A two-day hiring blitz last month populated an Indian R&D (research and development) center slated to become Groupon's biggest innovation hub.
The U.S. daily deals site pioneer listed 15 engineering and software development job ads to recruit staff for its Web applications used by small businesses to sell coupons to frugal shoppers. The ads stated that on February 23 and 24, Groupon India hosted an invitation-only group interview at its Chennai development center.
"Because business moves at light speed, we are committed to moving just as fast with our hiring process. To qualify for an invitation to the event, it's simpl--submit your resume to this job post," the company wrote in the ad. "At the event you will interview, and if selected, will receive an offer that evening."
By the end of the two days, Groupon said it successfully hired the founding members of the new R&D facility.
In an interview published in the Times of India on Friday, Groupon India's Chennai-based COO Kal Raman said the company expected its 200-staff facility to increase five-fold within a year. Its Indian operation would eclipse its foreign, older cousins in Chicago and Palo Alto in the U.S.; Santiago, Chile; and Berlin, Germany.
"We would like to see it become our biggest R&D center," Raman told The Times of India.
The Indian developers will also work on Groupon's two-year-old Getaways application which aims to "reshape the way consumers think about buying online travel", according to the company. It appears to be a departure from the "Grouponzi" approach to simply feed more and more small businesses into the insatiable daily-deals machine.
"We focus on independent and boutique properties as well as chains and listen to their needs to craft a deal that is going to get them the customers that they want, when they want them," Groupon said. "Out with the old ways of features that serve as price comparisons. Emphasis is on existing business and formation of long-term partnerships as we look to feature properties when they find themselves in a need season."