Zomato revises payment structure for NCR delivery personnel, faces protest

Zomato revises payment structure for NCR delivery personnel, faces protest
Zomato delivery agents protest outside the company's office in Pushp Vihar, New Delhi on Tuesday.
5 Mar, 2019

A revision of incentives for personnel in the National Capital Region at food technology platform Zomato saw close to 200 delivery agents go on a strike in NCR. The new payments structure came into effect on Monday, following which some of Zomato’s delivery personnel took up the issue with the management.

The food tech platform pays out Rs 40 to a delivery person on each delivery. This has been changed to Rs 30 in fixed payment and Rs 10 as variable based on customer feedback. Typically, a delivery agent hired on contract by Zomato earns around Rs 30,000-40,000 per month.

“The company had stopped monthly incentives in January, which depended on the number of orders delivered. The revised structure further eats into our monthly payouts,” said Zomato’s delivery executive, Chetan, who goes by his first name and was a part of the protest outside Zomato’s Pushp Vihar office. “This was converted to Zomato Prime which mandates that a delivery person clock in 180 hours per month and 24 hours during peak hours on all Sundays of a month to receive incentive. This has cut down our earnings by Rs 7,000 or so,” he added. Another executive added that delivery executives in Chandigarh had faced a similar issue in December following which the company had to reverse the changes to the payout structure.

The platform pays a flat fee of Rs 500 on a 12-hour shift with a minimum delivery of eight orders per day. The platform currently employs 150,000 delivery partners across 170 cities in India.

“The revised payout structure is in alignment with the efforts of our delivery partners on ground and is a step towards building the best-in-class delivery partner network in the country. We ensure that the monthly earnings of our partners are always above market averages and offer life and health insurance benefits above the market standards,” said a company spokesperson in response to specific queries from TechCircle, adding that the stand-off had affected the platform’s services “only in a handful of areas”.

“We have been running reward programmes like Festive Dhamaka and Zomato Prime to celebrate the everyday efforts of our delivery partners and have further designed initiatives around investment and secure loans to promote financial stability,” added the spokesperson.

Zomato is currently in the middle of a fundraise from new investors including Delivery Hero and Shunwei Capital. The company sold its UAE food delivery business to Delivery Hero and has been targeting profitability by 2021. The firm has also entered the business-to-business supply-chain segment for fresh produce, dairy, meat and beverages targeted at restaurants through its initiative, HyperPure.

The company has been at loggerheads with close competitor Swiggy, which was valued at $3.3 billion in its recent round of funding led by South African conglomerate Naspers.