Classroom training was not possible. So, Swiggy began to virtually train up to 45,000 delivery partners to cultivate new habits. For instance, the food-ordering business requires a delivery person to just pick up a brown bag from the restaurant and ferry it to the user’s location. The restaurant takes responsibility for the contents of the brown bag.
But with Swiggy Genie and groceries, its delivery personnel are responsible for the contents and quality of items they pick up. Swiggy’s operations team prepared videos of step-by-step explainers of these new processes. In early April, Swiggy began an app-based video training programme for its delivery partners.
More than 25,000 experienced delivery personnel accessed these training modules on the delivery partner app, followed by a test conducted in various regional languages. According to a Swiggy delivery executive, the tests help to stay updated with small changes in processing orders. It typically takes him an hour to check these videos.
The learning modules focus on specific points like what is a grocery pickup, how is it different from a food pickup? What is the difference between a paid order and a non-paid order? (A paid order is for pick-up and drop errands. A non-paid order is one where the customer pays after confirming the order.)
To widen the scope of its store listings, Swiggy began to crowdsource information—asking its customers to share details of their favourite shops. “In a locked-down world where I can’t send people out to do a survey, and I can only rely on Google and other such public information to some extent, we had to ensure no popular stores are missed out. Just ask the consumer,” says Sunder of Swiggy.
Sunder says Swiggy previously did this while expanding its food services to new cities. “We asked consumers to tell us the most famous restaurants in their neighbourhood. Local intelligence is always good,” he says. Swiggy even launched food services in Manipal (an education hub) before Karnataka’s second-largest city, Hubballi-Dharwad, because a crowdsourcing initiative showed far more demand from Manipal.
Swiggy’s Wish Granted by the Genie
Swiggy worked out compensation packages for delivery personnel during the ongoing Covid-19 phase, as well as for when normalcy eventually sets in. “We are changing the way compensation structures work,” says Sunder.
Before the lockdown, the incentives were for maximising food deliveries. “But now, it is hard to generate many orders for delivery partners to be able to make what they are used to. With low order volumes, they won’t even come to work,” he adds. Instead, Swiggy extended a minimum guarantee to more delivery personnel to keep them logged in to Swiggy even during the lockdown.
The company also had to adapt its compensation system for its three line items—food, groceries, Genie. This is because the average distance of a food order for a delivery-partner is 3.5-4 kilometres. But for a Swiggy Genie order, distance is defined by the consumer. So, the compensation system has to factor in varied scenarios for distances that a Genie delivery demands.