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FMCG firms beefing up D2C muscle with hiring for digital roles

FMCG firms beefing up D2C muscle with hiring for digital roles

The firms are ramping up hiring for roles related to digital marketing, performance marketing, omni-channel specialists and social media experts, data sciences, data analytics, user interface and experience design, fintech and payment gateways.

With the supply chain model of the FMCG industry undergoing a rapid change, the focus is more on using digital platforms and social media to get the product across to the consumers. With the supply chain model of the FMCG industry undergoing a rapid change, the focus is more on using digital platforms and social media to get the product across to the consumers.

Traditional FMCG firms are stepping up their hiring for Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) specific roles as they jump on the bandwagon of the alternate sales channel to reach customers who are increasingly buying online, especially post the pandemic.

With the supply chain model of the FMCG industry undergoing a rapid change, the focus is more on using digital platforms and social media to get the product across to the consumers. The firms are ramping up hiring for roles related to digital marketing, performance marketing, omni-channel specialists and social media experts, data sciences, data analytics, user interface and experience design, fintech and payment gateways, information security, experts say.

The trend has also led to an increase in hiring for automated warehousing, inventory management, website/ application design development, data analytics, artificial intelligence-powered customer support and IoT, according to recruitment firm Randstad India head (Search & Selection) Sanjay Shetty.

"With the FMCG industry operating at 85 per cent of their pre-Covid levels post digitalisation, we can expect at least 1,50,000-2,00,000 jobs to be created by 2023," he said.

Marico CHRO Amit Prakash told Business Today, "The roles we are hiring for the most are getting more specific now like digital marketing, performance marketing, customer analytics capability and D2C focus, even as we are increasing our focus on digital transformation. These are the roles we are hiring for the most because we recognise the importance of reaching the consumers directly." .

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He added that demand for the entire performance marketing, analytics and data sciences skillsets are going to spike in various FMCG companies because "data is going to be a source of the highest advantage". The hair-oil maker bought male grooming products start-up Beardo last year and recently acquired a majority stake in Ayurveda-based skin and hair care brand Just Herbs.

A host of legacy FMCG brands have been buying D2C brands. The mode of selling, where online brands take their products directly to consumers through their own websites, apps and e-commerce channels, has also found favour among investors, with the D2C start-ups attracting nearly $2 billion in venture capital funding between January 2020 and June 2021.

Traditionally, the legacy firms use a network of physical sales and distribution channels to get their products stocked across stores in the country, and hence sales roles account for the largest chunk of their hires. While that continues, firms said, digital-focused roles even within sales are on the rise.

"In FMCG, there has been more than 30 per cent increase in the hiring for tech roles in the past 3-4 months compared to how much they were hiring this time last year. For non-tech roles, there is a 5-10 per cent increase. In the total mix, hiring maybe lower for tech roles than for sales in terms of net volumes but it is much more than previous years," said Randstad India's Shetty.

For instance, Tata Consumer Products had earlier told Business Today that the firm is focused on category marketing, brand marketing and newer and critical areas like shopper marketing and channel development within sales functions, which are different from general trade roles.

Its global CHRO Amit Chincholikar had said, "Almost 50 per cent of our new hiring will be in areas such as marketing and brand, various sales channels, including D2C and e-commerce as well as digital. Except for category marketing roles, all other new hires are in the digital space."

The hiring for digital roles will span across functions and seniority levels and the firm is investing significantly towards it, he had said. Earlier this year, the company acquired the parent of millet-based breakfast cereal maker Soulfull for Rs 155 crore.

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