Zypp Electric, a booming EV logistics platform, faces scrutiny over worker treatment and classification amidst rapid expansion and financial success.
In the dynamic landscape of last-mile delivery, Zypp Electric, a logistics platform dedicated to electric vehicles (EV), is making remarkable strides. With a current fleet of 17,000 riders, the company aims to bolster its workforce by an additional 80,000 within the next 18 months. Notably, Zypp’s financial performance has witnessed an impressive surge, with revenue skyrocketing from Rs 5 crore in the previous fiscal year to an astounding Rs 125 crore in FY23, marking a five-fold increase.
Thriving on EV Fleet in the E-commerce Arena
Zypp Electric’s revenue surge is largely attributed to its pivotal role in servicing food, grocery, and e-commerce companies. Boasting an all-EV fleet, Zypp has become the preferred choice for instant delivery among major players such as Zomato, Swiggy, Amazon, and Flipkart BluDart. The platform’s commitment extends beyond providing EVs, emphasizing the delivery of quality service through trained drivers, ensuring punctuality and reliability for its partner companies.
Strategic Expansion Plans and Financial Backing
Backed by influential investors including Gogoro, Google, and Shell, Zypp Electric secured $25 million in a Series B funding round in February. CEO Akash Gupta outlines ambitious expansion plans, intending to increase the fleet size from 17,000 to 100,000 within the next 12 to 18 months, eventually reaching 200,000 within 24 to 36 months. The platform, currently predominant in Delhi-NCR, is rapidly expanding to major cities such as Bengaluru and Mumbai, with future targets including Hyderabad, Pune, Chennai, Jaipur, and Ahmedabad.
Prioritizing Rider Well-being Amidst Expansion
While Zypp Electric gears up for substantial growth, Gupta emphasizes the paramount importance of rider concerns. The company not only provides industry-standard salaries but also offers comprehensive insurance coverage for medical, life, and vehicles. Furthermore, Zypp ensures financial security for riders during emergencies, enabling thousands to support their families without personal investment.
Concerns and Critiques on Worker Treatment
However, recent critics suggest potential shortcomings in Zypp’s treatment of riders. Researchers from Fairwork India highlight concerns regarding security deposits, daily vehicle rent charges, and the complexity of grievance redressal. Rider earnings, according to Zypp, average between Rs 15,000-Rs 16,000 per month, but critics argue that this falls below the minimum wage for semi-skilled workers in Delhi.
Debating Employment Status and Worker Rights
The debate intensifies regarding Zypp’s classification of riders as independent contractors rather than employees. While Zypp asserts that it provides micro-entrepreneurship opportunities, critics argue that this distinction allows the company to evade legal obligations such as minimum wage requirements and other employee entitlements. The extent of control Zypp exercises over riders, including the ability to alter earnings and working hours, further fuels the discussion about the true nature of the employment relationship.