Morgan Stanley has said that India’s online sales will hit $1 billion by 2020 from the current $35 million. That’s the potential of e-commerce. Little wonder then that investors are pouring in millions of dollars into e-retailers like Snapdeal, Flipkart and the rest. Buying online has become a norm for most in metro cities.
But while we gloat over this growth and look in awe at the money coming into Snapdeal, Amazon and Flipkart, have you given a thought to another burgeoning industry – of delivery boys. The entire muscle and very existence of e-retailers hinges on the efficiency and availability of these delivery boys and the way they are today cruising around the country is remarkable.
Apart from motorcycles and scooters as the most preferred mode of transport, these boys maneuver their way through potholes, traffic snarls, occasional cows on the street, inaccessible and difficult addresses of customers, errant drivers; all this with a backpack strapped onto their shoulders which could weigh more than their own weight!
Flipkart is trying to make more of vans and limiting the size of the bags to 40 to 50 kgs. Amazon sometimes allows usage of rickshaw; in fact delivery in many parts of Kerala is done through canoes in the backwaters. So next time, you order something online, take a minute to offer the delivery to offer the guy a glass of water or some cool sherbet! After all he is saving you the trouble of going to a mall and standing in serpentine lines to pay-up the bill.