High turnover in India’s gig workforce ahead of the festive season has left internet companies scrambling for new hires even as they devise incentives to retain a restless workforce where annual attrition levels have risen to as much as 250% in some segments.
The problem is the most acute in the food and miscellaneous delivery segment where business activity has picked up significantly, resulting in a spike in blue-collar wages as the supply of manpower remains muted.
Manpower supply had dropped to 40% of pre-covid levels during the lockdown when restaurants had to suspend operations. Zomato, for instance, is hiring more than 5,000 delivery partners a week in India. It is looking to increase the number of riders by 40% to meet the growing demand. “We believe this is going to stabilize over the next few months and may witness growth due to the order volume exceeding the pre-covid levels in certain cities,” said a Zomato spokesperson.
“The blue-collar market normally sees circular migration, and the logistics sector especially continues to grapple with anywhere between 150-250% attrition,” said Pravin Agarwala, co-founder and CEO of Betterplace, a blue-collar life cycle management startup.
Industry experts said many employers are already offering some form of social security to gig workers to retain their loyalty and more such measures are likely to be implemented.
Swiggy, for example, offers accident insurance, medical insurance (including dependents), on-call doctors for its delivery staff and their family, educational scholarship programmes, tie-ups with banks to offer personal loans at a better rate, the company said.
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