Women have broken through yet another traditionally male bastion. Amazon delivery boys, which are now a ubiquitous sight in India as they zip and weave through traffic on their bikes, shall now just be boys any more. Amazon is piloting a project in Chennai and Kolkata in which women shall go around delivering packages.
The women will deliver packages to offices within 2-3 km of a woman-only delivery station on two-wheelers. They will make around 40 deliveries a day in multiple trips. “Taking into consideration safety measures, they have a work window between 7 am to 7 pm and there is a helpline number that these associates can dial in anytime for support,”, says Samuel Thomas, director of transportation for Amazon in India.
The project seems to be working well. “We have noticed that women are more patient and dedicated when it comes to delivering goods compared with men,” said Syam, an Amazon employee who has seven delivery women under her charge. Women under the program earn Rs. 12,000 per month plus incentives, the same salary as men.
“My day starts at 8 am and I finish by 4 pm, which also gives me ample time to do household work and tailoring,” said Rajkumar, 42, who works at a delivery station. She drives a Honda Activa as she goes around the neighborhood delivering packages.
Delivery logistics is an fast-growing sector in India, and demand for trained delivery personnel is shooting through the roof. The entry of women in this spaces should help companies utilize a previously untapped section of the workforce and bring costs down. It will also provide gainful employment to women who can drive and read basic English.