Zomato, the largest food aggregator in India, has recently hit the headlines after an incident involving a delivery executive and a customer in Bengaluru.
The makeup artist, the woman, Hitesh Chandrani, posted an Instagram post on March 10, alleging that she was attacked by a delivery executive after the spat when she arrived late. The video post was seen bleeding from Chandrani’s nose, which went viral. However, the delivery executive, Kamaraj, denied killing Chandrani and claimed that he had used abusive language and had, in fact, thrown a shoe at her.
Kamaraj claimed that he kept his hands in defense and Chandrani hurt himself with his ring during the uproar.
While the two filed an FIR against each other, Zomato made a statement regretting the incident and promised to cover the woman’s medical expenses and legal expenses of the delivery executive, who said that the company would be held until proven innocent Was suspended.
While an investigation into the case is still underway by the police, News18 reached out to Tejaswini Divya Naik, a Mumbai-based writer whose petition in 2016 brought about a change in the way Zomato delivery agents worked. More than 30,000 supporters gathered in the petition.
Naik claimed that he had been harassed on several occasions with some officials calling and messaging him after obtaining his telephone number from the food delivery app. After a series of such incidents involving delivery executives across the country, it was revealed that no background verification was done prior to the recruitment of these agents.
So Naik took the reason for this and urged people to sign a petition and asked Zomato to ensure that the delivery team had registration.
“Zomato, apply background verification to all your delivery boys and offer the same advice to restaurants working with them to protect your female customers. These are your employees and representatives, and we would like to know that our phone numbers and addresses are safe for them. It is your responsibility to implement this and assure all your customers.
Reacting to the petition in January 2016, the co-founder of Jomato Pankaj Chadha, who is no longer part of the company, said, “Protection of end consumers should be the collective responsibility of all involved parties and we must take this very seriously . Zomato does not employ our own fleet of delivery personnel, we only enable users to place orders online at restaurants, and the restaurant employs delivery boys (or deploys delivery boys at third-party logistics firms) , But we understand that this concern is a serious one. We are working with our logistics partners to ensure police verification for all food delivery personnel… ”
Talking to News18 after the Bengaluru incident, Tejaswini said that things have developed and after changing her petition is much better now.
Naik said, “After my petition has been accepted, I have seen how the operation of Zomato delivery has evolved over a period of time.”
“Not only have these types of crimes decreased over these five years, but Zomato has also adopted security precautions to ensure that none of the customers’ personal details, for example our phone numbers, are delivered to the distribution executive It has been told. Online payment methods have ensured that physical contact between the delivery agent and the customer is minimized to ensure their safety. “
“Overall, my experience with Jomato has been satisfactory over these five years,” Naik said.
To substantiate his claims, News18 reached out to several delivery agents of Zomato. It was learned that most of them were recruited on a referral basis and had to submit KYC details including PAN and Aadhaar card before their appointment.
He was asked about the training before joining, said Sreejan Guha, a Jomato executive working in Kolkata, “We had to undergo a video training to treat customers as part of our onboarding process. ”
The father of two, Guha, said he did not have a fixed income. His monthly salary depended on the kilometers he traveled while making deliveries and the number of deliveries he had in a day.
“We do our best to deliver food on time. It keeps the customer happy and also helps us take more deliveries per day, ”he said.
Regarding concerns about security checks, a Zomato spokesperson clarified that the selection of distribution partners focused on a potential candidate’s background (including checks for possible criminal background), in addition to their documents (PAN card, driving license) To validate. The spokesman said, “These checks are conducted by an independent third-party and we have a zero-tolerance policy for any possible red / yellow flags in our background checks.”