Job Opportunities for photographers, models and make-up artists by E-commerce

Rasika Mathur remembers the time when she used to gamely double up as a make-up artist while some of her colleagues volunteered asmodels at e-commerce startup Just a year on, both she and the company have come a long way - she is its full-time corporate communications director while the company has turned to professional models to lure India's rapidly-growing army of online shoppers., an online retailer that sells everything from clothing to cosmetics to electronic items, now uploads more than 2,000 pictures on its website every day using a 30-member production team of photographers, stylists and make-up artists. Rival is even busier, with 25 inhouse lensmen shooting about 4,500 pictures a day in eight studios to showcase the company's wares., which now sources varied content and photographs from vendors, is also planning to hire models in the coming weeks to create its own content as part of a push into fashion. "Since we are aggressively growing into fashion and jewellery, we are actively looking at having our own models. We are already talking to a lot of models to build our own content," says Gautam Sinha, director for technology and e-commerce at Indiatimes. com. 

The growth of, Snapdeal. com and other e-commerce firms such, and, and this industry's collective desire to make its wares more accessible to shoppers have spawned opportunities for hundreds of youngsters to be online mannequins, giving them a clean source of income and a new career choice in modelling. 

According to modelling agencies and online retailers, models are making between Rs 10,000 and Rs 20,000 a day. Already, web firms must be using 100-150 models aday, says Chief Executive Manmohan Agarwal. 

"We used our own staff when we were bootstrapped," says Kunal Bahl,'s founder and chief executive officer, adding the demand for professional models from firms such as his has spawned a launch pad for young talent. "Most of them are strugglers and part-timers, and through this association they could reach out to other media like television and print," he adds. 

Specialised modelling agencies
Sensing the potential, specialised modelling agencies have already sprung up to cater especially to e-commerce firms, says Brian Ammanna, a spokesperson for 

The retailers, modelling agencies and models are all part of an online ecosystem that is growing by leaps and bounds as more and more Indians shop online. As retailers look to grab more eyeballs with enticing online displays, consultancy firm Technopak Advisors forecasts that India's e-commerce market could explode to $200 billion by 2020. Online retailing will be a $70-billion business by then, according to Technopak, spelling a sevenfold growth within eight years in the current $10-billion market that is dominated by travel-related services. 

It's not just Indian youngsters who are benefitting from the modelling boom spawned by the e-commerce sector. The nature of the growing demand has also opened the doors wider for foreign models. A majority of freelance Indian models are shy of posing in lingerie, and even night dresses, prompting retailers to go for foreign models, who are also used extensively for premium brands. 

"International models are ready for a two-piece shoot, which Indian models are not comfortable doing," says Kapil Singh, manager of 6th Avenue Modelling Agency. Of the 10 models on the company's rolls, eight are foreigners. Chief Executive Vivek Gaur says the company uses a variety of models to break the monotony. "We use some completely European models, as they are supposed to be inspirational; some look like Indians, but are actually not Indians; and also the locals, who many of the customers can relate to," says Gaur. 

Modelling agencies are responsible for flooding the market with foreign models, says Himanshu Bhasin, director of Karma Model Management, which supplies mainly Indian models to a clutch of online retailers. "At some of the websites, you hardly see any Indian model. Many of the international models have had e-commerce experience in the US and China, and they know what to expect — 40-50 quick changes, eight hours, Rs 20,000," says Bhasin. He adds that rates have nearly halved due to the influx of foreign models. But while Bhasin laments the drop in rates, e-commerce firms are not complaining.