Storming a Male Bastion

Storming the male bastion

An equal opportunity initiative launched in early 2016 helps to transform the lives of women in our community; creating unique employment opportunities for them and enabling them to become achievers in their own right.

To provide equal opportunities, we took up the initiative of establishing our first women’s only delivery center at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, in March 2016. This was soon followed by a second one at Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Through the help of our service partners, these stations are completely managed and run by women. The Thiruvananthapuram delivery center boasts a team of six female delivery associates, managed by Divya Syam; while the Ramavaram delivery station in Chennai operates with a team of nine under the supervision of Jamuna Rani.

Women at both centers deliver packages on two-wheelers, covering a radius of about 2–3 km from their stations. Whizzing along smartly in their shiny scooters, with our trademark delivery bags in tow, our all-women teams across these two cities have arguably stormed a male bastion.

Talking about her experience of managing a delivery station, Divya Syam says,

"I am glad that stepped into my life to provide me with the perfect opportunity to work as a service partner and set an example for many women in the country."

Divya goes on to add, "With the support of my very hardworking and dedicated delivery associates, I am certain we will be able to overcome all hindrances and grow in this male-dominated business. I urge all women to get out of their comfort zone and explore the joys of entrepreneurship."

That is exactly what Thiruvananthapurams Srikumari discovered for herself when she took advantage of our unusual offer as part of Divyas team about a year back.

Far from being apprehensive about taking on such a traditionally unfeminine role and stepping beyond her family home to earn a living for the first time in her life, the spunky Srikumari revelled in the challenge. I found the prospect exciting. My son, moreover, had described the work to me so well that I hardly felt nervous about travelling daily to make deliveries in the neighbourhood, she says, pride for her son evident in her confident voice.

Saddled with a longstanding household loan, the 42-year-old wife and mother recounts her years of struggle in her characteristic cheerful, yet matter of fact manner. I needed to supplement my husbands income with work that had to be more substantial than my tailoring job, she shares. And that was when my son came to me with news of launching an all-women delivery station in our city.

Srikumaris young son, Vishnu VS, is also engaged as a Delivery Associate with us. The 23-year-old has been working at one of our Thiruvananthapuram delivery stations for the past two years. Both my husband and my son have been very supportive of my new career, she adds happily. Thanks to my added pay cheque, we were able to repay our loan a year ago. I like the fact that I can now support my family in a more meaningful way.

Through our equal opportunity initiative, we have taken the lead to engage with women such as Srikumari, Jamuna Rani and Divya Syam, creating unique relevant employment opportunities for them and enabling them to become achievers in their own right.