Walmart has planned to rope in 1,000 more people to strengthen its technology operations in India, as the world’s largest retail firm continues to focus on technology to hold off competition such as from e-commerce giant Amazon.
Walmart has about 1,800 employees in technology operations in Bengaluru and Gurgaon and currently. The company is planning to increase the headcount and driving more product ownership out of India. “One of things: we are doing a lot different. We have Walmart Labs, which is ecommerce. You have My Group which is global business services. We are trying to be more product-oriented. We have taken whole projects and moved them over to drive the Indian ownership of the product. We think that is helping but this will help even more (in retaining talent),” Walmart chief information officer Clay Johnson told ET.
Walmart said its technology attrition is at industry levels and it sees normal attrition spikes around the two-year and seven-year areas. Products such as Walmart’s return process for its 5,000 US stores were completely developed in India. Johnson said he could not specify an exact number of products being handled out of the country. “A lot of our Internet-of-things work that sits in our stores. A lot of those endto-end products are done here with the sensors and the data are being done here,” he said.
According to the analyst calculations, Walmart’s IT expenses are about $10 billion a year, making it among the world’s largest spenders of technology, and the company counts almost every IT service provider as a client. But as competition has ramped up from e-commerce players such as Amazon, the retail giant is working on making sure that it gets the most bang for its buck. IT companies have been saying that their largest clients are rejigging their spending towards more digital offerings. Walmart’s Johnson said the retailer too has changed how it looks at its spending.
“The way that the spend has changed is that we are focused on how to use it to drive our competitive advantage. We don’t just want to be the largest technology spender. We want to make sure that we are spending it on the right technology,” Johnson said. He added that the company was working with a slew of Indian IT services providers to co-innovate solutions and that they had shown the ability to make changes to the way they work.