British International Investment

Ecom Express Private Limited

South AsiaBusiness services

Ecom Express Limited is a leading end-to-end technology-enabled logistics solutions provider to the Indian e-commerce industry.

The company is present in all 29 states of the country, operates in over 2650 towns, and has the capability to deliver to over 1.2 billion people (95 per cent of India’s population). After establishing a solid foothold in India, Ecom Express marked its maiden venture outside the country in early 2021 with its investment in Paperfly, an e-commerce logistics company in Bangladesh.

This investment was made when British International Investment was named CDC Group.

Our investment

Description of the investment.

We invested in Ecom Express to expand new business initiatives, directly supporting the creation of 33,000 jobs by 2025. Our investment also helps maintain the company's focus on hiring women, especially in middle management, and supports road safety measures and the introduction of an electric vehicle delivery fleet.

Impact information

Applies to investments made from 2019 onwards. The tabs in this section define what we expect to achieve through the investment, assessing the potential impact of the investment against six dimensions of impact. You can find more details on our methodology of assessing impact here.

What?

Impact
  • Promote economic opportunities through productive employment and decent work (SDG 8.5).
  • Provide equal working and leadership opportunities for women (SDG 5.5).

How?

How?

Our investment supports the continued growth of Ecom Express and the creation of new jobs, with a continued focus on hiring women across senior and middle management and the rest of the staff. It also enables the company to continue operating and providing efficient logistics services to its clients, supporting them with productivity improvements which can ultimately act as an economic enabler and foster indirect job creation.

Who?

Stakeholder Geography Characteristics
Employees

India

  • Gender: We target a material increase in women's participation across all levels of the organisations.
  • Skill level: 49 per cent low-skilled, 42 per cent medium-skilled and 9 per cent highly skilled.

How much?

Scale Depth/Duration

Our original and follow-on investments intends to support the creation 33,000 jobs by 2025. The new job opportunities are across delivery centres, fulfilment centres and hubs.

  • Inclusion: These job opportunities will significantly improve employability for more than 50 per cent of new employees who are from rural areas and are new to the formal economy. It also means improved pay and livelihoods, with 86 per cent of existing staff indicating improved salary and 90 per cent indicating improved standards of living due to working at the company.
  • Gender: We expect women's participation in the total workforce to increase from 2 per cent at the time of original investment to 10.8 per cent by 2025.

Contribution/additionality

Contribution/additionality
  • Value additionality: We will continue to support the company with the roll-out of a comprehensive road safety training programme. We will support the introduction of an electric vehicle delivery fleet. We will also work with the company to advance much-needed women’s economic empowerment initiatives.

Risk

Alignment Risk
  • Strategic alignment with the other Investors is critical given their majority shareholding. This has been ensured through a Shareholders' Agreement.
Execution Risk
  • In light of the broad set of measures taken by the company during the accelerated COVID-related expansion (in processes, infrastructure and IT) and our continued effort around value-add governance activities, we have confidence the company can handle increased growth and international expansion.

Impact score

Impact score (at point of investment)

The Impact Score is a tool to help us manage our performance against our strategic impact objectives. It is designed to incentivise investments that support our productive, sustainable, and inclusive objectives. You can find out more here.

The Impact Score is published for investments made from 2022 onwards. The Impact Scores are calculated at the point of investment. We publish the Impact Scores of new investments annually, once the information has been externally assured by an independent third party.

5

Environmental and social information

  • Environmental and social summary

    A high-level description of the environmental and social aspects of the investment. This may include a summary of key environmental and social risks identified during environmental and social due diligence (ESDD); key elements of an environmental and social action plan (ESAP); or ways in which we plan to support the investee improve environmental and social standards, such as through their environmental and social management system (ESMS); as well as any other priority areas agreed with the investee.

  • Environmental and social risk

    A risk category rating, which indicates the level of environmental and social risk associated with an investment. For an explanation of the categorisations used, see here. We consistently provide an environmental and social risk category for all investments screened from 2023 onwards.

Environmental and social summary

We agreed an updated ESAP aimed at expanding the company’s ESMS, which we supported establishing as part of our previous investment into their Bangladesh operations. We continue engaging via regular discussions with the environmental and social manager and participation in an ESG sub-committee to the Board.

Reporting and Complaints Mechanism

The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism allows anyone outside BII to report alleged breaches of the business integrity or environmental and social provisions of BII’s Policy on Responsible Investing. This includes breaches made by BII, a BII investee, or a portfolio company of a fund in which BII has invested. The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism Rules are available here. Reports and complaints can be submitted by email to [email protected] or by mail. See more details on our Reporting and Complaints Mechanism here.

For any other general enquiries contact us at [email protected]

  • Key facts

    Last updated

    When the last quarterly update of the website database occurred.

    :
    March 2024
    Project number

    An identifier number shared by investments in the same project.

    :
    D5909
    Status

    The current status of the investment (green flag for active and red flag for exited).

    :
    Active
    Region

    The geographical region where the country is located. We currently invest in Africa, South Asia, South East Asia and the Caribbean. In 2023, BII’s investment mandate was extended allowing it to invest in regional funds linked to Ukraine, with the majority of activity expected to begin post-war. Investments outside these regions were made prior to 2012 under previous investment mandates.

    :
    South Asia
    Sector

    We prioritise those sectors that facilitate development and need our capital the most. Our priority sectors contribute towards many of the Sustainable Development Goals. They range from investing in the power infrastructure that will provide people with better access to electricity, to investing in financial institutions that direct capital to the individuals and businesses that need it the most.

    :
    Business services

    We provide capital in the following ways: directly – through direct equity, direct debt, guarantees and other non-intermediated financial instruments; and indirectly – principally through investment funds.

    For direct investments and fund investments, this is the date BII committed capital to the investments. This is typically the date on which legal agreements are signed by all parties.

    For the portfolio companies of our fund investments, this is the date (either the month or the quarter) on which the fund committed capital to the portfolio company.

    For direct equity investments, this is the date at which British International Investment exited the investment.

    For debt investments, this is the date at which the final debt repayment was made.

    For funds, this is the date at which the fund was terminated.

    For underlying fund investments, this is the date at which the fund manager exited the investment.

    The total amount committed, per financial instrument, per investment, on the date BII becomes subject to a binding legal obligation to provide funding or assume a contingent liability. This information is provided in US dollars.

    For direct investments, this is the amount that BII has committed to the business or project. For fund investments, this is the amount BII has committed to the fund.

    The currency in which the investment was made.

    Investment type :
    Equity
    Start date :
    October 2019
    Amount :
    $35.38m
    Currency of investment :
    INR
    Domicile

    The company or investment fund’s place of incorporation.

    :
    India

Related investments made by BII into this company:

Investment name Commitment Region Sector Start date Status
Investment 02 $19.98m South Asia Business services December 2020 Active
Investment 03 $3.84m South AsiaSouth Asia Business services September 2022 Active
Investment 04 $1.4m South AsiaSouth AsiaSouth Asia Business services June 2023 Active

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