HIRING by start-up compa­nies across the country’s entrepreneurial sector is rising sharply driven by the up­surge of new firms in the e-com­merce and online retail segments. Hiring in these sectors is set to in­ crease by nearly 50% in 2011 as more firms look to profit from ris­ing internet usage across both metro and non-metro locations.

Industry estimates of growth In e-commerce markets indicate revenues of T55,000 crore in 2011 up from ?20,653 crore in 2009 as new companies are set up to cater to consumer demand by over 70 million internet users.

E-commerce firms looking to ride this boom are hunting for a mix of high-performing profes­sionals and those with operational experience who can multi-task across different positions. And for the right talent start-ups are fork­ing out premium compensation. “E-commerce and online start­ups have emerged as the biggest recruiters with salary packages ranging between T7-20 Iakh per annum,” says Jay Thaker, busi­ness head of Sutra Services, a firm that specialises in start-up staffing.

“In fact, one such start-up has recently hired a chief technology officer from an IT biggie. The start-up agreed to pay his exist­ing salary of Z45 lakh and in ad­dition offered him employee stock option plan (Esops),” says Mr Thaker. Esops are formal arrangements offered by fast­growing start-ups for employee participation. Employees are of­ten given a share of the business after a certain length of employ­ment or they can buy shares at any time.

Typically, start-ups are willing to pay high salaries as they need a variety of skill sets. “We need people who have fire in the belly and lot of them are coming from large MNC’s,” said Dhiraj Kack­er, CEO & co-founder of Can­vera, an online photography firm that hired 300 persons in just one year. The firm now has around 500 employees and is still scouting for talent. Apart from high salaries, start-up firms also offer attractive employee stock options that can prove to be a windfall when companies are acquired by larger firms as in the case of Hyderabad-based firm DimDim which was snapped up by technology maj of Salesforce.com or list at spectac­ular multiples on public markets as in the case of on-line travel portal Makemytrip.com.

Taken From “ The Economic Times” 04 February 2011