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Lost your Yahoo! job? So what?

Indian start-ups are waiting to spread red carpet for engineers to be laid off

Itika Sharma Punit  |  Bangalore 

There still is no confirmation on the number of engineers that internet major Yahoo! might lay off in India but software product start-ups are already waiting in queue to lay a red carpet for these professionals. Some of the country’s large ones, such as Wingify, Zomato and InMobi, are going all out to rope in these product engineers.

According to a statement issued on Tuesday, Yahoo! is reducing the size of its operations in Bangalore, the company’s largest engineering facility after its California headquarters. The company said it would continue to have operations in India but would look to consolidate “certain teams into fewer offices” in Bangalore. Media reports claimed 300 to 2,000 employees might be laid off.

“There has always been a shortage of good product talent in India. Additionally, since Yahoo! has a very strong hiring practice, the quality of their talent is sure to be good. I do not think the people who get laid off will have any problem in finding options,” said C K Guruprasad, principal (global technology & services practice) at executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles.

The keenness to hire the affected professionals is such that start-ups are reaching out to them through social networking websites and asking them to apply.

“All the Yahoo! folks in India, please reach out to me in case you are looking for some cool options with us. #Yahoo!,” Mohit Saxena, co-founder & technology head at InMobi, one of India’s most successful software product start-ups, posted on microblogging website Twitter.

Delhi-based Wingify, which has also come forward to hire these professionals, has gone a step further by offering to pay the “complete relocation cost” for engineers selected to join, in addition to matching salaries. “We have tremendous respect for Yahoo! and many of us have grown up using its products; we are sad to see this happen. We are happy to provide relocation assistance and also match the salaries. We encourage the affected Yahoo! people to see this as their chance to put India firmly on the product map of the world,” Sparsh Gupta, partner & chief technology officer at Wingify, told Business Standard in an email.

Online restaurant guide Zomato has also put out an advertisement on the internet for hiring these professionals. Its slogan, ‘Yeah, who?’, takes a dig at Yahoo!. The ad says the firm is hiring across technology positions and seeks resumes.

“There is shortfall of quality product engineers and software engineers in our ecosystem. We have talked to many Yahoo! product and software engineers over the past quarter or so. We have also made offers and are looking to hire many more product architects and engineers to support our growing business,” said Narayan R Thammaiah, vice-president (people practice) at Bangalore-based Capillary Technologies.

Tweets compiled by till 4:50 pm on October 8
The company would hire 10 product managers and engineers now and absorb more as business grew, he said.

Mid-sized and small start-ups, such as, Nilenso Software, SafetyKart, have also taken to social media to offer jobs to Yahoo! professionals. Many other start-ups contacted by Business Standard for this report — who did not wish to be named — also said they were trying to contact the product engineers fired by Yahoo! and bring them on board. HackerEarth, a community for developers, has come forward to help these engineers find suitable employment. Its co-founder Sachin Gupta said: "At HackerEarth, there are tons of exciting that hire on a daily basis; starting from growth stage start-ups to large multinationals, there are lots of jobs that engineers from Yahoo! will find very interesting... We can help them get a job that matches their calibre and experience. We can conduct a hacking challenge for the developers to understand their core skills and interest areas, and then effectively match them against the jobs that fit their profile."

Experts said these young companies, given that they had strong funding in place, had the appetite to match Yahoo! salaries, or hire professionals even at higher pay packages. Additionally, the exciting work culture at these start-ups would provide better working environment, a few others said.

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First Published: Thu, October 09 2014. 00:56 IST