SOME ONLINE grocers resume service

Despite revenues far apart, Grofers and Bigbasket have comparable ...

AS India remains under lockdown till April 14, most of the e-commerce networks including those dealing in groceries have come out with renewed strategies to provide home delivery services. Some of them have resumed operation to serve consumers online. As per the guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, e-commerce is included as part of essential services for delivery of important goods, including food, pharmaceuticals, and medical equipment. Concerned authorities are issuing passes to delivery executives and eased interstate movement of essential goods being transported by the essential services. The Business Standard says some such firms were facing an uphill task of convincing the people to resume work, as many of them are apprehensive of their safety. “Things are a lot better now. We have started (operations) in all cities, with clear permission from the authorities, and all our warehouses are open now,” said Hari Menon, co-founder and CEO, BigBasket. “Yesterday, the Central government and states gave clear instructions to make sure this does not happen again. While passes are being issued, local policemen have also been informed to allow the executives based on their uniforms and badges,” he is quoted as saying by The Business Standard. BigBasket, headquartered in Bengaluru, claiming to be the country’s largest online grocer, operates in 24 cities. The company also provides services in some adjoining cities. Menon said since there was a huge order backlog, the focus was on clearing those, so as to create capacities for taking fresh orders. “It is taking 4-5 days to deliver the orders now, which will come down as we clear the backlogs. It will take may be a day or two to clear the backlog, as the (delivery) people who had stopped working after being beaten up by police are coming back. Fortunately, most of them were in the city itself, as transport has been suspended.” Flipkart said Supermart, its Bengaluru-based grocery business, had resumed taking orders from Wednesday night. The firm said engaged in securing passes for its employees. Flipkart’s grocery service is presently available in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Chennai, and Hyderabad. Amazon says considering the prevailing extensive lockdowns and restrictions, pending deliveries would be delayed. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has repeatedly announced that there is no shortage of essential items and outlets selling essential items will be functional round the clock during the lockdown. (edited by PKC expressing courtesy to The Financial Express for the picture above)

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