Meesho is one of the top platforms for purchasing affordable women's clothing. Learn how a Masi graduate is revolutionising the concept of e-commerce for Indians.
Over the past decade, the Indian e-commerce market has experienced a phenomenal 10x growth from $8.5 billion in 2012(1) to $83 billion in 2022(2). According to a 2021 FICCI report, it is expected to reach $188 billion by 2025(3).
Unsurprisingly, this rapid expansion is accompanied by a pressing need for skilled tech talent and despite the string of layoffs by India Inc., e-commerce is expected to be among the top sectors for employment in 2023, particularly for freshers(4). At the same time, the industry faces a short supply of candidates with the right technical skills to drive growth and innovation(5) due to a massive skill gap that plagues Indian tech talent.
Founded in 2015 by Sanjeev Barnwal and Vidit Aatrey, Meesho is one of Indian e-commerce’s prime examples of growth and success. Like the rest of the industry, finding skilled tech freshers was a challenge that this unicorn faced too. The answer for them lay in Masai.
A native of Sirsi, Karnataka, Darshan Naik was always obsessed with technology. However, financial constraints kept him from pursuing this obsession in the form of an Engineering degree. Instead, he pursued a diploma in electronics and communication and worked as a product engineer for a mobile manufacturing company. But he knew his true calling lay in the software domain and was waiting for the right opportunity to switch domains.
Darshan started out as a Product Engineer in Electronics, which he did for close to three years. This is where he learned a lot, including about assembling mobile phones and iPhone manufacturing. He then decided to pursue Computer Science (CS). This is exactly when the pandemic hit. However, he did use this time well and self-learned various CS skills. From here on, he started looking for opportunities to take up a proper course in computer science.
That opportunity came to him in the form of Masai where he enrolled in the full stack development skilling program, citing its pay-after-placement fee structure as the primary reason.
Given his Electronics and Communications background, Darshan did find the course challenging in the beginning, but gradually went on to become one of the top performers of his batch.
Post his 37-week comprehensive hands-on training including daily DSA problem-solving, multiple group projects, assignments, and soft skills training, Darshan was skilled and ready to step into the software industry. He started looking for a job where he could hone the talents that he had learned at Masai.
This opportunity came to him in the form of Meesho when they hired him and 8 other Masai graduates as SDE-1 in August 2021. Darshan was attracted to the mission and growth outlook of Meesho.
Courtesy Masai’s focus on building foundational knowledge from scratch coupled with adaptability and flexibility in their curriculum, and the supportive work culture at Meesho, Darshan took no time in adapting to the production environment there.
Given that Meesho’s web app was quite rudimentary in comparison to their full-featured Android and iOS apps at the time, some of Darshan’s first tasks were to implement its frontend for the image search, checkout flow, and the address input and validation form, etc. Meesho’s AI strategy has made significant contributions to the ever-changing competitive e-commerce market. They have AI-powered solutions that transformed the ecommerce landscape for vendors and retailers alike, thus, empowering them to be able to face challenges as well as thrive in a volatile and dynamic market. This company’s outlook has only inspired Darshan to learn more and offer his best to the company.
Based on this and the quality of his work Darshan soon became a primary member of Meesho’s ‘offers platform’ team that dealt with providing sellers with the feature to offer discounts and participate in existing offers on the platform. His senior colleagues were all praises about him and were particularly impressed by his speed and adaptability.
To put it in Mani’s words, “Darshan’s analytical skills and attention to detail have helped our team overcome many obstacles and achieve great results. He always goes the extra mile to ensure that everything is running smoothly and that deadlines are met. Darshan is a rockstar performer of Meesho.”
One of the crowning moments in Darshan's career at Meesho was his significant contribution to an essential feature enhancement that resulted in an astounding boost to the company's business. This pivotal update played a crucial role in driving user engagement and sales on the platform, marking a significant milestone in the company's growth trajectory.
Given his ground-level code knowledge of this system, Darshan was specially picked for a team of 6 consisting of architects, SDE-3s, and SDE-2s for this project. The team helped develop a cloud-based caching system among other things resulting in a drastic reduction in the load on their infrastructure as well as a cost reduction of approx. 90%. What’s remarkable is that it took the team just a month’s time to make their first release of this feature to a user base of ~25 million which has now scaled to a transacting user base of over 140 million.
Darshan’s manager, Rajat Gupta, couldn’t help but be proud of him. According to him, Darshan is an ideal engineer with professional ethics.
He further went on to quote American football Hall of Famer and engineer, Nathan W. Dougherty, "The ideal engineer is a composite. He is not a scientist, he is not a mathematician, he is not a sociologist or a writer; but he may use the knowledge and techniques of any or all of these disciplines in solving engineering problems."
Meesho ended up recognising Darshan and his team as the star-performing team of the quarter. He was also promoted to SDE-2 within a year of joining the organisation.
Darshan’s experience at Meesho has fueled his passion for architectural work, and he aims to grow further in his career, as an SDE-3 or SDE-4.
He credits Masai for equipping him with valuable soft skills and problem-solving abilities. The hands-on coding experience and practical knowledge gained at Masai have set him apart from conventional graduates and helped him excel in his role at Meesho.
Darshan also has a few words of advice for students who are inspired.
Having had an unconventional journey himself, his firstmost advice is that the most important thing for a student (who is taking an unconventional route) is to have a public portfolio of different projects. In his own case, he had developed a Facebook-like social networking site while he was studying at Masai. Since he had never worked as a developer in his previous jobs, showing his previous projects demonstrated to the interviewers that he had the requisite skills, focus, drive and autonomy to work and pull off major projects.
The second piece of advice Darshan has for inspiring candidates is to never get too comfortable e with where they are. He was tasked with implementing main and significant features on an entirely new tech stack at a very early stage in his SDE career. This project was crucial in enhancing his skills and progressing his career.
If you would like to fuel your organisation’s growth with skilled developers and data analysts who can hit the ground running from day 0, hire a Masai graduate today.
What are your opportunities as an SDE?
There are various courses you can take to be a skilled software developer. Within India, you are never going to face any problems with regard to employment as an SDE. The Indian market offers huge opportunities to software engineers!
Which are the best courses to take as a software engineer?
There are a number of courses you can take after 12th to get into the field of software engineering. A few of the most prominent ones are:
· Data Analytics
· UI/UX Framework Development
· Web Programming/Web Design
· Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
· Software Quality Testing (SQT) Automation.
Click here to learn more about Meesho
Click here to connect with Darshan Naik