Logistics sector ups hiring to keep pace with booming e-commerce

HR consultants say hiring is in full force for every role--delivery executives, pickers, packers, loaders, drivers and of course customer service executives. Teamlease estimates the industry workforce at more than 40 million.

Earlier this month, GeM CEO Prashant Kumar Singh had told Financial Express Online that the marketplace is already the third biggest public procurement portal globally in terms of GMV. (Representational image: Reuters)

Given how online shopping is catching on, it’s now critical the logistics sector stays strong to be able to support all the e-commerce. Logistics providers are now hiring at a furious pace; the headcount in the industry has shot up by 20-25% over the last one year compared with a growth of12-14% in the pre-pandemic years.HR consultants say hiring is in full force for every role–delivery executives, pickers, packers, loaders, drivers and of course customer service executives. Teamlease estimates the industry workforce at more than 40 million.

Neeti Sharma, co-founder and president, TeamLease Edtech, told FE, it’s not just more people but also new roles and skill sets that’s pushing up demand. “Technology is very important as the sector becomes more automated and there’s a need for people skilled in AI, IoT, data analytics and machine learning,” Sharma explained. She believes hiring could grow at 18-20% in verticals such as warehousing and transport.

Alok Kumar, senior director (sales and global accounts), Manpower, pointed out that even as the logistics sector was becoming more automated and undergoing a major transformation it was adding more warehouses and delivery centres. All of this had opened up job opportunities not just in urban India but also in tier two and tier three cities.

Several start-ups, providing software solutions for the logistics sector are also adding to their workforces. One such firm, Shipsy has added more than 100 people since March last year; the total headcount has risen 2.5 times over the pre-pandemic period. Harsh Kumar, chief strategy officer, Shipsy said company continues to hire people in the technology, sales and marketing teams.

Saahil Goel, co-founder and CEO, Shiprocket, a logistics solutions provider told FE his firm was adding junior to mid-level resources to strengthen the engineering, product, logistics, accounts, management, sales and marketing teams. “The pandemic has highlighted the importance of a seamless shopping experience. Every player is trying to get ahead of its competition with the right tech-stack,” Goel said.

Rhitiman Majumder, CEO and co-founder, Pickrr, said hiring over the past year had increased five-fold and that his team was now180 -member strong. “We are growing the warehousing, fulfilment, hyperlocal and international segments and need skills across technology, product, business development and operations,” Majumder said.

HR consultants believe the sector will see a lot of up-skilling and re-skilling giving existing employees options for for lateral roles within an organisation. “A delivery executive can be re-skilled to become a consignment tracking personnel or pickers & packers can be up-skilled to manage digital printing operations,” Sharma said.

Ravish Agrawal, co-founder and CEO, Able Jobs said, “Most of the roles will emerge at the intersection of technology and operations. Companies are looking to hire more operations executives who can help them support digitisation by managing inventory.These are roles where you will be a part of the warehouse operations and help companies manage things end to end”.

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