The Indian pet transport industry is facing a tough time in terms of job creation.
There have been multiple reports of pet transport jobs being lost in India over the past few months, especially in rural areas.
The Indian Pet Transport Industry Council (IPTI) had a meeting on October 24 in Mumbai and announced that pet transport services will remain the top job in the country.
“Pet transport is not a job that the government wants to create,” said an official from IPTI, adding that the industry has seen a drop in hiring in recent months.
“Our sector is not yet at the point where it can be made a good business for the government.
We need to bring in new talent,” the official said.
The pet transport sector has a high percentage of people working in hospitality and retail, but has been hit hard by the economic slowdown in the past two years.
In January, the government announced a 10 per cent hike in the minimum wage, a major boost to the sector’s bottom line.
The government also announced a 25 per cent increase in the tax on pet food, which will benefit the industry.
“The government’s pet transport policies will be implemented with the help of a wide range of measures,” said Anil Kapoor, CEO, Dog Transport Industry Association of India (DTEI).
“We are hopeful that the pet transport administration will not only ensure that the country’s pet food sector gets back to normal but also the job of pet transportation will get better and more stable,” said Kapoor.
A survey by the India Pet Transport Association found that more than half of the 1,600 registered pet transport firms are looking for new workers.
“There are also more and more pet transport workers in the city who are looking to join our ranks,” said Vipin Srivastava, president of DTEI.
“We have more than 1,500 registered pet transportation firms, of which 1,300 are in Mumbai.
Many of them have a good network of employees and have a presence in major cities.”
The industry is also suffering from poor connectivity and communication.
“Even when a pet transport firm is in the centre of Mumbai, the transport network is poor and sometimes it takes up to two hours to get to their office,” said Rajesh Khanna, founder and CEO of Pet Transport India Pvt Ltd.
“In rural areas, even when the roads are open, there are often not enough vehicles and the vehicles are either stuck on the roads or not getting off the roads,” said Khanna.
A report by the Indian Pet Transportation Association (IPTA) found that there are currently 1.8 million pet transport vehicles in the entire country.
According to the Pet Transport Manufacturers Association of America (PTMA), there are approximately 3.3 million pet transports in India.
“It is clear that the current pet transport situation in India is extremely critical and there is no doubt that this will continue for some time,” said Ajay Kumar, chief executive officer, PTMA.
The industry has been facing a severe shortage of pet carriers, as demand for pet carriers has been decreasing for many years.
According the National Pet Carrier Association (NPCA), pet carriers in India dropped by more than 40 per cent from 2009 to 2015.
The shortage of carriers is partly due to the government’s inability to procure enough vehicles for pet transport.
“With the government not having the resources to procure vehicles for the industry, the industry will be left with the choice of either paying for a car or hiring a new carrier,” said Amit Shukla, CEO of NPCA.
“A lot of pet owners have stopped buying their pets as they fear for their pet’s safety and health,” he added.
The lack of mobility in the pet transportation industry has also affected the pets themselves.
“As we are working in a rural environment, there is not much space available to transport the animals, and they have to be carried by the carriers,” said Ritu Shuklal, co-founder and managing director of pet carrier company Dog Transport India.
Shukal said that in rural India, pet transport has become more of a luxury item for people who have been living in poverty.
“But there is still a lot of room available in the market,” she said.
“People will often take out a car and drive their pet from one place to another for transport.
They will also go to a pet store for transport, where they will get the pet carrier.”
India’s pet transportation sector has witnessed a sharp decline in job creation in recent years.
However, pet transportation companies are not completely helpless as they can take the initiative to increase the number of jobs available.
“If the pet carriers want to hire people, they can look at hiring taxi drivers or bus drivers,” said Shukala.
“These are the people who can work on the streets and can actually take care of the animals,” he said.