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International Women’s Day 2022: ‘Around 50 of our home delivery partners are women’

International Women’s Day 2022: Rashi Agarwal, co-founder & CBO of Zypp Electric

International Women’s Day 2022: Rashi Agarwal, co-founder & CBO of Zypp Electric

The electric vehicle space is booming on the back of demand for alternatives to internal combustion engine vehicles and the stupendous growth in the home delivery business. While the home delivery business appears to be dominated by men, some women are determined to make space for themselves in this high-growth sector. The Hindu presents a woman who ventured into this business and is also creating space for other women. Excerpts from an interview with Rashi Agarwal, co-founder & Chief Business Officer of Gurugram-based Zypp Electric:

Zypp is operating in a very crowded space. How do you differentiate yourself from the competition?

Zypp is not operating in a crowded space as Zypp has the first-mover advantage in the EV-as-a-service space and is also the largest player in India today. We are building an eco-system of Electric Vehicles and EV-based technology to make last-mile logistics sustainable and emission-free.

We have 100+ partners across the logistics, grocery, food, and pharma sectors, including Zomato, Swiggy, BigBasket, Blinkit, Flipkart, Amazon, Myntra, PharmEasy, Delhivery and Spencers. Further, we have a tie-up with most of the leading last-mile delivery service providers. With over 5,000 EVs on-road, Zypp has already completed more than 4 million deliveries this financial year.

Can you elaborate on your view that women have immense potential to help the EV industry achieve its potential and break the stereotypes that have deep roots in Indian society?

With the automotive industry mostly thought of as a male domain, because of the earlier mechanical nature of the work, the advancements in digitalistion and adoption of emerging tech have made it easier for women to be part of the industry in distinguished roles. I believe women have immense potential to break stereotypes in any industry. We have some really great examples of women in EV leadership driving the growth and innovative outlook of the industry. With the need to push creative solutions to bridge the gap in the EV space, the industry needs an inclusive and collaborative approach, which is only possible with a diverse set of experts at the helm.

Most delivery partners are male. Will this sector ever attract women?

Women have entered every segment you can think of. If they can be bus or auto drivers, or wrestlers or conductors, why can't they be delivery riders? They strive to excel in any segment they enter. Being a woman, diligence, hard work, and discipline are inherent qualities that are very essential for this role. In fact, around 50 female riders are currently associated with us and happily doing khushiyo ki delivery as the #SheroesofEV.

Which roles do you envision for women in the current EV ecosystem?

The biggest role I envision for women in the current EV ecosystem is to associate with them as delivery partners. The EV scooters are very comfortable and easy to use, they have ample space, they are cost-effective, and low maintenance with high performance. Every woman can be empowered today to start their journey of being financially independent through the EV ecosystem.

What roles can be created for women in the evolving EV ecosystem?

As I mentioned earlier, one of the key roles could be of delivery partners. Along with that, I would love to have 50% of the ground and maintenance team be women as the tech, finance, admin, HR profiles surely would have a good female ratio.

How have you been able to contribute as a woman to Zypp?

Being a woman, I feel I surely bring culture, liveliness, discipline, and human touch in the workplace. Before Zypp Electric, I was already running my other venture. Hence, lots of learning came from there. We were not completely clueless when we started Zypp electric, as the ground was set. We knew how to get started.

Has being a mom given you any new perspective about the EV ecosystem?

Yes. Being a mother, I think I have become much more patient, which is a key trait for any founder.

What changes would you like to introduce in Zypp with respect to women?

I would love to have at least 50% of the total employee strength in Zypp to be women.

Two of the home delivery partners who work with Zypp

‘My life has never been a smooth affair’

International Women’s Day 2022: Annu Verma was introduced to Zypp by her husband who worked for the company part-time while he revived his business, which was wiped out in the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

International Women’s Day 2022: Annu Verma was introduced to Zypp by her husband who worked for the company part-time while he revived his business, which was wiped out in the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Annu Verma got married at the age of 18 and has been living with her in-laws, her husband and their 18-year-old daughter.

She completed her education with a degree in economics and wanted to work in the banking sector. But life had other plans. She got a job in the loan recovery division of a bank.

“My life has never been a smooth affair. Each phase had its own way of testing my strength, but my determination to overcome the odds has shown me a way out,” says Annu.

During the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, Annu had to undergo an operation because of pre-pregnancy complications. She lost her job due to her operation, which was a major setback. During the second wave, her father tested positive for Covid-19. Her savings were wiped out, and so was her husband's business.

While reviving his business, her husband began working part-time for Zypp Electric. At his encouragement, Annu too joined the company a few months ago.

She is happy with Zypp’s light-weight electric vehicle, considering her surgery. She has been earning more than ₹20,000 every month.

She is determined to raise her daughter with an equally resilient personality and a winning attitude.

‘Women are always held to another standard’

International Women’s Day 2022: Deepika Kashyap’s income enables her to support her family as well as pay for her education: a course in Mechanical Engineering

International Women’s Day 2022: Deepika Kashyap’s income enables her to support her family as well as pay for her education: a course in Mechanical Engineering

One of the women delivery partners is 21-year-old Deepika Kashyap from Faridabad, Delhi-NCR. Deepika has always been hard-working and diligent. Her aspirations to make a mark on society saw her focus on her studies, and never once did she let society’s judgements perturb her. Her father is a security guard and her mother is a homemaker.

Deepika ensured that she played her part to make ends meet. She took up odd jobs, and while the earnings weren’t enough, she didn’t give up. After exploring multiple avenues, she heard that Zypp Electric was looking for delivery executives.

It’s been a year since Deepika joined the company, and Zypp Electric has become a strong support system for her and her family. She works for a few hours a day, and earns more than ₹15,000 each month. Her income enables her to support her family as well as pay for her education: a course in Mechanical Engineering.

She has not just shaken the stereotype by working in a male-dominated sector, but is also changing the mindset of people around her. While neighbours and acquaintances warned her about challenging the status quo, the appreciation and respect she earns from her customers and colleagues motivate her to keep going.

Deepika says, “Women are always held to another standard, but I believe that we should not let anyone or anything keep us away from what we are truly capable of. I am able to manage my professional and personal commitments with ease, and my responsibilities have enabled me to expand my horizons. I’m grateful for the company’s support and also to my parents who motivate me to push the boundaries.”


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Printable version | Jun 19, 2022 9:44:24 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/international-womens-day-2022-around-50-of-our-home-delivery-partners-are-women/article65190211.ece