People management at Grab was not always so evolved. They did not have many funds initially, and made the mistake of getting specialised HR later into the company”, Nishant Vora, Co-founder and Director, Heads Operations, HR and Strategy,

FREMONT, CA: The logistics technology industry is expanding and giving workers in all workforce segments new career options. However, it can be challenging for the founding teams to manage a sizable fleet of gig workers and a quickly expanding organisation.

Today, convenience is critical for people to select and order from a brand. They started with food delivery when no smartphones or technology existed and had a website where customers could place an order and get deliveries.

The Logistics Landscape

The evolution of the logistics business over the last ten years has been aided by the development of smartphones, GPS, routing, etc. As companies learned that they could turn last-mile fixed costs into variable costs, players who were combining needs from several industries were able to sustain themselves.

So, starting with food, Grab took on all conceivable deliveries, including medicine, banking, and even passport and visa services, combining them all under one roof. Each business had its highs and lows, but by working together, they could create a setting where the rider or the delivery guy would have a decent offering so that he could get paid as and when people requested, says Nishant. This served as Grab's foundation and founding principle.

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Despite being an early adopter, Grab was the first to pioneer the gig-model trend in logistics, or the last mile, where the delivery person arrives on his or her bike, wherever the delivery is being made in India.

According to Nishant, they have empowered this transition and overturned the perception that a delivery rider is a dead job with no chance of making money. In reality, the transformation has occurred to the point that engineers and adjunct academics are now making deliveries because of the margins they can earn.

It provides excellent work-life balance, part-time possibilities, the ability to work two jobs simultaneously, and the chance to work locally. Nishant quips that it is now the norm. The future aims to build a denser network to provide additional cost benefits for both the business and the rider, starting with a people perspective.

The HR View

There lie great challenges in retaining talent. The CEO practises what he preaches about creating the appropriate culture since he feels it is one of the most important factors in retaining talent. The following programmes are helping to improve the culture at Grab:

New Hire Induction: A process-driven format enabled virtual connect. Senior leaders interacted with the new hires throughout a seven-day event, which helped them feel connected and motivated to perform important jobs.

A culture of stability exists at Grab, which guarantees that it will never fire anyone in the event of a financial emergency. The leader thinks there are many more possibilities to consider in such a circumstance. This has aided Grab's reputation as a reliable employer.

Flexibility and an Entrepreneurial Spirit are key: Finance going into operations or an operations person handling P&L—these flexible opportunities draw individuals in and help build a positive reputation for the business. Additionally, the organisation had employees working from remote places and handling calls, etc., even before Covid to prevent burnout because logistics is a 24/7 running job. They do not experience the strain of people showing up to work post-Covid either and challenge a department if they expect individuals to work five days a week, adds Nishant.

Grab sets a modest restriction on the maximum appreciation offered to new workers, typically estimated at a maximum of 20 per cent. This is in line with its profitability-centric hiring philosophy. Appraisals also seldom occur for the business to continue to be profitable and for people to have secure positions.

Learning and Development: Grab focuses on a Q&A-based learning ecosystem with its app-based L&D platform. For instance, if a rider declines a possible order, the person is directed to enrol in training courses to uphold the order standard.

Opportunities for Compensation: Riders who have good earning potential and options can reduce attrition from rising over the industry average of 15 per cent to nine to ten per cent Additionally, Grab offers users a platform where they may weigh the benefits and drawbacks of many options before deciding which one to enter. For instance, e-commerce riders can complete multiple deliveries with a single bag, but the bag can weigh the rider down and stress their health. Although there aren't many orders, food deliveries can work in a relatively narrow area and accept tips. With the use of a wallet that receives credit each time a delivery is made, Grab's pay-per-packet business model lets riders become more self-sufficient.