Ecom Express Private Limited

South Asia Manufacturing

Ecom Express is an Indian logistics company with an expansive network reaching over 90 per cent of India’s population, and more than 85 per cent of its presence in Tier 2/3/4 cities and hinterlands.

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

Our investment

We first invested in Ecom Express in 2019, to enable the company to increase its workforce, with a focus on increasing the number of employed women in the workforce. In 2020, we made a follow-on investment, to create a further 8,000 jobs, creating a total of 23,000 decent quality jobs and livelihoods by 2025. We expect more than 50 per cent of these jobs to be in poorer states, and more than 50 per cent of new employees are expected to be from these areas and new to the formal economy. We will continue our value-add activities to create jobs for 6,000 female employees by 2025, deliver a road safety programme and support the introduction of an electric vehicle delivery fleet.

  • Provide income generating opportunities through direct employment (SDG 8.5).
  • Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls (SDG 5).

Direct: Through employment creation as the business expands its footprint.

Stakeholder Geography Characteristics

India, with more than 50 per cent in category ‘A’ and ‘B’ states. As of Q3 2020, 46 per cent are in category ‘A’ states, 10 per cent in category ‘B’ states and the remaining 45 per cent in category ‘C’ and ‘D’ states.

  • Gender: 2 per cent female at the time of initial investment – now trending at 4 per cent.
  • Skill level: 49 per cent low skilled, 42 per cent medium skilled and 9 per cent highly skilled.
Scale Depth/Duration

The follow-on investment will create 8,000 jobs, in addition to the 15,000 jobs as set out in our original investment case. The new job opportunities will be across delivery centres, fulfilment centres and hubs. This is a very substantial number of direct jobs and would make it a top job creator within CDC’s current portfolio.

  • Inclusion: These job opportunities will significantly improve employability for the more than 50 per cent of new employees who are from rural areas and are new to the formal economy. It is also means improved pay and improved life, with 86 per cent of existing staff indicating improved salary and 90 per cent indicating improved life as a result of working at the company.
  • Gender: We expect an increase of women across all levels of the organisations, from 2 per cent to 10.8 per cent by 2025.
Grid Score Contribution


To help us direct our investments, we use a tool called the Development Impact Grid. The Grid scores every investment we plan out of a score of four, based on two factors: the difficulty of investing in the country and whether investment in that sector will lead to jobs.

Value-add: CDC will continue to support the company with roll-out of comprehensive road safety training programme, support the introduction of an electric vehicle delivery fleet and advance much needed women’s economic empowerment initiatives.

  • Alignment: To pursue value additionality activities, we need to be aligned with the new investor(s) given their majority shareholding.  To safeguard this, the value-add activities as agreed upon in the original shareholder agreement will be included in the new shareholder agreement.
  • Execution: Given the broad set of measures taken by the company during the accelerated COVID-related expansion (in processes, infrastructure and IT) as well as CDC’s continued effort around value-add governance activities, we have confidence the company can handle increased growth and international expansion.

Environmental and social aspects

We are supporting Ecom to develop and implement a comprehensive environmental and social management system (ESMS). We are also supporting the company to strengthen road safety within its operations and encouraging the transition of its delivery fleet to electric vehicles.

Key facts


Since 2012, we’ve only invested in Africa and South Asia. Investments outside these regions are from our pre-2012 portfolio.

South Asia

We have seven priority sectors. However, we continue to invest outside these sectors, largely in the most challenging regions, as new investment supporting any sector helps to underpin the private sector, and create jobs and livelihoods for people.

Investment type

We provide capital in three broad ways: direct equity, debt, and intermediated equity (principally through investment funds).

Direct Equity
Start date

For direct investments, this is the date British International Investment committed capital to the business or project.

For funds, this is the date that British International Investment committed capital to the fund.

For underlying fund investments, this is the date that the fund invested capital into the business.e

October 2019

For direct investments, this is the total amount that British International Investment has committed to the business or project (it may be a combination of equity and debt).

For funds, this is the total amount that British International Investment has committed to the fund.


This is the investee company’s place of incorporation; or a fund’s jurisdiction.


We are now British International Investment