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It seems that the growth spree of Indian etailers has caught an evil eye. The atmosphere is filled with negative air as funding decreases and valuations of the biggies suffered a slash down. While etailers were still struggling with maintaining cash flows, they have got another blow from delivery staff.

According to human resource service provider TeamLease, about 10,000 delivery persons who had joined online companies like Flipkart, Snapdeal, TinyOwl, Grofers, etc., are keen on shifting back to companies like Domino’s, McDonald’s , and KFC. The Indian Staffing Federation estimates the number of people working as delivery staff as 75,000.

Unpredictable and stressed work hours, backache, sales pressure and low compensation have been cited as factors for this shift. The average salary of delivery personnel have now been reduced from INR 1000 per day to INR 300-400 per day.

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“Close to 500 delivery persons who had left the company for online firms now want to come back,” said Biplob Banerjee, executive vice president for HR at Jubilant FoodWorks, which owns the franchise for Domino’s Pizza and Dunkin’ Donuts in India. “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, found the frequent big (sale) days a challenge,” he added.

“They have had enough of chaos and now are looking for some order at work, hence they are returning,” said the HR official of a pizza delivery chain. As per KFC, they not only have applications from former employees but also from ecommerce  firms’ staff, who have not worked with them before.

Earlier, in July last year, 400 delivery boys of Flipkart went on Strike due lack of basic amenities like no fixed duty timings, seven-day work weeks and even, proper toilets at the workplace.

Our Take

As the industry ‘Gurus’ say, growth and slowdown are a part of any ecosystem and this graph will go on forever. However, the present case is not of the strong willed entrepreneurs but a lower section of society where a good pay and ability to meet needs required for human survival is the only motivation for doing a job (Maslow’s Need Theory). Now that the attrition has started off with ecommerce, other segments such as cab aggregators, depending largely on ground work force, should take timely action on the issue.

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