BENGALURU: App-based firms offering two-wheelers on rent are seeing a spike in demand from delivery agents, whose numbers in the city are growing.
The pandemic has accelerated the trend of getting almost everything delivered at home. Companies like Zomato, Swiggy, Dunzo, Telyport, Rapido, Porter, Lynk, Pindrop, Amazon, Flipkart, Grofers, Jiomart, Licious and BigBasket employ thousands of delivery personnel in the city.
Many people who lost jobs or faced salary cuts in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis are also taking up delivery gigs. Those unable to buy new two-wheelers are renting scooters and bikes for the job.
According to Vogo, a two-wheeler rental startup, delivery executives and frontline workers accounted for only 8 per cent of the total demand in September 2020. This increased to 54 per cent in April this year as the second wave of Covid-19 gripped the city. “Of the 54 per cent, delivery persons accounted for 46 per cent of the usage. Personal usage, which is the largest contributor to demand in normal times, accounted for just 20 per cent of usage during the same period (April 2021),” said a Vogo spokesperson.
Many Vogo customers rented scooters for a minimum of two to three days, using the vehicle repeatedly or keeping one for an emergency.
Vivekananda Hallekere, CEO and co-founder of Bounce, a two-wheeler rental startup, said that the delivery industry was one such segment that had witnessed a positive change because of the nature of the pandemic. “There has been a massive demand for home delivery of groceries, food and other products,” he added.
Amit Gupta, founder and CEO of electric scooter rental firm Yulu Bikes, said that more delivery executives were using its services than before. “They comprised 3 to 4 per cent of daily active users in September 2020, a figure that increased to around 12 per cent in June 2021. We launched long-term rental plans, including benefits such as unlimited battery swaps, to provide more value to customers,” he said.
According to Vinay Sarathy, the president of the United Food Delivery Partners’ Union, many workers first buy a smartphone and then rent a scooter as it is affordable. “Everyone cannot afford to buy a new scooter. Several people are delivering food on cycles,” he said.
Displacement of workers from cities following the pandemic has created the need for more personnel. “We worked closely with some NGOs to enable marginalised communities and women to access Bounce bikes at a low cost and learn how to ride a two-wheeler,” Hallekere said. “We have also been working with prominent hyperlocal delivery companies to support their delivery personnel.”
News source- Economic Times