The 21-day lockdown in India has been a major setback to online businesses. People have been particularly scrambling to get groceries delivered to their doorstep, and since government authorities and businesses are working together to resolve the matter, deliveries are expected to resume soon.
Amid the turmoil, Swiggy talked about its plans to start grocery services in 150 major Indian cities as supply chains start opening up.
“This is wartime. We can open in as many cities as needed as it will take 1-2 days,” Swiggy COO Vivek Sundar told Times News Network.
Swiggy already has experience with grocery deliveries in Gurugram and Bengaluru. The company has a fleet of 2.5 lakh riders across 500 cities. About 80% to 85% of the riders are currently idle and can be put to use for delivering groceries. This should help riders resume employment and also to consumers who are currently confined to their homes.
Currently, there are many obstacles to the movement of delivery personnel and goods on the ground. Sundar says that Swiggy has been petitioning police commissioners, political leadership and bureaucrats in all the cities where they are operational to get deliveries started. Swiggy also expects the food deliveries to normalize by the weekend.
Not just Swiggy, but even Zomato has been working on starting grocery deliveries in partnership with Grofers and Big Basket.
All major players including Amazon and Flipkart are working on re-instating delivery services. Certain state governments have already started registering delivery personnel for lockdown passes. It sure looks like things will get better in the next few days.