COVID-19: E-pharmacies on a hiring spree as orders grow rapidly

Online pharmacies are set out on an aggressive hiring spree due to a shortage in the workforce, especially in managing warehouses and last-mile deliveries. Online pharmacies are witnessing rapid two-fold growth in demand due to lockdown observed on the grounds of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

1 mg, an online pharmacy headquartered in Gurugram, recently announced that the company is looking to hire 500 people immediately, and looks forward to hiring another 1,000 people in the next 2-3 months.Medlife, an online pharmacy headquartered in Bengaluru, says it is aggressively looking to fill 400 vacant positions in warehouse management and last-mile delivery. Another e-pharmacy giant, PharmEasy, says it is running short of 35-40 per cent of capacity in terms of workforce. The online pharmacy is also actively involved in hiring people for last-mile deliveries. PharmEasy, which is headquartered in Mumbai, says the demand has raised 50 per cent during the lockdown.

The Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Medlife, Ananth Narayanan, stated, “There’s an up to 200 per cent upsurge in the number of orders coming in, deliveries are still at 60-70 per cent of what we used to fulfill. Hence, we are hiring people and getting them trained to deliver more orders.” Medlife handles about 20,000 orders a day and has also gotten into partnerships with several transport services such as Uber, Yulu, and Zoomcar to use their transit modes to deliver medicines. Medlifehas also partnered with groceries and other essential items delivery services such as Bigbasket and MyGate to deliver medicines at the doorsteps.PharmEasy has not yet partnered with other service deliveries and manages order delivery on its own.

Talking about the shortage in the workforce, the Co-founder of PharmEasy, DharmilSheth, said,“All our partner warehouses and retailers are struggling with manpower, so we are looking at filling in 1,500-2,000 positions.”

Online pharmacies are arranging for transportation and curfew passes, so more number of employees could return to work. The delivery executives at e-pharmacies earn up to rupees 60 per order and deliver up to 25 orders a day.

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