Hyderabad: Swiggy delivery men in the city are up in arms against the food aggregator’s management. Several delivery executives, as they are known, have said that the payment and incentive system is rigged against them. They have also accused the management of manipulating how many orders an executive gets a day so as to prevent him from earning enough money that would make him eligible for a daily bonus/incentive.
One executive, on condition of anonymity, explained how the delivery assignment system was rigged against them. "Earlier, rule for incentives required us to earn Rs 900 a day so as to get Rs 200 as incentive. As we got closer to the 900-figure, orders would dry up. This meant we wouldn’t be eligible for the incentive. As of now, the rule has changed: Today, we have to earn Rs 350 during peak hours (11:30 am-3:30 pm and 7 pm-10 pm) for a Rs 100 incentive. But like before, orders dry up during these peak hours so incentives are impossible to get.”
Another executive claimed that the management was downright hostile to employees on many occasions. For instance, Swiggy recently lowered the minimum payment per order to an executive from `35 to `15. An executive said this change happened in July 2019.
However, older executives, it is learnt, continued to earn Rs 35 per order due to contractual obligations. “These older employees keep getting fired for flimsy reasons such as cancelling an order or not logging in at the correct time. They would be rehired almost immediately, but at the minimum payment of Rs 15 per order,” he said.
All the executives that Deccan Chronicle met refused to reveal their names. They were afraid of being fired. “In May and June this year, a lot of us protested against the Swiggy management. The people who were leading this protest were removed immediately. We were told there were thousands waiting in line for our jobs, so we could be easily replaced,” the executive quoted above said.
An executive waiting for orders outside Bawarchi restaurant at RTC Crossroads said another apparently discriminatory practice by Swiggy is with regard to late night extra incentives. “Customers are charged a late night fee from 10:30 pm onwards. However, we get extra payment for late night deliveries made between 1 am and 5 am. How is this fair,” he asked.
Most of the executives were of the opinion that Swiggy was exploiting them and raking in massive amounts of money at their expense. They were not aware that Swiggy had posted a six-fold increase in losses in the 2018-19 fiscal year compared to the previous year. In 2018-19, it posted a net loss of Rs 2,367 crore; in 2017-18, the figure was Rs 385 crore. However, during this period the startup also reported a three-fold growth in revenue from Rs 417 crore to Rs 1,128 crore.
A Swiggy spokesperson when requested to comment on these accusations said all delivery executives were hired on a ‘principal to principal basis’, indicating that executives were bound by contractual agreements.
“In addition to a fixed pay-out for each delivery, they also receive incentives based on the duration of work, number of orders etc. Additionally, delivery partners are aptly compensated if they choose to deliver during erratic weather conditions, festivals, or late at night,” the spokesperson said.
The representative also spoke about the ‘Swiggy Smiles’ programme that was launched last year: "Delivery partners are provided benefits such as accident and medical insurance, doctor on call and various other seasonal benefits.”