Swiggy’s delivery staff can now take on leadership roles at launch

Foodtech unicorn Swiggy on Monday launched an accelerator program for its delivery managers to transition to full-time management-level jobs with a fixed salary and additional benefits. The program, called “Step-Ahead,” is aimed at providing an opportunity for those executives who want to move from their current job placement role to a dedicated functionary leadership role.

To be eligible for the role of fleet manager, a Swiggy delivery manager must have a university degree, possess communication skills and basic computer knowledge and should have delivered with Swiggy for a few years, the start-up said in a statement.

When managing a fleet of delivery managers, fleet managers will be responsible for various roles such as maintaining metrics such as login hours, cancellations, solving queries, and working on special projects for delivery managers.

“By being well versed with the challenges and opportunities at the ground level due to their rich experience in delivery, experienced delivery managers are a natural fit,” the company said.

Swiggy added that several Swiggy delivery managers have joined the platform as fleet managers in recent times. With ‘Step Ahead’, Swiggy formalizes this process and intends to reserve at least 20% of all fleet manager appointments for its delivery managers. The startup is also “considering” reducing the employment requirement to about two years.

“Swiggy has consistently maintained that our delivery managers are the backbone of our operations, and we are proud to provide an income opportunity for over 270,000 women and men across the country. “Education, or even an additional source of income, we are aware that there are some who want more. With ‘Step Ahead’, Swiggy creates a unique opportunity for interested parties to turn their collar from blue to white and take on a leadership 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 health insurance, personal loans, income support, time off and maternity cover.

The start-up’s decision to launch an accelerator program for delivery workers comes at a time when hyperlocal delivery companies have been criticized for ignoring employment rights, as workers have very little communicative power with the company. Delivery workers are strictly employed by start-ups such as Swiggy, Zomato and Dunzo on a contract basis outside the payrolls and are therefore considered freelancers (or concert workers).

Globally, concert economy workers take up the delivery work to make a quick buck or choose it as a secondary source of income. But in India, most concert workers, such as delivery workers and taxi drivers at Uber and Ola, rely on these ‘gig-economic’ jobs as their primary source of income.

Usually, the concert staff makes a fixed cut out of the order value along with a daily or weekly incentive component to complete a predetermined number of deliveries. And in the last few years, workers have also complained about falling wages during long working hours.

That is why the government came up with a new social security code for workers, which has not yet been fully adopted. The Code on Social Security, 2020, which was adopted by Parliament in the monsoon session of 2020, requires startups and companies in concert economics to contribute a portion of their income to a social security fund for concert and platform workers. It also outlines other benefits such as health and accident coverage for concert and platform workers. But the new social security code is still under consideration, as the recommendation has yet to be implemented by the government.

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