E-commerce companies are betting big on small towns to explore the opportunities offered by a large customer base and are expanding their talent pool in these cities to fuel growth, experts say.

They expect recruitment to go up by 15 per cent in this space.

Small towns are becoming the driving force behind e-commerce growth in the country as online retailers are targeting last mile connectivity and are increasingly focusing on getting the small-town Indian customer to shop online.

Experts said in order to deal with the rising demands of consumers, e-commerce companies have been setting up warehouses in small towns and have also been expanding their talent base in these towns.

The sectors that are expected to grow include logistics, e-wallets, FMCG, and retail as these industries have been focusing on tier II and tier III cities growth and have seen customer base grow faster in comparison to metro cities.

"Last year Diwali festive sales showed 40 per cent contribution from tier II and III cities. This is a remarkable change and an indication of the reach of e-commerce. Companies are focusing on warehouse, logistics and last mile connectivity. The job market is growing in these cities and will see a growth of 15 per cent in these cities," Teamlease Services Head of Digital & IT Mayur Saraswat said.

With competition in metro cities reaching saturation, companies have to look for new markets and hence chasing organic growth in these small towns is a natural option, Saraswat noted.

Indeed India Managing Director Sashi Kumar said that as per Indeed data, some of the country's leading unicorns are seeking talent in tier II and tier III locations.

"Haryana sees over 18 per cent of job postings from these companies, as does Uttar Pradesh with 8 per cent of all such job postings. Gujarat (2 per cent) and Rajasthan (2 per cent) also see job postings from these companies," he said.

Some of the job roles that are being posted by these companies include 'delivery person', 'guest service agent', 'sales manager', and 'field executive', among others.

Kunal Sen, India Managing Director, Korn Ferry RPO and Professional Search noted that "it (hiring in small towns) would be around 30 per cent of the overall hiring share but growing faster than the larger towns".

Experts believe that small cities are future centres of retail growth in the country as there is availability of land at cheaper rates, lower rentals and customers are ready to experiment with new format stores. PTI DRR

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