Do you recollect receiving a parcel delivered by a female delivery personnel, ever?
Staying in metro cities all my life, I have never come across one. Is there a reason behind it? Can women not make good delivery personnel? We see female bus conductors or auto-rickshaw drivers a lot of times. But we’ve never seen a woman delivering a parcel!
This job doesn’t require one to be highly qualified. Even a high-school graduate can start work as a delivery personnel and can get paid up to 15,000 a month. In spite of these factors, women have never ventured into this ‘male-dominated’ domain. To change this, Yogesh Kumar, an engineer by training and a social entrepreneur by gut, started Even Cargo, the first e-commerce delivery company in India with an all-female workforce.
Yogesh had always wanted to start out on his own but did not want to do just any random thing. After finishing his M.A. at Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai, he went on to start Delhi OYE (Open Your Eyes). He tried starting a taxi service with just women drivers, but that did not work out so, Yogesh then turned towards logistics.
Speaking to SheThePeople.TV, Yogesh said, “I wanted to do something substantial that has some social value to it.”
On trying to explain the reason behind an all-women workforce, Yogesh said that his idea was to make opportunities available for women so that they come out and reclaim their share of public space.
Yogesh had set his mind on what he wanted to do but the challenge came in when he had to convince parents of girls to let their daughters work as delivery personnel. He said parents are usually okay with the girls bringing home lesser income but the work has to be something which doesn’t involve a lot of travelling or a lot of interaction with strangers. Working with Even Cargo, they would have to do both.
“It was initially very difficult. We started in May 2014 but could start operations only July. It took us two months to put things in perspective and connect the dots. This, after I have been working in the same domain for the last two years.” said Yogesh.
It’s been over two years since the venture started. Yogesh says he wants to move to an asset-light model and also plans to expand his company in the coming months.
We met a female delivery personnel and rode with her in her white scooty all day to understand what her day looks like. Keep watching this space for the photo story.