Companies

Yatti Soni | Bengaluru, May 10 | Updated on: May 10, 2022

Surge in demand in the food marketplace and Instamart has led to the gig worker shortage

Swiggy’s hyperlocal delivery service Genie has been temporarily halted in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Hyderabad on account of a shortage of gig workers. 

“Swiggy Genie is temporarily unavailable in three out of the 68 cities. The cricketing and festive season has resulted in a surge in demand for servicing the requirements of both the food marketplace and Instamart, requiring us to prioritise these deliveries. We hope to resume Swiggy Genie in the impacted cities soon,” a Swiggy spokesperson told BusinessLine.

Swiggy’s app in these cities has a notice that reads, “due to operational stress in your city we are temporarily unavailable. We will be back soon.”

Due to rising fuel prices, gig workers have been asking for a raise for long. In November 2021, the Telangana Gig and Platform Workers’ Union wrote to Swiggy’s co-founder Srihasha Majety demanding better payouts for the delivery partners. Multiple reports also indicate that gig work companies are witnessing a high attrition rate, as delivery executives look for better job opportunities.

Both Swiggy and Zomato recently announced new policies and programmes incentivising delivery workers who have worked with the company for three-five years. 

Swiggy said it would reserve 20 per cent of all fleet manager hires for its 2.7 Lakh delivery executives. The opportunity to become fleet managers was earlier only available to delivery partners who had worked with the company for at least three-four years. It is now considering reducing the tenure requirement to around two years.  

Zomato, too, has set up a ₹700-crore fund for the benefit of its delivery partners. Under this fund, Zomato Delivery Partners who have been on its fleet for more than five years, will get up to ₹50,000 per child per annum. The amount will go up to ₹1,00,000 per child per annum if the delivery partner completes 10 years with Zomato.

Scales down Supr Daily due to lack of profitability

Meanwhile, Swiggy has permanently suspended operations of Supr Daily in five cities including Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Chennai. However, the service will continue to operate in Bangalore.

Supr Daily is a daily delivery service for milk, eggs, bread, fruits, veggies, and other groceries. “While we are now an inalienable part of our consumer’s lives, we unfortunately are yet to demonstrate a clear path to profitability. Today, we find ourselves in a situation where we end up spending a significant amount of time and money in managing the business – distracting ourselves from our primary goals of establishing the business market fit. As we go into the year, it’s important that we organize ourselves in a way that best sets us up to hit our goals,” Phani Kishan Addepalli (Co-founder, Swiggy & CEO, Supr Daily) told employees in an email, which was later published by the company a blog.

Swiggy acquired Supr Daily in mid-2018 when it was serving close to just 6,000 orders a day in a few suburbs of Mumbai. At that time, Supr Daily kickstarted Swiggy’s journey beyond food delivery and into convenience and grocery. Over the last 4 years Supr Daily scaled its services to fulfill 200,000 daily orders across six cities.

The company said it has a detailed transition and closure plan in place to make it less painful for its users as well as brand and vendor partners. The restructuring will impact employees operating in these 5 cities and some corporate employees as the company right size the organization to be in line with Supr Daily’s scale and stage. The company did not disclose how many employees were impacted by this restructuring but it confirmed that no

“I’m glad to inform you that we’ve identified relevant roles for a significant majority of the employees within the open requisitions across the broader organization and expect to place the rest over the next few weeks. We have always believed in treating people with care and respect at Swiggy and are fully committed to providing the best transition support,” Addepalli added.

In September 2021, Swiggy restructured Supr Daily into a separate business unit under Bundl Technologies Pvt Ltd (Swiggy’s registered entity). As part of that announcement, Supr Daily’s founding members Puneet, Shreyas and Rohit moved out of the company and Swiggy’s cofounder Phani Kishan Addepalli took over as the CEO of Supr Daily. 

Published on May 10, 2022