Moneycontrol PRO
Upcoming Webinar:Prashant Shah explains ‘Irrelevance of Bull & Bear Markets for Success in Technical Analysis’. Register For Free!
you are here: HomeNewsBusiness

Coronavirus lockdown | Government, startups and kirana stores come together to deliver essentials

A slew of other startups such as Shiprocket, JustMyRoots, and Ninjacart also ventured in to delivering essentials.

May 15, 2020 / 06:02 PM IST
Representative image

Representative image


Manoj K, based in Bengaluru, has been ordering his essentials online, not through a popular e-commerce application, but through a WhatsApp service launched by the Bengaluru corporation in mid-April.

“I got my groceries delivered within an hour,” said Manoj, who is a regular now.

At a time when players like BigBasket have been struggling to deliver essential services during lockdown, government and neighbourhood stores have stepped up to bridge the gap. This has also led to more players entering this bandwagon to tap the growing need.

How was it possible?

Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Bengaluru Corporation, launched a helpline (08061914960) to deliver essentials such as fruits, vegetables and groceries to people in April.

Close

COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

View more
How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

View more
Show

This was in a bid to reduce people movement and crowding in local stores. Customers can place an order through the helpline either by calling the helpline number or through WhatsApp.

For this to work, BBMP mandated all shop owners to register with them for home delivery of essentials. The delivery can either be done by the shop owner himself or through delivery partners, in which case Rs 20 will be levied. BBMP has also partnered with startups for making this seamless. These partners include Housejoy and Rapido, a bike taxi operator.

Sanchit Gaurav, founder & CEO, Housejoy, a marketplace for home solutions, said that the company had started delivery of essential services two weeks back after the government’s announcement.

The company targeted neighbourhood stores such kiranas, seafood and vegetable and fruit vendors. They also tied up delivery partners for delivery of items.

“Since there are neighbourhood stores, we are able to deliver items in 30-40 minutes. At the most, it takes 60 minutes,” he added.

The company is planning to expand this service to Chennai, Pune. Bombay and Hyderabad post lockdown.

More startups

It was not just Housejoy though. A slew of other startups such as Shiprocket, JustMyRoots, and Ninjacart also ventured into delivering essentials.

Shiprocket, a logistics aggregator, partnered with on-demand e-commerce app Dunzo to launch hyperlocal delivery for essential items such as groceries, pharmaceuticals, and food items. Currently, the service is spread across more than 1,600 pin codes in various cities such as Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Chennai and Jaipur.

Ninjacart, fresh produce supply chain company, launched ‘Harvest The Farms’ where customers can get fresh fruits and vegetables from farms and farmers directly.

"To facilitate this, the entire cost of logistics is being borne by us, and not passed on to the customer, making it a win-win situation for everyone,” said Vasudevan Chinnathambi, co-founder - Ninjacart.

Another startup, JustMyRoots, delivers seafood and meat from vendors in the market who follow the safety norms.

However these are not without challenges.

Challenges

Most startups are struggling to acquire the official passes issued by the governmental authorities that allow them to move from one place to another to deliver products. Operation cost is another issue.

Goel of Shiprocket pointed out that the costs of hyperlocal deliveries tend to be higher for small parcels up to 1 kg and more economical for larger or heavier parcels. However for larger interstate deliveries and neighbourhood, most sellers want their own riders.

“We are working with our hyperlocal partners to bring better prices and services to our customers and have recently launched a 3km rate with Dunzo to make services more attractive for neighbourhood deliveries,” Goel said.

Another issue is availability. While there is demand, on-boarding of delivery personnel has become challenging during COVID-19 as many of these migrant workers have gone back to their hometowns thus increasing operation costs.
Himadri Buch
Swathi Moorthy
first published: May 7, 2020 03:45 pm

stay updated

Get Daily News on your Browser
Sections
ISO 27001 - BSI Assurance Mark