New-age internet companies across the ecommerce, food-tech and fintech sectors are increasingly using soft-skill providers to train their workforce. These human resource development programmes have traditionally been used by the manufacturing and automobile industries for their staff.
Mumbai-based SchoolGuru Eduserve and TeamLease Services said overall growth in this vertical has been nearly 30% over the past six months, with most of the training sought by companies in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi. The training caters to a range of staff — from blue to white collar workers. The internet firms have ramped up training following a rise in customer complaints, experts said.
People tracking the space said companies pay Rs 10,000-15,000 monthly per trainee or professional seeking services.
“In a world where we are talking about technology, automation, the biggest differentiator for humans is going to be our soft skills–the skills which help us communicate, comprehend, collaborate, create and connect,” said Rituparna Chakraborty, cofounder of TeamLease Services. “There is a clear need to invest in soft skills, and from that perspective it is a need which is unlikely to run short of demand.”
Swiggy, Zomato and Big Basket require training on customer services, warehousing, packaging management, quality control and sales. Fintech companies, including Bharat Pay and Google Pay, need to train personnel largely for field roles. The providers also train partners on technology, behavioural skills, personality development, guidelines for safe riding and skill development through customised simulation and case studies.
“In the ecommerce segment, these professionals mostly handle and supervise warehouse management, customer service, dispatch management and website management,” said Shantanu Rooj, founder and CEO of SchoolGuru Eduserve.
Under TeamLease’s apprentice programme NETAP, the recruitment platform blends on-the-job learning, which is aimed at providing hands-on experience, with theoretical knowledge offered online, onsite or on-campus. Those enrolled have just finished or dropped out of school or are pursuing higher education. About half are undergraduates, according to TeamLease.
“Even larger companies provide additional skillsets training while hiring freshers,” said Sanchit Vir Gogia, chief executive, Greyhound Research. “This is inevitable for any company, irrespective of size or sector. Soft-skill training becomes priority, especially for executives who deal with clients or customers as that directly impacts the company business.”
Gig economy companies typically offer short-term contracts or freelance work to drivers and delivery personnel. Most of these roles are at internet consumer companies such as Ola, Uber, Swiggy, Zomato and others. Overall, the on-demand industry accounts for more than 1.4 million jobs in India, including delivery staff, drivers, beauticians and maintenance workers, according to BetterPlace, a platform for blue-collar workers.
“These online firms are proactively investing on such training because delivery executives are the face of the company,” said Ashutosh Dabral, cofounder of HR firm Hush. “To retain customers and build a continued relationship with them, this is significant, especially for brands like BigBasket, Zomato among others.”