Swiggy’s delivery workers can now take up managerial roles at the start-up
Foodtech unicorn Swiggy on Monday launched an accelerator programme for its delivery executives to transition into full-time, managerial-level jobs with a fixed salary and additional benefits. The programme, named “Step-Ahead” is aimed at giving an opportunity to those executives who want to move from their current blue-collar delivery work role to a dedicated white-collar managerial role.
To be eligible for the role of a fleet manager, a Swiggy delivery executive must hold a college degree, possess communication skills and basic computer knowledge and should have been delivering with Swiggy for a few years, the start-up said in a statement.
Managing a fleet of delivery executives, the fleet managers will be responsible for different roles like maintaining metrics such as login hours, cancellations, resolving queries, and working on special projects for delivery executives.
“Being well-versed with the challenges and opportunities at a ground level owing to their rich experience in delivery, seasoned delivery executives are a natural fit,” the company said.
Swiggy added that numerous Swiggy delivery executives have joined the platform as fleet managers in the recent past. With ‘Step Ahead’, Swiggy is formalising this process and intends to reserve at least 20% of all fleet manager hires for its delivery executives. The start-up is also “considering” reducing the tenure requirement to around two years.
“Swiggy has consistently maintained that our delivery executives are the backbone of our operations, and we are proud to enable an income opportunity for over 270,000 women and men across the country. While most may consider their association with the platform as a stop gap between jobs or an education, or even an additional source of income, we realise that there are some who want more. With ‘Step Ahead’, Swiggy is creating a unique opportunity for those interested to flip their collar from blue to white and take on a managerial role,” said Mihir Rajesh Shah, VP, operations, Swiggy, in a statement.
Swiggy currently has over 270,000 delivery partners across the country. They receive benefits such as accident insurance and medical cover, personal loans, income support, period time off, and maternity cover, among others.
The start-up’s decision to launch an accelerator programme for delivery workers comes at a time when hyperlocal delivery firms have been criticised for ignoring employment rights since workers have very little mediation power with the company. Delivery workers are strictly hired by start-ups such as Swiggy, Zomato, and Dunzo on a contractual basis off the payrolls, and hence are considered freelancers (or gig workers).
Globally, gig economy workers take up the delivery work to earn a quick buck or opt for it as a secondary source of income. But in India, most gig workers such as delivery workers and cab drivers on Uber and Ola depend on these ‘gig economy’ jobs as their primary source of income.
Usually, the gig workers make a fixed cut out of the order value, along with a daily or weekly incentive component for completing a predetermined number of deliveries. And in the past few years, workers have also complained of dwindling wages amidst long work hours.
Hence, the government came out with a new social security code for workers which is yet to be enacted in full. The Code on Social Security, 2020, which was passed by Parliament in the monsoon session in 2020, requires gig economy startups and companies to contribute a part of their revenue to a social security fund for gig and platform workers. It also outlines other benefits such as health and accident cover for gig and platform workers. But the new social security code is still being deliberated upon as the recommendation are yet to be implemented by the government.