Dehradun-based Vijay Kumar owns Raghav Enterprises, a tailoring shop, and has been working as Amazon’s I Have Space (IHS) partner since June 2020. The entrepreneur was admitted to a hospital in April 2022 after a severe stroke, and had to incur costs for his medical treatment. However, he was able to meet these expenses, including the cost of a surgery because of the medical insurance provided as part of the IHS program. “I have a small business and it would have been a difficult situation for me if not for insurance support provided by the IHS program. I have now recovered and have started delivering with Amazon again. IHS team has been extremely supportive throughout the process,” Kumar said.
All IHS partners are eligible for a health and accident insurance benefit with a coverage of Rs. 1 lakh and 5 lakhs, respectively. It covers a range of hospitalisation expenses including room rentals, select day care procedures, COVID-19 hospitalisation, and special maternity coverage for women store owners.
Ease of delivering packages
I Have Space (IHS) is Amazon’s last mile delivery program, where the company partners with local stores and business owners to deliver products to customers within a 2 to 4 kilometers radius of their store, allowing them to supplement their regular income. Launched in 2015, the program has more than 28,000 neighborhood and kirana partners in close to 420 towns and cities across its network in India.
The IHS program allows local store owners to deliver Amazon packages to customers in their neighborhood in their free time. Pick-ups usually result in high foot fall in the stores, allowing store owners to increase sales, and daily income. Amazon assigns packages to IHS partners based on their location. Depending on the number of packages delivered by the partners, their earnings are credited to their registered bank account in the first week of every month.
These local entrepreneurs are not only familiar with their neighbourhoods, but also enjoy the goodwill of their communities. The program is open to all store owners who have the ability to service on foot, a two-wheeler or a bicycle. The only requirement to be an ‘I Have Space’ partner is for the store owner to have sufficient time to make local deliveries during their off-peak hours, and a physical retail space with valid documents to store packages.
Additional income for a better future
Since its inception in India, the I Have Space program has not only aided Amazon in providing growth opportunities to local stores and small businesses, but it has also enabled Amazon to expand our delivery network into the country's hinterlands. The program has also encouraged underrepresented communities (women, people with disability and LGBTQIA+) to evolve the entrepreneurship ecosystem in logistics.
Take the story of Noorjahan, an entrepreneur and an I Have Space partner from Kochi. She is an inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs, especially women, who often find it challenging to start something of their own because of societal stereotypes. She joined the program with the aim of creating an additional source of income to build her new business and supporting her family.
“Becoming an Amazon I Have Space partner has been empowering for me. I have not only expanded the business, but I’m also financially supporting my family. I am fueling my aspiration of doing a postgraduate degree in Biotechnology through my earnings from the program,” says Noorjahan.
Another story is that of Aparna Deka, a resident of Hatigaon in Guwahati, Assam, who is the first women IHS partner in the North-East. She decided to take over the day to day running of her family shop instead of shutting it down, after her husband decided to join a bank for a more stable source of income. “Although the shop continued to run, at the end of the month, I would be left with very little money to spend on my family’s needs and my daughter’s education. Amazon’s IHS program gave me the opportunity to earn additional income, and enabled me to support my family’s dreams. It feels great that I was able to support my family when they needed me the most. I believe this program can be a life-changing opportunity for several women like me, who dream of creating their individuality and desire to stand on their own feet,” said Aparna.
Commitment to safety, training and support
Amazon is committed to the safety of its delivery partners and the communities where we deliver. All delivery partners pass a background check before they are enrolled in the program. Comprehensive safety trainings are part of the onboarding process, along with steady communication around safety best practices. Amazon also provides on-road and off-road support for partners to help them make deliveries efficiently. In case any support is needed, partners can contact the program’s helpline directly from the partner app. IHS' centralised operations team and on-ground station team handles all store partner queries like program feedback, payment-related queries, app-related issues and, insurance-related issues, among others.
Enabling efficiency through technology
Amazon’s delivery app is user friendly. It gives IHS store owners accurate updates on their package count, weekly and monthly performance, package and cash-related information, and monthly payouts can also be tracked. It also provides store owners support via maps which guide
Recognition for partners
IHS Sammaan is an annual festive reward and recognition event for top performing IHS stores for Diwali. This year, Amazon announced gift cards for stores based on the performance of IHS partners during the contest period. Amazon also announced exclusive gifts for underrepresented cohorts (women, PWD, LGBTQ) and Green stores (stores delivering on e-bikes / cycles). This year, Amazon plans to award stores that have completed 5+ years with the IHS program.
For IHS partners like Vijay, Noorjahan and Aparna, the ability to earn additional income while managing other professional and personal commitments is invaluable. Delivering packages to customers is not only a great way to earn extra money, but also benefit from all the great things that come from working with Amazon: competitive pay, recognition, and benefits like insurance among others.
All aspiring ‘I Have Space’ Partners can apply here - http://www.amazon.in/ihs