This five-month-old start-up, almost a ‘foster child’ of an NGO, is not hiring from B-Schools, engineering colleges or the ITIs. Instead, it has mobilised, trained,  hired and empowered some 1,800 parcel delivery boys from underprivileged sections of rural and semi-urban India, and is set to hire another 2,000 by December this year.


By next year, it is targeting to create 10,000 blue-collared jobs. Many of them would get paid around Rs 1.70 lakh per annum, more than what the different government-run daily job schemes pay.


Anuj Sharma, Ashish Uppal and Tarun Arora, all in their 20s, joined the firm in September, got trained and absorbed. They are now earning nearly Rs. 14,000 per month plus fuel expenses and Rs 10/- for delivery of each set of three parcels.


The Gurgaon-based start-up, Shadowfax Technologies Pvt Ltd, was conceived as an on-demand hyper-local merchant logistics-delivery service, backed by the founders of Snapdeal and Limeroad. It utilizes pay-per-delivery model based on distance and required service quality.


Co-Founder Abhishek Bansal, who formerly worked with an NGO, Pratham, launched the start-up in May 2015 with a view to create an eco system for training delivery boys. “Pratham is now our knowledge partner. It trains nearly 20,000 people each year at 200-odd training centres across India to make them job-ready.


“At Shadowfax, we currently have seven training centres of our own across Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore and are set to expand to 10 more cities by March 2016,” he told BusinessLine.


For creating this workforce and scaling up business, the company, assisted by Pratham, is mobilising youths in the villages and smaller towns of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Punjab and Haryana for deployment in an area whose language they understand. They are given a week-long vocational training and other skill-development opportunity before being provided jobs. The company’s attrition rate, so far, has been less than one per cent.


The potential delivery boy should be able to read and write, and own and drive a motorcycle, Bansal said. Shadowfax has also tied up with firms providing affordable housing and insurance for these delivery boys, he added.


Shadowfax is creating brand value through its network that provides merchants with cost-effective delivery solutions. Over 2,000 orders a day are delivered in the Delhi-NCR region alone. It has raised nearly $9 million so far in two rounds of funding which it is set to utilize in expansion.