From six delivery partners servicing less than 50 orders a day in Koramangala, Bangalore, to a platform of more than 2,50,000 delivery partners – both women and men – spread across the entire country, we have certainly come a long way since 2014. However, right from our early days, it has always been clear to us that our partners would be the backbone of our service offerings. A belief that was only reinstated further, with our delivery partners’ unwavering commitment and resolve to keep serving Swiggy customers through an ongoing pandemic and a second lockdown. As this eventful year draws to a close, let’s look back at a few humble steps we took as part of our endeavour to give our delivery partners the best possible Swiggy experience.
Recognizing the risks our fleet of partners are taking to bring customers food and other essential items during the pandemic, we took the following measures for 360 degree COVID-19 support:
I. Vaccination drive:
Swiggy was the first platform in the country to commit to getting our fleet of delivery partners vaccinated, even at a time when there were uncertainties around vaccine supply and pricing. This initiative was a small way for us to prioritise partner safety, which is and will always be first and foremost to us. As part of this effort, we organized sessions to build awareness around vaccine safety and followed that up by organising vaccination camps across the country. We also provided loss of pay support to partners who took time to get themselves vaccinated. As a result, more than 1.3 lakh Swiggy delivery partners have been vaccinated under our vaccination drive.
II. Swiggy Suraksha:
We launched Swiggy Suraksha, a best-in-class COVID-19 support program, to provide delivery partners with benefits and safeguards against a possible COVID-19 infection. Introduced earlier this year, Swiggy Suraksha includes features like increased hospitalization cover, loss of pay support upto 14 days, in case of a delivery partner testing positive, free face masks, paid time off in case of bereavement and COVID-19 death coverage. We also launched a 24×7 COVID-19 hotline to provide validated information around physician support and other emergency supplies. Read more about Swiggy Suraksha here.
III. Sustenance support:
44 cities and towns across the country were partially or fully shut down for food delivery businesses at various points in 2021 due to pandemic lockdown guidelines, thereby impacting the livelihoods of our delivery partners in these locations. Much like last year during the first lockdown, partners in these cities continued to receive minimum pay to ensure they have a regular stream of income during those uncertain times.
Healthcare and emergency support
We realize that while we are living in times of an active pandemic, it is far from being the only health concern that a delivery partner may face. Here are some initiatives we took to safeguard the delivery partners’ health and wellbeing:
I. Loss of pay in case of illness or accident
In July this year, we launched a general loss of pay program to protect our partners’ livelihood in case of illness or accident and provide support during testing times. In the last five months, 227 partners have availed Swiggy’s loss of pay support.
II. Health Insurance and simplified claims process:
While we have always had strong insurance benefits covering delivery partners and their dependents, we received feedback over the last one year that the claims process can be complex or cumbersome at times. To address this concern and make availing insurance claims fast and hassle-free, we built a claim status tracking function within our delivery partner app, provided visibility to network hospitals, gave the option to partners to directly edit details, as well as launched a 24×7 helpline for queries while moving from physical document submission to online submission. Another area of concern that partners faced was making payments upfront in case of hospitalization in a non-network hospital. We introduced a quick fix payment solution enabling a direct and immediate payout to the hospital in all such cases to ensure our delivery partners face minimum logistical delays and paperwork during their hour of need.
III. Maternity cover:
Besides illness and accident, we have also provided maternity cover to delivery partners and spouses to ensure their families have the required support during and after pregnancy.
IV. Emergency assistance:
A delivery partner may also come across several other scenarios which require urgent support. Keeping this in mind, in July we launched an emergency support system built within the delivery partner app to provide our partners access to emergency services like ambulance and police or the Swiggy hotline. Read more about this initiative here.
V. Training and awareness
To ensure delivery partners are aware of these benefits and simplified processes, we have invested resources in circulating weekly communication about these policies and initiatives through the delivery partner app, telecalling and individual follow-ups by the insurance team. Training on these features is also included during the on-boarding process for new delivery partners.
Fair and Transparent Operations
Good earning opportunities along with robust policies and an effective support mechanism are key ingredients to good partner experience. With this in mind, we launched the below initiatives:
I. Petrol incentive:
Fuel prices hit an all-time high this year, with regular increases month on month up until November. Since a large number of our delivery partners use petrol vehicles, fuel price rises directly impact their net earnings. We addressed this by introducing a dynamic petrol incentive component that is indexed to changing fuel prices on a monthly basis. We are happy to note that despite the steep inflation in petrol price, our delivery partner earnings have been at an all time high this year.
II. Simplified policies & redressal mechanism:
We have made a conscious effort to simplify policies around good conduct and strengthen our redressal mechanism by making it more comprehensive, engaging and efficient. We hope to continue this journey further by:
1) Revamping our delivery partner support system interface to improve ease of raising and tracking tickets (issues). We also hope to further improve our redressal mechanism through this change by providing an option for seamless re-opening of redressal tickets where the partner has not found satisfactory resolution. A pilot for this is live in Kerala and will be scaled across India by March ’22
2) Simplifying our policies and representing them in an easy to understand manner by clustering policies into related groups, besides explaining them through videos in English and other regional languages. A version of this is already underway which we hope to keep improving on
3) While today the actions taken are shared via SMS and in-app messages, we are shortly launching a system which will display the actions more prominently including in a separate section. We hope to go live with this by December ’21.
III. Simplified contracts:
Every policy action is based on trust and understanding, and we realize that sometimes that trust can be lost in translation. Therefore, we have now simplified our contracts and translated them across all major regional languages. We believe this to be an important step in bringing utmost transparency between our delivery partners and us.
With that being said, we are fully aware that these steps are just the first few in a long journey towards making our delivery partners feel truly appreciated and rewarded for the invaluable effort they put day in and day out. As is the case with every transformative journey, we are fully conscious that this will neither be an overnight change nor an easy one. However, we are committed and energized to bringing our delivery partners an experience that makes us the ‘platform of choice’ for all.