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Indian food delivery platforms eyeing distribution workforce expansion
Tuesday, 12 February, 2019, 12 : 00 PM [IST]
Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru
India’s food delivery platforms, which account for a total workforce of 2.5 lakh executives to distribute packs of breakfast, lunches, tea snacks and dinner to consumers across homes, offices among other locations, are looking to further increase their manpower strength.

The current scene indicates that food delivery boys are grappling with regular remuneration, and are instead put on incentive-driven pay, enticing the employee to continue delivering positive results.

“We live in an era where everything is a click away. Today, it is taken for granted that no matter where a restaurant is, the food is delivered,” said Mayur Saraswat, head, digital, IT (information technology) and telecom vertical, Teamlease Services.

“The ease of placing an order and on-time delivery is the key of this matrix. Since it is related to the very basic element of trust, handholding the executives to develop their soft skills, like communication, and devise a platform for them to raise concerns and have dialogue is of utmost importance,” he added.

“Recently, an instance of a food delivery executive eating out of a packet which was to be handed to a customer raised serious concerns. The reactions led to consumers to be   cautious about ordering food and take cognisance of the delivery executives’ behaviour, who are constantly under pressure to reach the customers’ destinations within the stipulated time-line,” said Saraswat, giving a peek into a day in the lives of delivery executives.

Stating that most delivery executives complained about the lack of job pride and a career path, he added that this resulted in a lack of seriousness about the task of food delivery for these executives. “Moreover, on-the-job hassles like no breaks, less transparency in incentives and job security further compounded to their frustration,” Saraswat said.

“The reality is that over 90 per cent of food delivery executives are not on fixed pay scales, with no statutory benefits like PF (Provident Fund), ESIC (Employees’ State Insurance), gratuity benefits and insurance,” Saraswat told F&B News in an e-mail.

“The remuneration is based purely on an incentive model. Therefore, it is justified that even food delivery boys scout for a stable career. Apart from this, these executives struggle for a work-life balance, as most of them have are on the job spanning 14-18 hours a day to earn extra incentives,” he added.

“This often leads to faster burnout and unstable lifestyles. Rushing to fulfill orders on time forces these executives to drive fast and rash, which is another concern,” said Saraswat.

“Food delivery companies have now begun hiring psychologists to bring stability on the job and help these executives to cope with the impending work pressures. A case in point is Zomato, which has opted for staff counselling by a qualified professional,” according to information in the public domain.

“Any profession can change one’s life. Hence, the pride that comes with a job is a subset of growth and good earning. We do see a huge gap prevails in skilling. Therefore, it is here training enables on how to effectively do a job, which is a key factor leading to   continuity in the profession,” said Saraswat.
 
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