How Zomato, Swiggy and Co can fill their delivery tank

Rana, 32, was one of millions of Indians who joined the gig economy at the start of the pandemic. He has worked with all major delivery companies in India’s Bengaluru Technology Hub for the past two years, doing anywhere between 15,000 to 25,000 rupees ($190 to $320) per month, excluding fuel costs.

Earlier this year, Rana left the gig economy for a stable, permanent job as a security guard, who paid him 22,000 rupees ($280) per month for a 10-hour shift, six days a week. Rising fuel prices and global inflation meant the delivery job was no longer tenable to support his family.

However, last month, Rana started making deliveries again to supplement her income after receiving numerous notifications from delivery companies about attractive payments. He currently earns more than 5,000 rupees ($65) a week working four to six hours a day with foodtech major Zomato. He says he will look for more comfortable jobs when delivery payments drop again.

Such is the volatility of India

$1 billion in on-demand savings

$1 billion in on-demand savings

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Right now delivery companies are facing a huge conundrum. And it’s largely their doing.

Over the past few months, everyone and their brother have evolved their delivery services, driven by an industry that’s been growing 14% a year. Swiggy, which offers delivery and concierge services, is now piloting an e-commerce platform,



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Minis. Rapid commerce platform Zepto has announced a ready-to-eat instant food delivery service called Zepto Cafe. He also plans to enter the online pharmacy delivery business.

Ride-sharing company Ola is integrating its food and grocery delivery business. And Zomato is testing a 10-minute food delivery service, Zomato Instant.

However, before launching these services, none of the companies seem to have checked the backbone of the industry: the delivery staff. India has around 15 million on-demand workers, most of whom are contracted to the hyperlocal delivery industry. Zomato, for example, had a fleet of 316,000 men as of the quarter ending March 2022.

This figure has probably gone down in the current state of affairs. A Zomato executive said The Ken that the company has worked with 25-35% less delivery staff than usual. Them and other sources The Ken spoke on the required anonymity as they are not authorized to speak with the media.

Earnest L. Veasey