Positioning Singapore as a role model for a sustainable and thriving platform ecosystem

The acceleration in digitisation and technology during the pandemic has undoubtedly unlocked new opportunities in many industries. Take the food delivery sector for example – digitalisation has enabled the sector’s restaurant partners and merchants to reach new customers and increase their sales, which provided an essential lifeline during the COVID-19 lockdowns when footfall was low. For food delivery partners, this has given them the opportunity to work flexibly to cater to family or other personal commitments, and earn additional income at different stages of life (e.g. while studying or during career transitions). For consumers, it has meant unrivalled convenience and access to services at the touch of a button, with restaurant food and groceries being delivered on demand to their door. 

As the platform economy sees continued growth, it is essential that the industry champions the needs of the three sides of the marketplace, working together to ensure the best possible outcomes for those who rely upon the platforms’ services. 

The first step in doing so is to enhance the understanding of those who form the backbone of platform companies’ businesses – its network of delivery partners and merchants. For DPIA members, our delivery partners and merchants are, and have always been, a priority for us. Our goal is to continuously develop Singapore’s digital ecosystem, including supporting the growth of platform companies and local businesses. 

To achieve this, we established an industry-led association that can swiftly respond to the industry’s needs as it inevitably continues to evolve over the years. As the platform economy becomes a part of our lives, we also want to build awareness of the industry and the people who support it. To help it thrive in an ever-changing environment, the industry will need to adopt best practices from the outset for the platforms, delivery partners and merchants across the industry. 

DPIA strives to strengthen our working relationships with and enhance the representation of our delivery partners and merchants. That’s why one of our immediate focuses is to partner with the government and relevant industry stakeholders to co-develop initiatives such as guidelines on riders’ safety and health, training programmes or promoting upskilling, resilience and long-term financial stability. Our members will carry out these activities to build a deeper understanding of delivery partners’ concerns and identify areas for improvement, as well as potential solutions. 

We believe that these efforts will be fundamental in building a sustainable platform ecosystem, enhancing representation for our partners (delivery partners and merchants) and ensuring that everyone’s voices are heard.