After its successful merger with Flipkart, Walmart is now looking for tech acquisitions in India. According to reports, its tech acquisitions will be of a much smaller size. The company is mostly looking for acqui-hires and niche tech-product start-ups.
Acqui-hiring refers to the practice of buying a company in a cut-price deal primarily for the purpose of “hiring” the company’s founders and key employees.
Walmart CTO Jeremy King said in an interview “We got close to doing a couple of acquisitions, nothing was a perfect fit. There were a couple that would have been interesting additions to our competitive intelligence platform. I am looking at candidates in merchandising, machine learning right now”
“Walmart Labs will hire 2,000 engineers across the world, including India. Last year, Walmart Labs hired Hari Vasudev from Flipkart to head its Bengaluru office. Vasudev is also now acting head of data science for Walmart globally. Walmart Labs will hire more senior tech talent in Bengaluru” added King.
Walmart Labs set up its centre in Bengaluru in 2011. It is one of their three main offices in the world. Since then, the Bengaluru office has rapidly added staff and expanded the scope of work it handles. It now works on machine learning applications, supply chain systems, payments software, tech work for a Walmart-owned retail chain Sam’s Club and its UK supermarket chain Asda, among others.
The company is hiring machine learning experts for their Bengaluru office, anyone with merchandising and supply chain experience, data science and cloud can apply for the job. The company also have some product openings.
He added that after Walmart completes the acquisition of Flipkart, which is expected to be wrapped up this quarter, Walmart Labs will work closely with the tech team of the Indian online retailer.
Other American retail and tech firms with a significant presence in India including Uber, Amazon, Target, and others have centres set up in Bengaluru. This is because hiring engineers here is far cheaper than in the US.