Dussera, Diwali, New Year Sales: Flipkart, Amazon, BigBasket, Dunzo Starts Hiring Delivery Boys!
Considering the upcoming shopping season, India’s e-commerce companies are adding delivery personnel at a rapid pace.
Why Would This Happen?
They seem to have a fear of labour shortage as it might cause them to lose out in one of the biggest annual shopping seasons that begins in earnest next month.
Interestingly, the moves come in the midst of a tightening job market in the country.
Since January, India’s unemployment rate fell below 7 per cent in July for the first time.
On top of that persistently high inflation is complicating the outlook for the industry which has long battled chronically high employee turnover.
Increasing Demand For Gig Workers
The chief operating officer at online grocery seller BigBasket, TK Balakumar said, ”Overall demand for the gig workforce has seen a sharp increase and that is not completely supported by the increase in the pool size of delivery people… It is not a free flowing pool,”.
Recently, the Tata group conglomerate backed company has ramped up the number of delivery partners in its instant delivery segment BB.
Its workforce stood at 2,200 in the quarter ended June, which was almost four times from just 500 in the March quarter.
Now, the company is further planning to raise its number to about 6,000 by March 2023.
Shortage Of Gig Workers
When it comes to delivery personnel, BigBasket and other e-commerce firms such as Dunzo have their own but others like cosmetics-to-fashion retailer Nykaa rely on third parties for providing the service.
Gig work employment, in which delivery workers and salespersons form a large chunk, is expected to reach 9.9 million in India in 2022-23.
Which is up about 45 per cent from 2019-20, as per a report by think tank NITI Aayog in June.
According to strategy chief at business services provider Quess Corp, Sekhar Garisa, ”People… look at a delivery job as a job in transit, they move off to something else, you’ll always have shortages and then in cases where there is a specific event or festival, there’s definitely a challenge that the delivery requirement goes up,”.
Companies like Quess and TeamLease in India work as middlemen between e-commerce firms and job seekers in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.
Contrary to the earlier opinion, a few firms are being optimistic considering the labour crunch situation will get better.