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Team Shadowfax

We reached out to the people who’ve made Shadowfax successful, on our 3rd anniversary, with questions about their experiences at work

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OnApril 21st, we completed three years at Shadowfax. Over these years, our unique success has been built around the honest, hard work of our 7000+ delivery partners, who complete over 90,000+ transactions daily.

Our job is to create the technology to help delivery partners be more productive with their time and build a business model that rewards fairly for each completed delivery. We are on a mission to connect 1 Million Delivery Partners with businesses who need express logistics services.

It’s important for us as a business to look back at the past three years to prepare a better strategy for the future. In this spirit, we reached out to Bharat Borate.

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He has been employed at Shadowfax since our early days. He was among the very first employees to join company operations at Thane, and has seen us evolve over the past three years.

We began the conversation with a question about the time Bharat started working for Shadowfax.

Tell us about what made you join Shadowfax at the first place. How did you come to know about the company?

Bharat: I had seen a poster of Pratham training institute which talked about Shadowfax. When I learnt that Shadowfax is starting operations in my area, I was inclined to reach out. I asked around about the company’s reputation. A friend who was working with Shadowfax at Bandra Kurla Complex recommended that I join. My only concern was about regular payouts. But, the company promised timely payments and I started working.

Did you already know about the work of a delivery partner?

Bharat: I wasn’t aware. Initially, I had a team leader who was supportive and patient with us. He gradually helped me learn the various aspects of the job- being in time, how to behave with customers, how to be professional in conduct, so on and so forth. The first couple of days, there were training sessions. I don’t remember the details as such, but it helped us get started. Since then we’ve picked up the correct way to do things on job as well as by asking our leaders when necessary.

How do you currently manage your daily work? What keeps you excited everyday?

Bharat: Almost our entire work is managed with the app. We can see the orders we need to deliver, the locations we need to pick the goods from and the shortest route to the delivery location. We keep track of pending and completed deliveries as well as our payment in the app itself.

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“There are a couple of things that are really important and make Shadowfax a great place for me. First, I get to spend time with my family. Working normal hours, I make 20–25K from the completed deliveries and another 5–6K from the referral bonus. Second, it’s very convenient at Shadowfax to make deliveries. We can choose the clusters we want to operate in. I have picked areas nearby my home. You can even change your cluster if need be. And over the years, I’ve learnt to complete deliveries for a variety of businesses, including e-commerce, grocery and medicine. This is really exciting and there is always something new to learn”

Over your time at Shadowfax, have you ever referred someone for a job? What do you say about Shadowfax?

Bharat: I have referred over 100 people to work here. A significant portion of my Referral & Riders Club’s bonus is because of that. I usually tell people that Shadowfax is guaranteed income, if you’re willing to put in the work. Over the last couple of years, many of my friends who worked at other companies like Shadowfax have lost jobs. But, I’ve very happy with my consistent income. Everything else is great as well, but payouts matter the most.

At this point, Bharat asked to leave for his deliveries. It felt as if we knew everything he had said. But the way he articulated his journey at Shadowfax left us with a few key lessons.

  1. It’s very important that we keep our focus on making the work of delivery partners more rewarding.
  2. The two most things for our delivery partners are humane working hours and timely payments.
  3. Freedom at workplace, to choose the cluster of work, to choose the kind of deliveries you make help improve the confidence and performance of our delivery partners.
  4. People want reliable livelihoods. Shadowfax must always be useful for capable logistics partners.
  5. As the business of Shadowfax evolves and grows, it’s important our delivery partners lead that change. We need to continuously train and support our people to explore new areas within our operations and new ideas from beyond our work.

We’ve started rolling out a few changes to our delivery partner program to incorporate similar suggestions. Read about our new and strengthened delivery partner experience here.

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