8th October, 2017 | the times of india
Bom H', 'Bom R' and 'BomS' are not the names of agents in a Hollywood spy movie but simply how 26-year-old Shamsher Shaikh's seniors identify the neighbourhoods of Ghatkopar, Bhandup and Goregaon. Mahimbased Shaikh, who became a delivery man for a leading ecommerce firm+ recently, is still too new to start calling his workspace 'Bom O' -- the official demarcation for the roads of Marol on which his second-hand scooter has done so many rounds that it feels like an extension of him.
Soon after joining, his rickety Activa had capitulated to Mumbai's rain and the delivery-bag-to ting Shaikh had to drag it to a mechanic and then to around 20 addresses waiting for their orders. The deal ended up extending his eight-hour workday by two hours and pushing his dinner to 1.30am. Yet, this father of two isn't complaining.
Like hundreds in the country, Shaikh is the beneficiary of a happy logistical problem. Every year before Diwali, when e-tailers gear up to meet the spike in demand that follows festive season discounts, men like Shaikh end up getting not only a temporary job but also unprecedented perks. Diwali's e-retail boom+ is seeing a spurt in tempo rary jobs and unusual perks for blue collar workers.
Compared to Shamsher Shaikh's earlier gigs - delivering ironed clothes for a professional laundry service for Rs 9,000 a month and towing vehicles for a Malad police chowky for Rs 350 a day - Shaikh can hope to fetch not only a monthly standard of Rs 11,600 at his new job but also an overtime of Rs 130 per hour, apart from a joining and an exit bonus that will arrive at the end of his month-long contract. It was this sum of Rs 5,000 that made Shaikh say yes to the vacancy that came to him through an HR portal.
The recent downpour of shopping bonanzas - Flipkart's The Big Billion Days, Amazon's Great Indian Festival and Snapdeal's Unbox Diwali -brought in an exceptional harvest with gross sales expected to hit up to Rs 9,000 crore, a 40% jump over last year, as per industry estimates. Such graphs find recruitment agencies excitedly talking about "sourcing network" and "hiring pipeline" - things they must strengthen to meet projections.
Dinesh Goel, co-founder and CEO of Aasaanjobs, an HR portal for entry-level jobs which is now working with five e-commerce players in Mumbai, says it is typical for demand for delivery boys to outstrip supply at this time of year. This is why "companies fight with each other for the limited pool of delivery boys by luring them with incentives like overtime, joining bonus and exit bonus", says Goel, whose firm has had to up its game with each passing year. "Earlier, we only did field activities to source last-mile workers," he says, referring to the recruitment drives held chiefly in colleges. "Now, we have started running referral programs to incentivize to help us source more," adds Goel, who has seen a "250-300%" jump in job applications this season.