Despite economic slowdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, US-based retail giant Walmart is planning aggressive hiring for its tech arm Walmart Labs India.
Walmart is planning to hire around 800 people in its newly established facility in Chennai. Meanwhile, the Bengaluru office, which already has around 3,500 people, is expected to witness 2,000 fresh hirings in 2020. Established in 2008, Walmart Labs in Bengaluru has been working on engineering, product development and data sciences projects.
In Chennai, Walmart has floated a few vacancies for data engineers. The Chennai centre, which is spread across 250K sqft of land, was leased by Walmart from RMZ earlier this year.
The Chennai centre is expected to turn into Walmart’s global data organisation (GDO) wherein the company is building machine learning, data science and visualisation platforms.
GDO also develops data analytics offerings which facilitate Walmart’s operations in verticals such as marketing, finance, supply chain, pricing, customer and HR. According to sources, quoted in a report by the Times of India, the Chennai centre is expected to hire around 2,000 people in the next two years.
Indians Building Walmart’s Technology Stack
Indian engineers are said to be helping Walmart’s US supply chain and developing ecommerce solutions for Walmart’s Mexico online marketplace. These engineers are working on technologies to make the shopping experience better for around 260 Mn customers who visit Walmart’s 11,698 stores across 28 countries. As of now, Walmart employs more than 2.3 Mn globally.
Meanwhile, the tech behind Walmart’s NextDay is also said to be built in partnership with technological teams spread across India, San Francisco and Bentonville. Indian team is also credited for developing Optima, an algorithm-based software which optimises in-store pickups for groceries. It leverages IoT technology and helps Walmart’s associates to quickly pick up orders which are spread on the floor.
In July 2019, Walmart Labs acquihired two Bengaluru-based startups — FloCare and BigTrade. Post-acquisition, both these startups joined Walmart’s team. Healthtech startup FloCare has been integrated into the customer technology part of Walmart’s online pharmacy while BigTrade, which is a B2B wholesale trading platform, is contributing to the supply chain part of Walmart’s business.
Walmart Labs had also acquihired a Bengaluru-based deeptech startup Dataturks, to use the latter’s machine learning (ML) capabilities in various projects for the digital arm of Walmart’s retail stores in February 2019.