Ecommerce career opportunities and jobs in India

Ecommerce careers & jobs in India
The Indian operations of Amazon, the global ecommerce juggernaut, got more than a shot in the arm when Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos pumped in a cool $2 Billion in 2014. This came up close on the heels of multi-million dollar funds raised by its leading desi rival – Flipkart – which now has a valuation of more than $15.5 Billion.

While financial analysts continue to debate over whether the valuations of ecommerce companies are over the top (we think they are!), the industry trends are clear. Flush with funds, the ecommerce sector is growing and not showing any signs of slowing down in the near future.

Where’s all that VC money going anyway? A big chunk is being invested into scaling up the operational infrastructure – logistics, warehousing, supply chain…and people. That’s great news for professionals looking for exciting opportunities in the ecommerce sector.

Kaushik Chakraborty writes about how the ecommerce industry in India looks today, the growth trends, various roles & vacancies, skills and qualifications, average salaries, the top companies in the online retail space, career paths and more.


Ecommerce Careers and Jobs | India

by Kaushik Chakraborty

Ecommerce Industry in India - Kaushik

Certain things in life make you feel that this is it – this what you want to do and eCommerce was something that gave me an instant kick!

Coming from a civil engineering background and having worked primarily on Telecom domain, I never thought that I will one day look at eCommerce as a career option.

What helped me a lot from my past was the engineering drawing from my engineering days which had a clear impact on visualizing the creative aspects of eCommerce and the business analysis activities which helped me to connect with people and relate to the consumer behavior and need.

Before we jump in to understand the career options in this industry, let us find out how big is the opportunity and how fast is it growing and what are the different segments?

  • Share of etail business in 2014 as a percentage of overall retail industry is just 0.4% and expected to become 3% by 2020 [PwC report on eCommerce]
  • Indian retail industry is growing at rate of 10% CAGR whereas eCommerce business is expected to grow 22% CAGR over the next 5 years.

 

Main sectors & the top companies in Indian Ecommerce

eCommerce Industry in India is divided primarily into 6 major segments:

  • Travelling / Ticketing – Cleartrip, MakeMyTrip, Yatra, Thrillophillia etc.
  • Retail(R) & Marketplace (M) – Shopperstop (R), Flipkart (M), Snapdeal (M), BigBasket (R) etc.
  • Deals – GroupOn, CashKaro etc.
  • Education – Edureka
  • Classified portals – Shaadi.com, Naukri.com etc.
  • Hyperlocals – Grofers, PepperTap, Swiggy

Points to note:

  • Travelling has the biggest share in the eCommerce space (70%)
  • Retail/Marketplace is the fastest growing at segment with CAGR of 56%.
  • Hyperlocal is the latest kid in the block and they have been able pull very good traction.

Each of these segments cater to a niche need and the consumer behavior also varies across these segments.

This clearly points to the fact that for a country of 1.25 billion people, eCommerce is a BIG opportunity!

 

List of Ecommerce roles and their requirements

eCommerce has opened up a gamut of opportunities across the spectrum of skills. The career paths have evolved around three areas:

  • Creative i.e. product look & feel, customer experience, marketing, branding etc.
  • Operations i.e. category management, supply chain, logistics, warehouse & inventory etc.
  • Auxiliary areas i.e. finance, payments, legal, HR etc.

 

Roles Qualification required Typical activities involved Career Paths
Design Bachelor / master’s degree in Design or fine arts

– Providing inputs in UI / UX front

– Designing wire-frames, colour blends, photography etc.

Product Design owner → Chief Experience Office (User experience)
Product Management

B.Tech+ MBA

B.Design + MBA

– Manage and govern the whole product lifecycle.

– Interact with all stakeholders starting from SCM, finance, marketing, vendors, logistics etc.

– Person in this role needs to be a ‘master of all’!

Product Mgr → Product Head → Chief Product Officer → CEO
Marketing Graduate + MBA (Marketing) Marketing is a profession that remains similar across the globe – Ensure that Eskimos buy refrigerators! This role again gives flexibility in moving in to Creative roles and as well as typical operation roles
Business Analyst

B.Tech (Having worked in IT in a BA role)

MBA (Retail/ SCM) – Freshers

A business analyst is Product managers most valuable asset – He/she needs to understand the business / Consumer needs and articulate it in the most comprehensive way Business Analyst can move into either Product Management or Supply Chain roles
Product Development

B.tech (Computer Science allied branches)

MBA adds more value

Agile Certifications are an added plus

Well if you are a technology geek – then this is the role for you! eCommerce companies work in some of best cutting edge technologies like mobility, 3D presence – and yes it will give you ample coding experience! Development → Product Manager → Product Head → Chief Product Officer
Finance B.com + MBA (Finance), C.A. Though the finance roles remain the same as in any other industry, but a major focus is on payments Finance guys will always roll up to become the CFO – but with a little touch of creativity they can roll up to become the CEO!
Supply Chain

B.Tech (Experience in SCM roles)

MBA (Retail/ SCM)

This role is one of the most important roles for eCommerce – this role has a direct connect with the customer Supply chain guys can roll up to become the COO.
Content Manager Bachelors in Mass Communication This requires you to understand the product well and provide the best write up to explain it’s intricacies. The industry over a period of time has standardized this role and many companies provide this as a service e.g. Iksula

 

Average Salary in Ecommerce Jobs

Now it’s the time to talk about an important thing – Money!

From the picture below you would get a fair understanding regarding various roles and their respective industry demand & skills supply.

Ecommerce opportunities in IndiaClick on the image to expand

A detailed lay out of tentative salary numbers w.r.t. years of experience can be found below. I have limited it to 12 years, because I believe that it is an optimum amount of time that one needs to invest to understand the intricacies of the business and after which there needs to be a strategic shift to take oneself to the next leadership level.

Ecommerce salaries in India

You might ask – “Why are these salary numbers tentative?

Well, the primary reason is that salary numbers will depend on many factors like the organization you are presently working in/ have worked for or your qualification levels and so forth. Hence the above numbers might vary based on the scenario.

At this point, I will like to draw a caveat; whatever be your experience, salary levels or qualification, all these roles need to have just one goal in mind:

The value you can add in the whole consumer experience lifecycle – this is not-negotiable!

 

References:

  • Image: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in India (Source: Kashif Masood)
  • Infographic (Roles, skills) and salary chart by Kaushik Chakraborty

 

Author Bio: Kaushik Chakraborty has over 10 years of experience in the areas of product management, consulting & business analysis. He has worked with global clients from the Asia-Pac and India region. He completed his B.Tech from NIT and MBA from XLRI (Jamshedpur)


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41 Comments

  1. Abhinav Mittal says:

    Excellent compilation of Career choices in E commerce industry in India, Article proves that point that E commerce career spectrum is beyond doing coding. Author has well summarized all the possible career roles for those with/without IT skills. The article is a must read for anyone looking to join an Ecommerce company

  2. Susheel says:

    kaushik sir, you have put lot of effort in this. thank you.
    I have question if you can plz answer. for someone with engineering degree only and no ecommerce experience, what is the best role in ecommerce job? what will they ask in interview, how to prepare for ti?

    • kaushik says:

      Let me tackle your questions one by one:
      1. What is the best role ?
      A quick answer will be – “It Depends” !
      But I will try to help you with this as much as I can:
      – Busness Analyst role : This is a very good role for freshers as they get to know the business & its nuances better to grow up into a Product Mgmnt roles
      – Software Developer – In case you are that Techie Geek Guy!…it gives you immense experience in understanding the Architecture & Platform – What it can do? and What it cannot?

      2. What will they ask in Interview & How do I prepare ?
      – The key thing for any eCommerce interview is your exposure to the eCommerce world – what kind of platforms? What kind of offering? What are the different models of eCommerce? – In thsi regards there can be no better help than Professor Google or Quora!
      – Understand the meaning of certain terms like Growth Hack, ATV, Gross Order Value etc.
      – Keep yourself updated with the retail world – what’s a happening where ? Who is selling what & how differently ?
      – Lastly do some studies in Consumer behavior & User experience – as the whole industry revolves around the Consumer!

  3. Vinod says:

    Article is good. a miss – merger and acquisition activity in e commerce which has good prospects.

    • kaushik says:

      Yes Vinod, I totally agree. Mergers & Acquisitions will increase in coming years and this skill will become a very sought after skill in the industry for finance folks.

  4. Akanksha says:

    A very great article indeed…A quick question please.
    For a person with a marketing degree in bba and a post grad diploma in international business,what will be the best career avenue?

    • kaushik says:

      HI Akanksha,

      Thanks for reaching out!

      Well the answer to your question could be answered with multiple career options- but I will restrict myself to eCommerce.
      In eCommerce you can focus on Two areas and sharpen your skills accordingly:
      1. Digital Marketing
      2. Analytics

      These will fit in well with your education back ground.
      I am not sure if you hold any experience, because that also should be factored in while deciding on an option.

  5. Saurab says:

    A very informative article indeed.

    I have a question, what are the various roles one can expect after doing an MBA in strategy and leadership from one of the leading MBA colleges in India ? I am formalizing my short term career goal but I am a little confused about the roles that I might be offered post an MBA.

    Note: I have an experience of around 3 years as a developer in IT product development.

    Thanks in advance 🙂

    • Kaushik Chakraborty says:

      Hi Saurab..

      Thanks for reaching out…

      This is a very open ended question….which depends on your profile a lot and the fitment.
      But I definitely feel that you have a good advantage as you are from an IT product dev back ground.
      (No Brainer) – There’s an automatic fitment for you in the product strategy or product mgmt. – Most of the companies will offer you senior positions in the following roles – Product owner (Strategy), Product Manager (technical front), Business Analysis.

      But in case your interest areas are – like SCM / Finance / Marketing etc. – then you might have to add certain aspects to your profile – like Digital marketing capabilities / understanding of SCM & logistics etc.

      Hope that helps!

  6. Vemaiah says:

    Good words to saying tq small doubt i have completed 2011 In MBA ofter that i have worked in Apple product professional (iPhone solution consultant).i have 2 years experience in this feild so i can apply for ecommerce jobs witch feild is best brother pls help me

    • Kaushik Chakraborty says:

      Hi vemaiah…

      With a mobile developer profile you should also try to get a certification on digital design encapsulating UX. This will add a lot of value to your profile. Most of the eCommerce business need to have a mobile footprint….All the best!

  7. Surbhi Jain says:

    This is quite an informative article.

    I have a question though. What sort of roles will be offered to me after completing PGDM in Retail Management from an average B-School?
    I am not interest in shop-management type of jobs, so is retail is a good option for me?

    • Kaushik Chakraborty says:

      Hi Surbhi…Thanks For reaching out….my apologies for replying late!
      One learning that I do have from past 12 years is that- we should keep ourselves open to options and changing circumstances. we should stay focused on what we are doing – i.e. in case you have taken admission to Retail Mgmt. — focus on the nuances of the subject. Economy and ecosystem around is changing very fast – 2 years down the line you never know what roles might come for placement in your college. Said that eCommerce as a business is nothing but a manifestation of the retail space in digital world – the basics remains the same. So at any given point of time your experience spent on Retail shop floor would always add value ….. So enjoy the subject – “Retail” – that’s the only business which is closest to the customer and the better you know your customer better are your opportunities in eCommerce. All the best!

  8. Siva says:

    Excellent Article very informative and useful, I did my B.Tech Computers and MBA finance having 1 year Experience in J.P Morgan, as a Financial analyst now i got a opportunity from Amazon as vendor management. I am in a big confusion now, whether i can continue with Finance industry or i can shift my career to wards E commerce that is Amazon. which industry is having much scope interns of earnings.

    • Kaushik Chakraborty says:

      Hi Siva…
      Congratulations on your offer – and apologies in replying so late – by now you would have taken a decision already! If not then please read through…
      First of all….my comments are my perspective which has evolved over years and please take them as inputs in your decison making.
      If I would have been in your place – I would have lapped up Amazon’s offer – because of my love for eCommerce – so it’s imperative that you know and understand what’s your passion – believe me Money will follow. eCommerce is doing fine now and not much of a parallel can be drawn with a financial bank or industry. The M&A activities will increase and that is where roles on a finance side in eCommerce gets exciting. Vendor Management as a role is very operational in nature. I will suggest that keeping money aside take a decision thinking at least (if not more) 5 years down the line….All the best!

  9. Manisha Dwivedi says:

    Hi Kaushik,

    Firstly thank you for posting this article.
    I have done BTech in Computer Science and have 6.5 years of experience is Software Testing, never on an e-commerce application.
    I took a break for raising my kids, 4 years, and now want to join back the industry.
    I wish to pursue E-commerce MBA via correspondence through Anaamalai University as this is one of the MBA courses which excite me.
    What kind of job opportunities will I get after doing this MBA? Is it a good fit for me? Are there and flexible roles out there in E-commerce.
    Also, I think if you help me out you should join SHEROES as a mentor. 🙂

    Thanks in advance.
    Regards,
    Manisha Dwivedi

    • Kaushik Chakraborty says:

      Hello Manisha…..Thanks for reaching out and My apologies for being late!
      First of all, let me congratulate you on your decision of joining back the work stream. The perspectives that a woman brings, in solving a problem is amazing – this is exactly what an evolving eCommerce industry is looking for – different problem statement – different approach of solving the same. I might not be able to compare or comment on the course that you would do from Anaamalai university; but one thing is for sure that you might have to start some where fresh – it could be Amazon or it could be a smaller & exciting startups like Voonik / Lenskart etc. Well now coming to the roles – a good fitment for you could be the Business Analyst role – this will give you in depth knowledge of business and its nuances- and will be a logical stepping stone for H\higher roles. I hope this helps – all the best !

  10. Bhaskar Singh says:

    Hi Kaushik Sir,
    Firstly thank you for posting this article.
    I am an mechanical engineer working for an ecommerce company in operations department. So i wanted to know what is scope in this particular field in future for me?

    • Kaushik Chakraborty says:

      Dear Bhaskar …THanks for reaching out .

      Operatons &Logistics by it’s nature is integral to any industry – be it eCommerce or FMCG or White goods – it’s never going to become obsolete; said that it will evolve and you will have to keep pace with it.
      What is unique with Ecommerce is that you get to get exposure to all the above mentioned segments – I strongly feel that if you are in operations your focus should be on – ” evolving Problem statements” and “How they are solved”. Some other aspects that you might look into which will augment your profile are – learning Lean Principles like Value stareem mapping, Six Sigma etc. which adds immense knowledge and value to your profile. All the best – stay focused – all will fall in place!

  11. sandeep says:

    hi sir,
    I am sandeep, working in a company as a business development executive and e-commerce executive but i am confuse about my career growth and future. so please guide me that which field will be best for me ?

  12. Kaushik Chakraborty says:

    Hi Sandeep….thanks for reaching out!
    My Apologies – I am not able to understand your question – are you asking me to help you choose between a BD role in a Non-eCommerce and an eCommerce Organisation?
    If yes, then In that case – I strongly feel that BD is a function of not only your Domain but a greater weight is on your personal acumen to sell things – i.e. Generate interest & Trust with the person in front of you. So you can take a decision irrespective of which organisation – only thing is your interest and love for eCommerce – then your decision making becomes easier. All the Best!

  13. Shivam says:

    Hello Sir, My name is shivam. i have completed my MBA in 2012 after then i have done short course in IMPORT-EXPORT and fright forwarding. and i have around 3 years work experience as business development executive in filed of international trade and have very good knowledge of product sourcing from abroad. now i want to jump in E-commerce industry. so according to my profile suggest me which roll is suitable for me.

  14. Dewank says:

    Hello Sir, My name is Dewank, currently working in e commerce company in operation team.I am confused about my future in ecommerce. I have done BE. Will e commerce have scope in coming years? If yes, in which domain should I focus on . Please suggest

    • Kaushik Chakraborty says:

      hello Dewank…

      eCommerce is definitely going to stay – just like brick & mortar stores you see around. This is just another – more convenient channel!

      Fortunately you are in an operations team ( I believe you are associated with fulfillment & logistics operations) – which gives you easy switch to any retail organisation or any role which involves operations like – FMCG organisations, logistics organisations etc.

      So stay calm – once you have had some good learning – say 4-5 years – you should try to do operations focused certificate course or MBA from NITIE or SPJain. that will give you your next career jump..

      All the best!

  15. pooja tiwari says:

    kaushik sir
    plz guide me what should i do after completing my b.e. i have completed my be in 2009 but due to marrige and baby i didnt work.but now i want to do job.so please suggest me what should i do for better carrier.

    • Kaushik Chakraborty says:

      Hello Pooja…
      First of all let me appreciate you being an amazing mother and also that now you are thinking to join back the professional life. But on onset I will be honest with you – it will be a tough journey ahead; primarily because it has been a long hiatus and I am sure you will overcome it.
      Now how should you approach this innings:
      My Assumption: You have done BE in Comp Sc/ Electronic/Electrical AND have 0-2 yrs experience AND want to be in IT related fields
      1. Build a CV – highlighting you experience
      2. Send it across to all your B.Tech Friends – they must be , by now in good positions to introduce you to people.
      3. Float it in all Job websites – as fresher ( In case you have no experience) – Yes, as “fresher” – Do not take it on your ego – you have just arrived late the journey is yet to begin!
      4. Go ahead with all Walk-in interviews – which generally happen in cities like Hyd / Bang/ Delhi/ Pune/ Chennai
      5. Lastly, in case you are open and you are below 30yrs of age – do apply for Govt. jobs ( related to IT )

      Now if you are open with other fields, then try for :
      1. Prepare for IAS/ IES – India needs enabled ladies like you)
      2. Bank PO exams – which land you in a officer grade role in Govt Banks

      I hope these small inputs from my side help you in your journey ahead – Stay Calm – Stay Focussed – Don’t GIve up –All the Best!!

  16. sumit says:

    Hi Kaushik Sir,
    tnks a lot for this post. this is sumit,i have done my degree(economics) in nov 2009, since thn i had been preparing for banking
    exam(gov) but ,i could not make finally after reaching few times in interview. not having proper time from preparation as well as my
    planning towards doing MBA with job, is the reason of not doing MBA.
    sir, now in this changing circumstances of career opportunity,i want to make my career in the E
    COMMERCE or LOGISTICS & SUPPLY CHAIN but sill confuse how to start my career . i want ur help to know this :-
    1. can i get better job role in amazon & flipkart like company???
    2. any course available for job entry???
    3. e-com career after 4-5 years???
    4. how to take entry in the job????

    • Kaushik Chakraborty says:

      Dear Sumit…
      Believe me having a bachelor degree in eConomics is one of the best decision you have taken in your life .
      Bank PO exams did not work out – that’s perfectly fine – but don’t give up – Because The combination of economics + Banking – would take you a long way.

      Now to your question – try applying for roles in analytics in eCommerce companies.
      It would be great of you could do a certification on Analytics – pertaining to Market analytics etc.
      eCommerce is here to stay – just like Brick& mortar retail .
      Now to the most important question – which I have no answer but guidance….” How to take entry in the job?” (I believe you meant eCommerce)
      I will suggest that you should keep applying for analytics / marketing research kind of roles in these companies.

      All the best!

  17. Priyanka says:

    Hello Mr.Kaushik,
    Thank u for posting such valuable information. I am a ca inter and presently working with well known FMCG in procurement Dept. Now I am thinking about MBA but confuse in Finance or E-commerce. Please help me to take decision. Also let me know which kind of job opportunities are there if I go with MBA E-COMMERCE. My total work experience is almost 6 yrs in Finance n 2 yrs in procurement. Please advise. Thanking you in anticipation.

    • Kaushik Chakraborty says:

      Hello Priyanka….

      Finance and accounting – are industry agnostic subject- I do agree nature might change but fundamentally financial concepts remain the same.
      I would suggest that you should build upon your Finance career -as you already have 6+ years work exp – So and MBA in finance will give an extra mile…you can always get into eCommerce as an option…they too need to have good people who understand finance!

      All the best for your CA finals and MBA entrance exams.

      Hope that helps!
      Regards,
      Kaushik Chakraborty

  18. jony says:

    Hi sir ..Thanks for sharing in depth details & experience. Sir pls help me n suggest..I m only graduate, having 8 years experience in backend office,inventory incharche(telecom Indus),& 1.5 yr exp in operation executive (first mile) in logistics..pls sugest how can get dizzy nights in my Currier..despratly waiting for ur reply.

  19. Neha Gupta says:

    Hey Kaushik,

    Currently i am working as Assistant manager ecommerce in arise india. Here i am taking care of ecommerce divison. Basically i do tie ups with all online portal ( Snapdeal, Flipkart) for the brand. Also i handle the backend operations of these portal. But now i am confused that where i can apply for jobs? If any short term course is available to enhance my skills. Please Suggest.

    • Dear Neha….Thanks for writing in…I believe you are managing a good spectrum of work which is required in eCommerce today. Based on your inputs two areas you can focus on is: Operations and Digital marketing. I will suggest if you could go ahead and do course on Digital marketing , which might be a 2-3 months course and will add to your existing experience.

      all the best!

  20. prabhjot says:

    hi sir
    i have done mba marketing i got placed with idea cellular as TSM, i dont like doing this job.Now i am getting an opportunity to join a ecommerce company. Its a startup so should i take such risk to join that because i am already working with an established brand.what is the scope for me as a ecommerce analyst in future

  21. Abdul Rahman says:

    Hello Sir,
    This is Abdul Rahman,
    I have done MBA in supply chain management & got the offer from Cliff technologies as an ecommerce executive .they are authorised partner of amazon & eBay.
    I don’t for which department as you mentioned in your article.
    Shall I go for it?
    What are further job opprtunities in future ?
    Thanks

  22. Saurabh Phatak says:

    Excellent Article !!
    I am a civil engineer and currently working in construction management in the US.
    However at times I feel there is something beyond construction management that I want to do.
    Was always keen to explore around E-commerce especially the likes of Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal – their product development, operation management and other business methodologies.
    But I was always stuck with one question – How can a Civil engineer find his way into something like e-commerce ??
    And Bang !! I got to read this article. Felt like I received an answer for a long pending question..
    Thanks a lot Kaushik for shedding some light on scope and opportunities in e-commerce, but would definitely love to know further in depth.
    If possible, I would love to have a one on one conversation or write to you for further guidance !!

  23. sonal singh says:

    Hi,
    I have done many things or explored many fields so it can sound little weird,, I have B-tech (Computer Science) and then MBA with marketing communication. I do have any experience after B-Tech as haven’t done any job and directly done MBA, I have work experience of around 1 and a half year in client servicing/BD. But as I was not happy with the post i stated again with internship in social media in e commerce company. I do like the social media strategist work but i also think i can utilize my other education as well . I s there a way for me to get on the right platform?

  24. Satyam Gupta says:

    hello sir ..i have 3 years experience in production department .but i want to switch in marketing in e commerce . i m planning to do post graduate diploma in luxury brand management .course is for 16 months ..could you please tell me this course will help me in e commerce sector or not.

  25. neeraj says:

    I am very confused in mba programs i have done b,com and right now i am working with eCommerce company in sales so which program i should choose for my career i decide to go with marketing after completing marketing i want to work with that company only so which role i can get in that same company and how much is career growth ,

  26. Subhrangshu Chakraborty says:

    Dear Kaushik ,
    At the outset your article is a engaging read .
    I am having 14 years of proven experience in critical domain functionalities such as Project Management, Commercial Operations and General Administration both operational and strategic level in a reputed Multinational Construction Company engaged in Infrastructure Sector as Project Coordinator .
    Further , i holds Master’s degree in Internet and E-Commerce Technology way back in 2004 from Assumption University – Thailand . . This knowledge base empowers me to relate, utilize and explore enormous opportunities in emerging world of digital and information spectrum .
    Can you pls advise me , in current scenario what would be the best suited job for me in E commerce field especially Non Technical area.

    Really appreciate your reply on my above query .

  27. Pravesh says:

    Hi Kaushik,
    This is Pravesh, I appreciate on your efforts you have put to build & showcase the right Career opportunity in E commerce & which is very informative for all of us readers.
    Need your suggestion ?Having a 3yrs of exp in ecommerce & currently working as a Channel Sales Manager for E commerce industry, i am little bit confused which path should i choose to be in E commerce. I am good at planning Deals & promotion & Sales as well as in managing operation activities also . Is Product management will be right path to choose as a career in e commerce. Please suggest ?

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