More Deliverywomen Hit The Road Female staff in ecomm cos have doubled to over 40k in one year due to lower attrition rate
New Delhi: The number of women working in the delivery industry has doubled to more than 40,000 in one year, and the uptrend is likely to continue. For ecommerce stalwart Amazon, the growth has been steep to 800 women in delivery and logistics segment at present from 20 women in 2016. The food delivery startup Swiggy, which is also a Unicorn, has plans to add over 1,500 deliverywomen in the next six months. At present, it has 50 women for the job.
Mumbai-based all-women delivery startup HeyDeedee is also planning to ramp up its fleet to
1,500 by March 2019 from 300 now.
Higher stickiness or lower attrition rate compared to men and being an untapped talent pool are two prime reasons for companies making a beeline to hire women in delivery space that has been largely dominated by men. “The last-mile delivery roles regularly see near triple-digit attrition levels crimping the ability of companies to scale and offer reliable services. Given that attrition among women in front line roles is significantly lower, it would make sense from a busi- ness perspective too to increase the representation of women in such roles,” said Paul Dupuis, MD, Randstad India. Amazon has more than 50 women delivery partners in cities like Kochi, Pune, Ahmedabad, Nagpur and Mumbai. “We have received an extremely positive reaction from consumers and delivery partners so far,” said an Amazon India spokesperson.
“There are currently over 40,000 women in logistics and delivery roles in India constituting over 6.77% of the total delivery pie,” said Rituparna Chakraborty, co-founder at TeamLease Services.
Chakraborty, who is also Indian Staffing Federation president, said number of women in delivery space would only grow. “The women hiring would go up to 20-26% of the total delivery jobs by 2021.”
In 2016, Amazon had announced the launch of a womenonly delivery station in India, which came up in Thiruvananthapuram. Another centre was set up in Chennai. “These dedicated Amazon India women delivery stations are managed and run by women. Women at both these stations deliver packages on two-wheelers, covering a radius of 2-3 km from the delivery station,” said the company spokesperson. Amazon currently has three women-only delivery stations in India in Chennai, Chandigarh and Dhule (Maharashtra). The Thiruvananthapuram centre is no longer a women-only delivery hub as it has male delivery executives too.
“In the next six months, our intent is to have at least 2% of the entire delivery fleet of over 90,000 delivery partners consisting of women,” said Sachin Kotangale, VP, operations, Swiggy. “As we continue to strengthen the largest delivery fleet in the country, we firmly believe that there is a need for creating a gender harmonious world, where everyone has an equal opportunity to work.”
HeyDeedee is soon going to start operations in Punjab, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Odisha. “We are a logistics company at front end and a skilling company at the back-end,” said Revathi Roy, founder of HeyDeedee. In October, the startup is launching its four-wheeler delivery with two women delivery assistants. “One woman would be behind the wheel while the other would make the delivery,” said Roy.
Salaries for women in the industry are on a par with those of delivery boys or men in logistics, say the companies. It can range anywhere between .₹ 15,000 and .₹ 30,000 per month with additional incentives, especially in peak seasons.
Companies are taking all the necessary measures to keep their women fleet safe. Women undergo road safety training (which is repeated later as refreshment training) in these companies before joining. Amazon’s deliverywomen use a third-party safety app to have additional support for their security.
“We have created separate toilet facilities in the partner hubs, identifying ‘Safe Zones’ to operate in and keeping their delivery hours until 6 pm. We are creating women-friendly work environment, a dedicated helpline as well as women in managerial roles for any concerns that they may have,” said Kotangale. Amazon too has separate washrooms for women at all its delivery or fulfilment centres across India.