E-Tail Witnesses Unforeseen Demand for Delivery Personnel
The statistics are overwhelming, especially in view of the approaching festival season.
E-tailers have virtually taken the big chunk of sales from traditional retailers and the major online players – Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal – have recorded a phenomenal volume of sales.
The mega sales push by leading e-tailers has propelled the demand for delivery boys or bikers to an all-time high. Salaries and incentives for high performers have already shot up more than 50% to about Rs.25,000 a month as staffing firms are faced with a severe shortage of bikers. And this is just the start, for the busiest phase of the festive season for retailers has just begun.
The demand has accelerated to about 100,000 bikers, according to staffing firms which are facing a massive shortage of up to 70%. A year ago, online retailers in the country required just about 40,000 bikers to deliver the goods.
Industry experts opine that this festive season, up to one lakh jobs will be created in mostly the delivery, logistics and customer care space. The spike in the number of ecommerce companies has led to a demand-supply gap where companies are finding it difficult to spot talent. From this situation, it is clear that delivery jobs will be at the top among the various retail jobs and field jobs coming up in Delhi NCR and other Indian cities.
The shortage is so high currently that it has prompted E-tailers to look at innovative ways to hire. For one, they are now actively tapping into tier-2&3 cities and even villages to fulfill the shortage of delivery manpower. Secondly, poaching has become fairly commonplace with delivery boys shifting loyalties for as little as 10-20% hike.
“It is for certain that the e-commerce model will fail if the delivery element is not taken care of. E-commerce thrives on a robust delivery mechanism,” said Revant Bhate, co-founder of Faasos.
Hari Menon (Co-Founder, BigBasket.com) believes manpower is the biggest asset for a company like BigBasket. “From our warehouse to our last mile delivery boys, BigBasket is a very operationally intensive business and we need to be sure that employees at all levels are motivated,” he said.
BigBasket expects to add 4,500 working in the next one year. Grofers, a hyper-local online grocery startup, has 300 workers and plans to add another 1,000 in the same period.
So grave is the challenge of being able to retain delivery personnel that BigBasket plans to provide housing for its warehouse employees and delivery boys as it takes on a raft of smaller rivals such as Grofers and PepperTap that are scouting for the same talent. Facing this shortage efficiently is a huge challenge for the online commerce industry as they simply cannot maintain their committed service levels without an optimum level of delivery staff.
Looking at the positive side, this is also a great opportunity for candidates who wish to start their career in the E-Tailing industry as delivery personnel. In this scenario, not only are the chances of selection high, one can also expect a higher-than-average remuneration.
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