PM Modi on 24th March announced an absolute nationwide lockdown for 21 days, starting from Tuesday midnight, in order to contain this war with coronavirus for all of the country’s 130 crore population.
In order to make the lockdown successful, the ecommerce giants like Flipkart, Amazon, BigBasket and others decided to not temporarily hold back their services.
However, 24 hours later, we informed you that the coordination between central government and state governments was back on track, leading to most of the delivery services coming back online.
Problems Faced by e-Commerce Delivery Employees
With businesses halted due to coronavirus, there are concerns that companies could resort to salary cuts and even layoffs to compensate for their costs.
There have been reports that many businesses, including tech-led firms, have already rolled out pay cuts amid no business flowing in due to the pondering pandemic.
Along with this, the e-commerce companies have been struggling to deliver orders since the 21-day lockdown.
Even though the government allowed delivery of essential goods including food, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment through e-commerce, players had complained of their delivery staff being hassled by police.
With local authorities shutting down warehouses and stopping trucks from crossing state borders, e-commerce players have seen their operations getting disrupted. The companies have resumed operations and working to complete pending orders.
Flipkart to Not Cut its Employees’ Salaries
Flipkart has assured employees that the Walmart-owned company will not slash salaries and will honour the job offers extended even as the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted businesses in the country.
Its quarterly townhall, virtually conducted on Thursday given the nationwide lockdown, saw the participation of over 8,000 employees of the e-commerce major.
During the townhall, Flipkart Group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy assured staff that the company remains committed to its employees, vendors and seller-partners. He added that there would be no pay cuts and the company will honour all job offers made, including those for internships.
Krishnamurthy also exhorted the employees to follow the safety measures advised by the government to protect themselves and their families.
BigBasket Hiring 10,000 People
Online grocery platform Bigbasket is looking at hiring 10,000 people for its warehouses and last-mile delivery to clear pending orders quickly and meet the spike in orders due to the lockdown. The pressuring challenge is being set more for Tier 1 cities.
The companies have resumed their operations and are working towards completing the pending orders. Some are giving people the option to cancel their orders, and are also delaying taking fresh orders to ensure the pending orders get delivered.
Another challenge facing the industry is the availability of limited staff for warehouses and logistics. The VP of HR, BigBasket Tanuja Tewari informed about there being a shortfall of 50% staff in the company’s warehouses and delivery team.
Although the company has started taking orders in all the cities, due to capacity constraints the slots are getting filled very quickly. In a tweet, Bigbasket said it is operating at about 40% of its planned capacity.
In fact, they were operating at 10% of their capacity on March 25, while on April 2, their operating capacity was planned by 40%.