“Understanding E-Commerce and the Marketplace Model is Important for Cracking the Flipkart Interview” – Malobi Banerjee, Flipkart Star and IIFT Alumna
Amrita from the Student Team InsideIIM spoke to Malobi Banerjee, another Flipkart star on a Sunday morning. Malobi is currently in charge of the Big App Shopping Day product. Malobi is an avid reader and has been one of the top performers at Flipkart along with the other stars we have already featured here. This is part 8 of our Flipkart Stars Series.
Amrita : Flipkart is known for its amiable work environment. In your view,what is the distinguishing specialty of Flipkart as an employer?
Malobi : Flipkart is truly a unique workplace that encourages innovation and out of the box thinking, Flipkart propels you to push the boundaries of your comfort zone and makes you strive for the impossible to which the environment is a great contributor. It has a very youthful and vibrant culture. Eg: No formal dressing, bean bags scattered all over, meeting rooms named after Television series and Bollywood villains and so on. Also, one distinguishing specialty of Flipkart is that we solve complex problems everyday and are at the fore front of making technological breakthroughs that make a difference to millions of online shoppers.
As an employer, Flipkart gives you complete independence to experiment and deploy ideas, everybody at Flipkart is extremely game to trying new things and working on implementing new ideas.
Amrita : Sounds interesting! But makes me wonder then towards more sociological factors towards viewing Flipkart as a balanced recruiter.As India proceeds towards gender diversity, how is this vital dimension catered to by Flipkart?
Malobi : Flipkart has a very healthy gender ratio, the glass ceiling does not exist.
Amrita : That’s lovely to hear. So then what does Malobi’s usual work day look like?
Malobi: Currently in my role in Product Management, I am in-charge of the Big App Shopping Day and Product Exchange product. So, my average work day involves a bunch of meetings with various stakeholders of the above mentioned two projects and conceptualizing of changes that need to be made post the meetings. A large part of my day is spent in understanding how the different systems coordinate with each other, what data is passed and how to make them mesh better to get a world class product. What I fathomed after coming to this team was that behind the extremely trivial things we do online lies an extremely complicated system and it is how these systems interact which is integral to my goal of making a seamless product.
Prior to my role in the domain of Product Management, I worked with the retail team in the Home category. The energy of the team was sky high as we would perennially be working with ticking deadlines, decisions pertaining to which deal to showcase. My biggest experience in this stint was “The Big Billion Day”. A lot of us stayed overnight in office just to ensure that everything went according to plan and it was one of the most nerve wracking yet satisfying experiences at Flipkart.
Amrita : Handling so many things as you just enlightened me with, in your work epoch at Flipkart, how have you grown individually and professionally?
Malobi: Individually I believe I have become much more confident and self assured. Flipkart has really helped me grow professionally: be it getting more organised, taking decisions or handling multiple deadlines in parallel. The best part of Flipkart is the freedom that you get to take decisions and follow up on your ideas.I can actually say with pride that starting out with such an exuberant organisation has helped me in almost every aspect of my life. My colleagues are the best in their field which has resulted in exceptional inter peer learning which definitely cannot be matched.
Amrita : You mentioned earlier that you interned in a sales and marketing profile. So, was the shift from a giant home appliance conglomerate (Godrej) to an e-commerce major significant? How did the IIFT experience aid you?
Malobi : I did my summer internship in Godrej, in the sales and marketing sector. The Godrej experience was wonderful and as a workplace Godrej was a lot like Flipkart with its open door policy and amiable work environment. So, the shift was not all that major. The most significant change was that at Flipkart things proceed much faster. Since the technology changes so fast, we have to constantly evolve and adapt to this fast paced environment. I believe this makes it extremely conducive to faster learning and a faster growth too!
The IIFT experience really aided me. One big similarity between IIFT and Flipkart is that there is and was never a dull moment! At IIFT we were constantly encouraged to pick up new skills and pursue new avenues.It was a platform to interact with diverse and talented individuals not only from our country but internationally. All this really helped me at Flipkart, where in just like at IIFT, we push the boundaries to attain the impossible!
Amrita : Lastly, any valuable preparation and interview insights for our readers to crack the Flipkart process?
Malobi: In my interview I was questioned a lot about the e-commerce model and how the marketplace model works. A few questions on the financials were also asked. So, in my view to crack the process we need a holistic understanding of e-commerce and how the various pieces fit in from buyers to sellers, right onto the technical perspective. Knowing statistics might help since it allows you to back up your reasoning justified with facts and data.
Flipkart also looks for people with rounded personalities so I was questioned a lot on my hobbies and interests. Since reading was one of my hobbies there was a lot of discussion on it, not sparing the Harry Potter series too!
as told to Amrita Singh
We are doing a series on top-notch MBA alumni from elite B schools working at Flipkart. It would give our readers an idea of what business roles at Flipkart are all about – from Online Marketing, to Product Management and Strategic Alliances etc. Thus was born the Flipkart Stars series, in collaboration with Flipkart. In the Flipkart Stars series, we would be doing a series of interviews with B School alumni with stellar profiles, to find out what kind of careers are possible, and what kind of work people can look forward to when they join Flipkart.