Growth-stage startups poach execs from Amazon, Udaan & Flipkart

Growth-stage startups poach execs from Amazon, Udaan & Flipkart

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Aditi Shrivastava

104 reads
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Aditi Shrivastava

104 reads

Large tech companies are losing key people to newer startups and unicorns that are flush with cash after a year of mega fundraising. But why are so many executives swimming against the tide? Is it just higher pay or the chance to shape a young organisation?

April 19, 2022

8 Min Read

“It is hard and takes a lot of convincing to leave a company like Amazon. But people now realise that the upside of being in a fast-paced startup is bigger than being a cog in the machine,” said a person who joined a buzzy venture recently after working at the online retail giant for eight years.

Over half a dozen top executives quit Amazon India last year, moving to startups such as Shiprocket, GoKwik, Swiggy and Rebel Foods. These include Prakash Dutta, who made the switch after a stint of over six years, and Atul Mehta, who left after five years. Dutta and Mehta became COOs of Rebel and Shiprocket, respectively.

Amazon is not the only company caught up in this unusual wave of senior talent shifting from large to growth-stage and high-momentum companies, the tech ecosystem’s rough equivalent of a reverse brain drain. B2B ecommerce platform Udaan  lost several people from mid-level management, especially those in operations. Some took positions at DealShare, Udaan’s younger competitor in grocery.

Ecommerce major Flipkart has lost mid- and senior-level hands to rival Meesho, which added a new chief product officer, chief of staff to CEO and program manager for growth and expansion to its ranks. Newer startups have also poached members from unicorns Paytm, Pine Labs and PayU.

What is prompting executives to make these moves? The CapTable spoke with more than half a dozen employees, investors and founders to understand the hiring dynamics.

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