At the bustling Barceló public market, known in Madrid for its fresh fish and produce, Koiki occupies a stall on the second floor, across the hall from a fishmonger. The company even delivers groceries or fresh fish if clients call for it.
Koiki partners with governmental and non-governmental organisations that provide support to disabled people. Koiki asks these social entities to find and hire the delivery people (whom the company refers to as Koikis) and provides them with a phone app that reads bar codes and tracks and confirms the delivery of parcels. Koiki trains the employees and the local social entities provide a mentor or tutor to provide coaching. The tutors work with managers at Koiki to create a stable, supportive work environment.
“We are like a family here,” said Nerea Ortiz, the manager of Koiki’s Madrid area operation. “We know all the Koikis well, we talk every week to their tutors or mentors and even their families.”
So far, Koiki is operating in several Spanish cities, but Ojanguren’s goal is to expand the company into other parts of Europe. In Spain, the model is growing rapidly, largely thanks to the exponential growth of e-commerce.
Sometimes Koiki can’t keep up with demand:
The Barceló location has four Koikis, each of whom can deliver 40 parcels in a day, for a total of 160. “But yesterday we had 400 packages,” Ojanguren said, drawing a laugh from Ortiz, who added:, “We did finally get it done, but it was stressful.” The company subcontracts with bike messengers to help on days when it is over capacity.
“Last year was extraordinary for us,” Ojanguren said. “We grew 150 per cent from the previous year.” As of December 2018, the company had 100 employees.
Bermejo, one of the full-time Koikis at the Barceló market location, said that she has been working there nine months full-time, after a four-month training period.
What does she like best about her job?
“I like that I know the people here, I know the clients, I have relationships,” she said. “Even with the dogs on the route — I know them, too.”