Friday 24 April 2015

Not just products, e-com delivering on jobs front too

Logistics and last mile delivery startups, fuelled by the burgeoning e-commerce industry in India, are all set to hire over 20,000 people this year. Of this, about half would be delivery boys and the rest engineers and data analytics professionals.
Industry experts feel that as efficient delivery of goods is crucial for the growth of any e-commerce business, getting the right workforce in place could be the differentiator. Larger companies such as Amazon, Snapdeal and Flipkart, who are competing with each other to deliver faster, plan to double the headcounts of their logistics teams this year. Amazon, for instance, has 7,000 employees now and plans to hire 6,000 more this year.
Third-party dependence
While these larger players in the $4 billion e-tail industry have their own logistics divisions, the smaller ones have to depend on third-party logistics providers.
This has led to the birth of several start-ups such as GoJavas, Ekart, Overcart, PepperTap and Greendust.
These companies have different business models ranging from hyper-local, which promises delivery within a few hours, to reverse logistics, which deal with return of products from an unhappy consumer. Both require large manpower.
According to Rajiv Burman, Managing Partner at recruitment agency Lighthouse Partners, there is high demand of skilled workforce in logistics and supply-chain management.
“Apart from conventional hiring modes, e-commerce companies are in haste to employ innovative techniques to pool talent for logistics and supply-chain management,” Burman said.
For instance, lingerie e-commerce company Zivame hires only female employees for delivering its products to mostly women buyers.
Recruiting people with specialised product knowledge for guiding customers who buy exercise or body-building equipment is another case of innovation.
Localised hiring is the latest trend, where companies provide delivery in a specific locality only. Navneet Singh, Co-founder of hyper-local grocery delivery firm PepperTap, said the company is utilising part of the $10 million funding it recently raised to hire more.
Better presence
“Widening our employee base will give a fillip to the company’s operations. It will help us realise our goal of strengthening our pan-India presence in the face of rising number of customers,” said Singh. PepperTap caters to over 350 orders for grocery products per day.
The demand for personnel is also pushing up salary levels. Starting pay for delivery boys, for example, has gone up from ₹7,000-8,000 to ₹14-15,000 a month.

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