Flexi-jobs in e-commerce industry records 77% rise in 3 years: Report

After the goods and services tax (GST) and demonetisation, e-commerce has seen the highest shift from the informal to the formal sector with the highest growth in flexi-staffing jobs between 2015 and 2018. 

According to the latest report on the flexi staffing industry by Indian Staffing Federation (ISF), the share of formal flexi-jobs in the e-commerce sector has grown from 77 per cent in 2015 to 91 per cent in 2018. 

Reforms like the GST and demonetisation have led to the maximum informal to formal shift across sectors in 2015-18 with e-commerce growing mo­st at 14 per cent, followed by manufacturing at 11 per cent, government at 10 per cent, and education at 7 per cent.

By 2018, at 1.15 million, the formal flexi-workforce formed 91 per cent of the total workforce in the e-commerce sector, the highest among sectors, followed by education with 70 per cent of its total workforce being formal at 11.75 million. 

The e-commerce sector is now expected to log a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 54 per cent between 2018 and 2021 in flexi-workforce, says ISF. 

Quoting PwC and NASSCOM figures, the report cites the e-commerce sector’s pote­ntial to create over one million jobs by 2023, even as the pegged market size of $35 billion is expected to grow at 25 per cent in the next five years to exceed $100 billion by 2022.

In all, the workforce grew by 4.5 per cent from 406.4 million in 2015 to 463.4 million in 2018. Of this, the formal sector grew by 10.8 per cent to 74.9 million and informal by 3.4 per cent to 388.5 million till 2018. The report showed that of the 19.9 million increase in workforce in the formal sector between 2015 and 2018, 1.2 million was added to the flexi workforce, which stood at 3.3 million by 2018.

With this flexi-workforce figure, India stands fifth globally behind US at 15.5 million, China (8.9 million), Brazil (7.8 million) and Japan (4.9 million). 

By 2021, the flexi-workforce has been pegged to grow to 6.1 million in India at a CAGR of 22.7 per cent between 2018 and 2021.

Moreover, within ancillary works, e-logistics is expected to be the largest segment, creating more than 0.3 million jobs. Delivery and last mile delivery will contribute to approximately two-thirds of the jobs as e-commerce grows beyond Indian metros. 

E-commerce companies and start-ups are ramping up hiring, with technology and supply chain experts much in demand, as they look to strengthen the business backbone and scale up. Salaries are moving up as the talent that the e-commerce and start-ups seek is in short supply. 

The wages of the employees are more than that of entry-level engineers

Enhancing gender diversity, women workforce in the delivery industry has doubled to more than 40,000 in one year, and the uptrend is likely to continue. 

“There are currently over 40,000 women in logistics and delivery roles in India, constituting over 6.77 per cent of the total delivery pie. The hiring of women would go up to 20-26 per cent of the total delivery jobs by 2021,” the ISF report stated, quoting TeamLease Services data.

Giving reference to TeamLease again, the ISF report indicated that the median salaries for e-commerce delivery personnel improved to Rs 11,500 a month in 2017 from about Rs 7,500 a month in 2014.

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