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Delivery Guys Just Can’t Keep Pace with Ecommerce


Too Much Load Online companies are seeing an exodus of delivery staff looking for easier jobs in brick & mortar biz

New Delhi: The smiling delivery man at your door may not be happy, after all. Thousands of delivery staff who had left fast-food chains to ferry goods in oversized backpacks as eCommerce boo-med are now casting around for jobs in brick & mortar businesses, as stretched work hours, backache, ‘sale day’ pressure and fear of layoffs make them yearn for the easier and more secure jobs.

According to human resource service provider Team Lease, about 10,000 delivery persons who had joined online companies are keen on shifting back to companies like Domino’s, McDonald’s, KFC and logistics firms. Another recruitment firm added that many online companies like Flip kart, Snap deal, Roadrunner, Shadow Fax, Tiny Owl and Grofer sare losing foot soldiers to offline competition.

“They want to get back to companies with reasonable working hotirs and less pressure on achieving numbers,” said Rituparna Chakraborty, senior vice president at Team Lease. “They want to work in a predictable environment even if it means a compromise on fixed pay.” Compensation is another factor. Till about six months ago, a few online delivery companies were paying about Rs. 3o,000 a month along with incentives.

“Now, with the VC money drying up, delivery boys working with online companies are making only noozioo per day,” said Arjun Singh, founder of Guitaon based tech startup LogiMonkey. He recently hired a few of these delivery men. The Indian Staffing Federation estimates the number of people working as deli-very staff at 75,000.

Executives at Jubilant FoodWorks, which owns the franchise for Domino’s Pizza and Dunkin’ Donuts in India, said close to 500 delivery persons who had left the company for online firms now want to come back. “In Mumbai, those who had rejoined said backache (from lifting heavy bags) was the key trigger for their exit, while in south India, delivery boys and their managers who had left us want to join back as they found the frequent big (sale) days a challenge,” said Biplob Banerjee, executive vice president for HR at Jubilant Food Works.

“They have had enough of chaos and now are looking for some order at work, hence they are returning,” said another HR official of a pizza delivery chain.

KFC not only has applications from former employees but also from online firms’ staff who have not worked with the chain before. “This is a definite trend. We have ex-employees coming back as well as people with eCommerce backgrounds interested in working with us,” said Aman Lal, chief people officer at KFC India.

In contrast with some eCommerce companies, fast-food companies including KFC offer meals and energy drinks to employees. “In addition to health and life insurance, the riders get additional road accident coverage,” Lal pointed out.
Number of deliveries are also monitored at offline delivery fastfood chains to reduce stress. “With no leave, our old employees realized there was hardly any time for themselves,” said Banerjee.
Seema Arora Nambiar, vice president, people resources, at McDonald’s India (West and South), said, “A majority of our delivery personnel are outsourced from third party firms. The key differentiation for McDonald’s is being compliant and committed with our inhouse delivery boys as well as with vendors for outsourced riders.”

In order to cut costs, many online companies like TinyOwl and RoadRunnr are looking at consolidating. “We are merging with Roadrunnr and will be using their delivery network,” said Harshvardhan Mandan, co-thunder of TinyOwl.

Source: Economic Times
(Photo:live mint)

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