More De­liv­ery­women Hit The Road Fe­male staff in ecomm cos have dou­bled to over 40k in one year due to lower at­tri­tion rate

The Economic Times - - Front Page - [email protected] times­

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.


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