Facebook Pixel Tracking

#KiranasOfIndia: From Adversity to Victory

In a quiet corner store, we found a tale of a resilient spirit. Meet Sunita, a homemaker-turned-businesswoman who took bold risks and embraced the changes in her life gracefully.

Read on to learn more about her inspiring journey.

Sunita and her husband are an inseparable team, managing their Kirana store together. While her husband works diligently behind the scenes, Sunita stands as the welcoming face of their establishment. With a warm smile, she engages customers, inquires about their well-being, and creates an inviting ambiance at the store.

Originally from Belgaum, Sunita moved to Bangalore after getting married. Their journey began with a curveball. Sunita’s husband lost his managerial job due to Covid. In the face of adversity, Sunita, a former housewife, began churning innovative ideas with her business-oriented mind.

They tried running a beauty store, but it didn’t work out. Adaptable and unafraid to take risks, Sunita swiftly redirected her focus towards a Kirana store—a decision that became their success story.

The two gracefully balanced their business needs while nurturing their two children. People noticed Sunita’s business smarts and often asked her for advice about starting their own stores. 

Sunita’s journey shows profound wisdom living in these quiet corner stores. It is a reservoir of smart minds and unwavering spirits.


#Kiranasofindia: Grocery Hero

We often assume that the #KiranasOfIndia have always been in the same profession. But that is not always true. Just like any profession, Kirana owners also come from different backgrounds and experiences. Meet Santosh, his journey to this profession is quite interesting.

Santosh, a former pharmaceutical employee at Ranbaxy, was at a crossroad after 8 years of service. An unexpected spinal injury was the turning point in his career. It thwarted his ability to travel the roads all day, and yet, in that challenge there was an unforeseen opportunity. With a passion for sales deeply ingrained within him, Santosh pivoted to a more local and fulfilling role, becoming a Kirana store owner.

However, this transition wasn’t a smooth sail. As Covid struck the world, Santosh felt that the governmental policies had failed to protect grocery owners.

I felt like a neglected warrior. We were also constantly working amidst this deadly virus despite incurring losses, ” he shared.

Even so, Santosh’s unwavering spirit and dedication to his community held strong. He recalls a day when he managed to secure a few sacks of rice from a distant place, a scene straight out of a classic storybook – the entire street followed his car, aware that Santosh had scored some food.

Years of such moments fueled Santosh’s ambition – the desire to expand his Kirana business. When asked about his future aspirations, he spoke eagerly about the digital platforms, ready to adapt and embrace the opportunities that technology could offer, once his resources allowed.


#KiranasofIndia: Veena’s kirana vibe

#KiranasOfIndia have been more than just a place to buy goods, it has been hubs of conversations, community and traditional version of a chai shop meeting. It’s a beating heart of a neighbourhood, a familiar world with a face that knows you. But do you know them?

We bring you one such story of Veena. Here goes.

Veena runs a Kirana store in Bangalore. When you ask her why, she will shrug her shoulders nonchalantly but in an endearing way and say, because I know the business. Her coyness is charming and we egg her on to tell us more about the history of her skills. She simply smiles like the answer is so obvious, “My family did the same thing.” Running a Kirana business was a hereditary trait for her. She has been running Darshan stores for the last four years and came upon it by chance. The building owner had an empty spot and asked her to do what felt most natural to her.

Veena has a daughter, who also helps her run the store in the evenings or on the weekends. Why not during the day, you ask? Well, the daughter is an MBA-graduate working for a (surprise, surprise) tech company in Bangalore. It’s a family business where her husband helps her out too during the afternoons giving her a little break.

She may not be well-versed with technology but is an astute businesswoman and quick to respond to her customers. With a smile on her face and a phone in hand, she continues her conversation, animatedly. When you look at her, it seems like she was made for the Kirana world.


Women Empowerment: The evolution of women in the workplace

The world has a plethora of jobs for everyone. There are various career fields to choose from, such as Aeronautical, Biotechnology, Chemical Engineering, Dentistry, etc. While this segregation is established on the field the job is based upon, there is a different kind of segregation based on the status/gender/designation of the job. This is indicated by colours. They are White-Collar, Blue-Collar, and Pink-Collar jobs.

Blue-collar jobs involve physical labour and fieldwork. This term and segregation were first used in 1924. For example, industry workers, daily wage workers, and police officers fall under blue-collar jobs. White-collar jobs are in an office setting and do not involve strenuous physical work, unlike ‘Blue-Collar jobs’. The term came into existence in the 1930s. White-collar jobs include lawyers, accountants, and managers. These two types of jobs were and are predominantly held by men.

What Are Pink-Collar Jobs?
Historically, women took up jobs that involved care or service and these jobs were known as pink-collar jobs. The term was made popular in the 1970s by Louise Kapp Howe. Some of the jobs in this category are Nursing, Gynaecology, Hairdressing, Beauty-related, Teaching, Social work, Secretarial work, Child care, Counselling, etc.

Gender Evolution Of Pink-Collar Jobs:
Gender norms are breaking in the present. The idea that a certain job is only suitable for women and men is shifting. People are more open to pursuing their passions, defying the societal rules of the past.

Pink-collar jobs can be applied for by women or men now, as gender isn’t relevant anymore. It depends on the comfort level of the job holder and the people seeking the service. For example, gynaecologists and birth care specialists are mostly female for clients’ comfort. Hairdressers and beauticians can be men since unisex beauty salons exist now. Based on these aspects, pink-collar jobs can be chosen by either gender.

Although women have taken up various positions in the white and blue-collar segments and men are taking up traditionally women’s jobs, pink-collar jobs are still sought after by most women.

The Strides in Women’s Empowerment:
Women are natural multi-taskers and that helps them perform well at their jobs too. In the past, women were restricted to their households and later only to the pink-collar jobs, now they have risen high in all fields and handle their roles with panache and finesse.

Women who take a break for maternity or health later return to work and juggle family and work with resilience and determination. Many companies who have seen such potential in their women employees and want to ensure their careers do not get obliterated after a break, have returnee programs. This is where women undergo training before taking on their roles. As a result, they are adequately prepared for the latest demands of the job.

We, at Peel-Works, empower women by finding them the relevant job for their profile and salary expectations. We connect them with companies that are looking for candidates like them and ensure a seamless employment and recruitment process.


The upward staffing trend in India’s pharma industry

India’s advanced healthcare system has helped people all over the world. From healing the world to becoming its pharmacy hub, India’s pharmaceutical industry has witnessed remarkable growth. Ranking 3rd in production volume and 14th by value globally, India has truly become a force to reckon with in the global drug manufacturing arena.

The industry’s field force typically consists of sales representatives, medical representatives, product specialists, and key account managers, who are responsible for promoting and selling the company’s products to healthcare professionals.

Did you know that the top 10 Pharma companies employ field sales representatives totaling more than 50,000 who meet doctors everyday. Including medical devices, diagnostics, disposables, and surgical companies, the number of sales representatives crosses one million, almost one for each doctor. The industry owes its success to a cost-effective and skilled workforce groomed by a well-established educational system that produces a large number of science and engineering graduates.

These graduates are lapped up by pharma giants like Cipla, Sun Pharma, Biocon, Dr. Reddy’s, Novartis, Lupin etc. as medical sales representatives to act as ambassadors for companies, promoting prescription drugs, medications, and medical equipment while implementing strategies to increase product awareness. Pharma expos serve as channels for companies to showcase their offerings and provide a secure meeting point for face-to-face interactions with potential customers, enabling reps to collect valuable information and feedback. This increased demand for new products has led to a search for more salespeople by industry executives and recruiters.

Just to add some perspective, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories increased its field force to 7,500 in 2021-22 from 4,800 in 2017-18 while Sun Pharma added 1,000 employees to its sales force in 2021 and 2022. Cipla aims to strengthen its reach in tier 2-6 towns through sales expansion.

Biocon and Dr. Reddy’s were both recognised by US-based Science magazine for ‘Science 2022 Top Employer List. While Biocon was acknowledged for being an innovative leader in the industry, socially responsible, and having loyal employees, Dr. Reddy’s was highly rated for treating employees with respect, being socially responsible, and providing employees with autonomy.

While the Indian Pharma market is projected to grow to a whopping US$ 130 billion industry by 2023 which will also see the demand for pharma talent increase manifold with plenty of opportunities for growth, not everything is all sunshine and rainbows in the industry. Recruiters face unique challenges such as talent shortages, high turnover, strict regulatory requirements, global competition, and high hiring costs. Mankind Pharma, a leading pharmaceutical company, has reported high field staff attrition rates ranging from 20% to 33%, particularly among medical representatives aged below 30. The high attrition is due to poaching from within and outside the pharmaceutical industry, including telecom, FMCG, and retail sectors. Organisations now realise the importance of training their front line in a competitive industry. Meaningful training in consultative selling has become one of the top ways to help build employee loyalty towards the organisation and aid in better retention.


5 issue to address the high churn rate of blue collar workforce

Blue-collar workers are everywhere, from working in large industrial plants spread across thousands of acres to driving taxis. Based on research conducted the steady growth seen in the last two years the numbers are likely to rise, creating 21 lakh new blue-collar jobs in the next 12 months.

As the number of blue-collar jobs increases, the attrition rate increases hand in hand. Attrition in most verticals ranges anywhere between 40% to 300%. Now a question arises here: Why do blue-collar workers jump jobs ever so often?

The reasons mostly stem from the lack of basic benefits that apply to other jobs in the market. Here, we look at some of the key issues and their impacts that affect blue collar job seekers and organisations hiring them.

Issue 1: Reward and Recognition
Blue-collar workers typically make less than 27,000 a month, which is just above the poverty line of 25,000 per month for a family of four. Blue-collar workers are mostly in the field, but they receive far less recognition for the work done.

Issue 2: Lack of Benefits
Blue-collar workers are not offered portable perks and benefits that are typically available to temporary, and self-employed workers by job providers. There is a lack of proactive offering of benefits like training opportunities, financial stability, flexibility, career growth, and upskilling for blue-collar job seekers by employers. 

Issue 3: Absence of Upward Mobility
Blue-collar needs like education, skills development, and a focus on well-being aren’t different from white-collar needs. Simply said, there hasn’t been a tech solution designed with blue-collar workers in mind.

Issue 4: Falling Prey to Scams
Blue-collar workers are especially susceptible to false employment generated by dishonest recruiting firms due to growing mechanisation, lack of available positions, and pressing financial requirements. They unwittingly fall into debt traps and, in extreme situations, even commit data theft. 

Issue 5: Threat and Impact of Attrition on both Employees and Organisations
One of the most delicate concerns that corporate organisations are worried about is employee attrition. On the one hand, there are more unemployed people, but on the other, millennials have a relatively high attrition rate. This poses a huge risk to the company’s reputation and make it difficult to find the right replacements. This in turn hampers a company’s reputation while causing regular disruptions in workflow management and low employee morale.

While these issues have impacted and continue to impact blue-collar workforce, more opportunities for local employment are mushrooming owing to the growing need for logistics professionals. This also comes with the added benefits of fair pay with lower living expenses and achieving financial security.

However, a huge effort is still needed to provide sustainable solutions to the issues faced by the blue-collar workforce. Organisations that have focused on the needs of white-collar workers, now need a reliable partner that understands the blue-collar ecosystem, its needs and pain points, and can help it improve its well-being. 

We at Peel-works understand the huge disparity in the availability of HR solutions for blue-collar workers and white-collar workers. We are actively working to fill in this gap with our solutions to overcome on-ground problems and help in improving productivity of the blue-collar workers.

B2b Comm_Revolution_Hero

B2B E-Commerce: A slow but sure revolution

B2B e-commerce is going through turbulent times. The sector saw billions getting infused in the hope that the distributors and wholesalers would leave the value chain and that these companies would capture that value. The existing organised distribution businesses operated at extremes – a traditional business model where retailers would walk in and buy OR technology business expecting a B2C kind of adoption rate. Both these businesses have failed to disrupt the traditional way of selling groceries. The walk-in model was ill-conceived since Indian traders did not have station wagons to go and fetch their wares. Pure technology offered patchy access to credit, and that disrupted the retailer’s cash flow. That limited the headroom for adoption even further.

The win of this transformation lies in operating at the intersection of inclusion and technology. Inclusion of the existing participants in the new value chain with redesigned roles and margin structures. And in ensuring that the retailers are better off in all service aspects. For instance, offering them daily service in lieu of withdrawal of credit is not a solution. It is a bottleneck. B2B e-commerce needs to enable themselves with technology that cuts down their operating costs versus traditional distributors and then pass on those benefits by way of lower prices, frequent service, complete and relevant assortment, and credit to make their models work.

That is the moat. Operating in a more frugal way than an Indian family business and yet serving the customers with no additional risk than current is where the moat lies. The operating premise that first, let’s grab the land and then worry about economics is untenable.

Scale in this business is a given – there is a trillion $ market out there. The question is, how does one scale to $10 B and make a 1.5% margin on sales? The jury is still out on whether the numbers in this industry will ever get onto that trajectory.

So far, only the narratives, hope, and backgrounds of the founding team were attracting capital. The next round of investments in this sector would clearly be driven by financial performance and not hope and hype. In our current context, where frothy narratives are facing the heat on new fundraise and recently listed entities that have no line of sight to profitability are getting a whack in the public markets, road kills are a given.

So, if someone wants to look out for real businesses, get ready. This sector will offer only that. Businesses that have the scale and free cash flows.


Is India’s Blue Collar Staffing Headed for a Crisis?

Growing technological advancements had already started to alter the nature of the employment market for blue-collar, grey-collar, and white-collar professionals before the terrible epidemic shook the globe. Blue-collar workers were severely harmed by the COVID-19 virus-induced lockdown-induced uncertainty.

An estimated 200 million workers are classified as blue-collar, frontline, feet-on-street workforce in India. With rapidly developing technology, companies prefer automating as many blue-collar jobs as possible, but when it comes to the FMCG, Retail, and general trade blue-collar ecosystem in India and their growing issues, automation is just the tip of the iceberg. The troubles Indian blue-collar employees confront are getting worse for a variety of reasons, including lack of literacy and skills, the disorganized character of the sector, and gaps in the procedures created to properly handle their problems. These factors taken together are leading the workforce toward a crisis.

One of the most critical problem that exists even today for the blue-collar staff is the problem of employment uncertainty. Online job boards, forums, and other trustworthy, and simple ways to find and land a job have become popular over the past few years. However, blue-collar employees still significantly rely on traditional techniques for finding work, such as informal connections and middlemen. Local labour contractors and recruiting firms assist labourers in finding work, but often charge high commissions and cannot be relied upon to consistently offer chances for work in a supportive environment.

This lack of stable and supportive working conditions has furthered the already existing problem of high attrition rates among blue-collar workers across industries.

While this certainly affects the blue-collared workers, recruiters and organisations are battling with high costs of hiring, training, and retaining as well as delays in the completion of projects resulting in a lesser than favourable balance sheet for both the organization and its employees.

While these two issues have plagued the blue-collar workforce in India, there is much anticipation that this year’s festive season will provide opportunities for the blue-collar workforce, who were otherwise unemployed during the larger part of the pandemic, from the FMCG, CPG retail, and hospitality sectors. While this is a stop-gap arrangement we are of the firm belief that technology and management will reshape the blue-collar workspace in the coming years.

In fact, the strides made in the fields of artificial intelligence and machine learning are already enabling staffing firms catering to blue-collar recruitment, like 1Sf built by Peel-Works, to digitise and maintain large databases. This has led to a tremendous opportunity for industries that have voluminous and continuous labor requirements, to explore the option of off-roll staffing which helps them cut costs, meet targets, and maintain a favourable financial status. As India’s largest staffing aggregator, 1Sf has fully embraced the digitisation bandwagon through which we have had the privilege of catering to some of India’s biggest FMCG players while adapting to the sector’s complex problems.