecosystem. Careernet is the sponsor of our Future of Jobs in India coverage and events. The coverage and the content of the event are editorially independent. For more on how we separate our newsroom and our business functions, read our code of conduct.