Foodpanda sustains delivery fleet despite overwhelming demand

Service providers saw an 85% drop in riders as most went back to full-time jobs when the economy slowly began to reopen


WORKERS within the gig economy are facing an unrealistic amount of pressure with the surging demand for quick e-commerce solutions since the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

Local food delivery services, not only face a decrease in riders or partners, but also an overwhelming increase in customer demand as people have normalised conducting everyday life routines online.

It was reported service providers saw an 85% drop in riders as most went back to full-time jobs when the economy slowly began to reopen.

Homegrown delivery platform Foodpanda is one such service which saw a consistent hike in the number of riders since last year, but also experienced a decrease over time.

Its head of logistics Shubham Saran said there is no definite answer to whether fewer riders are affecting the gig economy.

“I would say both yes and no. While we have encountered delivery partners leaving the gig economy ecosystem, we always have new ones joining the fleet.

“We strongly believe that the attractive benefits and perks that we offer our delivery partners would be a key driver for those looking for an alternate source of income,” he told The Malaysian Reserve recently.

He said partners are paid on a per-order basis, allowing a person to generate higher income based on the effort put in.

“The payment for each order is determined by the delivery distance because we want to ensure that our diligent and well-performing delivery partners are paid fairly.

“Flexibility is one of the job’s key appeals that allows our delivery partners to decide on their own work schedule. Partners can select the shifts they would like to work over a period of a week, as well as locations preferred.

“However, we do encourage them to cap the number of hours they work to help manage workload and ensure they have better work-life balance,” Shubham said.

Partners are also given payslips on a monthly basis, to remain transparent.

According to Shubham, the increase in demand has been counterbalanced by the growing number of partners on the platform, as well as a more streamlined approach to order acceptance, management and fulfilment.

He said the platform is always looking for new ways and opportunities to provide better perks to its partners, with something new being rolled out every quarter as a sign of appreciation.

“Most recently, some of the benefits that were introduced include a Foodpanda-exclusive 10W-40 4T semi-synthetic motorcycle oil to help keep vehicles in optimum condition, drive exceptional engine performance under all conditions that result in a smoother journey and better fuel efficiency, and in due time reduce their maintenance cost.

“Currently, we provide all our active delivery partners with 24/7 insurance coverage. This means that they are covered even when they are off duty. This is offered to all active Foodpanda delivery partners.

“There are also Perkeso (Social Security Organisation) benefits and the FWD Kasih Takaful plan which provides additional protection for our delivery partners,” he noted.