Flipkart has incorporated an SOS button to help field executives alert the authorities immediately in cases of medical or safety emergencies.
Delivery personnel are indeed the unsung heroes of the Indian startup story. So, after the murder of delivery boy Nanjunda Swamy by a customer who had ordered a smartphone he had no intention of paying for, Flipkart unveiled 'Project Nanjunda' to ensure greater safety for their field executives (FEs) while they are out on duty.
Flipkart tells YourStory that the company "has extended all possible support to Nanjunda’s family to help them cope with this tragedy, including financial assistance," after the unfortunate incident transpired. What also followed was a comprehensive review of their on-field safety measures, which gave rise to Project Nanjunda to address the gaps and unforeseen emergencies.
The project entails instating a unique SOS button (also called the "Nanjunda" button) in the mobile app used by field executives, enabling them to raise an alarm in the event of an emergency.
Flipkart, India’s largest e-commerce marketplace, has a registered customer base of over 100 million. “Flipkart Wishmasters (a name fondly used for the company's delivery personnel) form the backbone of our business. Ensuring their safety is a primary priority for us. Over the days following the demise of Wishmaster Nanjunda Swamy, our teams have worked relentlessly to deliver this feature in less than a month, in order to ensure our field staff is safe while on their delivery trips,” said Flipkart COO Nitin Seth.
In an emergency, pressing the Nanjunda button sends SMS and email notifications alerting the hub-in-charge and the nearest field executives. To operate this feature, only mobile network connectivity is required, and not mobile data connectivity, thus making it useful and effective in most places in the country. Field executives' phone numbers and locations are provided to all three parties to be able to resolve the situation and for help to converge at the location if required.
Flipkart also informed us that they will be adding a feature that will alert the police upon the button being pressed. As an additional precautionary measure, for any Flipkart delivery that is scheduled post 5 pm in a deserted or far-off location, delivery executives will be accompanied by escorts.