Logistics solutions provider Ecom Express is planning to create 30,000 seasonal roles across its operations over the next few weeks as it gears up to cater to heightened demand from e-commerce clients during the festive season.
The company, which had a workforce of about 23,000 in the pre-COVID-19 times, has hired 7,500 people in the last few months to address the increase in online orders during and after the lockdown as people turned to e-commerce to order grocery, medicines and other items.
"The pandemic has catapulted the e-commerce industry to a different league. Our e-commerce customers have very aggressive plans for the festive season and we want to be sure to be able to meet their demands. We have started hiring, a process that will continue till about October 10, and we expect to add 30,000 seasonal roles ahead of the festive season," Ecom Express Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer Saurabh Deep Singla told PTI.
In the beginning of August, the company's workforce stood at 30,500.
"Last year, we had hired about 20,000 people before the festive season. While these are temporary roles, about one-third get permanent as we continue to see an increase in orders post the festive season as well," he said.
E-commerce companies see a large chunk of their business coming in during the festive sales and they make significant investments ahead of time to ramp up their capacity to be able to handle the spike in orders.
Walmart-owned Flipkart had recently said it has onboarded more than 50,000 kirana shops to strengthen its supply chain and delivery capabilities, while Amazon India announced addition of five sort centres (Visakhapatnam, Farukhnagar, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad) and expansion of eight such existing facilities in the country to strengthen its capacity ahead of the festive season.
In 2019, these two players had announced creation of over 1.4 lakh temporary jobs across supply chain, last-mile connectivity and customer support in preparation for their festive sales.
Singla noted that Ecom Express' hiring will focus not only on metros and tier I cities but also on tier II and beyond as the company makes deliveries to the remotest parts of the country.
He added that a large chunk of those employed would be freshers, and that the company is looking at hiring locals in various markets given their understanding of the local geography.
Singla said the company has already seen a 2X growth in deliveries and the festive season will further add to the volume.
He added that the people being hired - depending on the roles they are employed for - are provided training across areas like handling of packages and customer experience.
"Given the pandemic and need for social distancing, we are calling in smaller batches, we are using a lot of digital tools. We want to ensure our staff is well-trained and geared up to meet the increase in demand this festive season," he said.