As consumers fear to step out of their homes during the lockdown, Paytm Mall is working to become a one-stop-shop to provide easy access to all essentials.
In an interaction with Moneycontrol, Srinivas Mothey, Senior Vice President, Paytm Mall, said “We are helping citizens buy essential products including household staples, healthcare, hygiene, personal safety products on our platform. At this crucial juncture, we want to ensure that millions of users have all basic essentials needed for sustenance during this on-going lockdown and pandemic.”
Paytm Mall has tied up with more suppliers of essential goods and more logistics partners providing swift delivery as well as ensuring warehouse space for the additional supplies.
The mall has waived off penalties on merchants for order cancellations and delays in processing.
There were 100,000 orders placed by the customers which were yet to be processed by sellers, due to the restrictions announced by the government. However, Mothey said they are in constant touch with merchant partners and providing all possible assistance.
Edited excerpts of the interview:
Q. How is Paytm Mall managing the deliveries of essential services, and how is it ramping up the deliveries?
A. Over the last several weeks we have been preparing ourselves for any eventuality. We have tied up with all leading logistics players in the country to ensure that we can service the maximum number of pin codes in the country. Also, we are constantly in touch with government bodies and local authorities to ensure that logistics partners do not face any difficulty in servicing the orders.
Q. What are the steps taken by Paytm Mall to ensure the safety and productivity of its employees during this crisis?
A. We have told all our logistics partners and suppliers to ensure that they follow all guidelines and safety codes laid down by the government to safeguard their workforce from COVID-19. Logistics partners are routinely providing masks, hand sanitizers as well as gloves to their delivery personnel.
Suppliers have been told to sanitize their warehouses and ensure the safety of the products being shipped. All our business teams have been working from home, and our entire systems have secured VPN access allowing employees to access all necessary data and coordinate with teams to run the day to day operations. Virtual remote communication tools are allowing us to have face to face meetings.
Q. How is the situation for e-commerce players and how are these companies tackling the problems of essential deliveries?
A. Paytm Mall has always advocated a 100 percent marketplace model of operation against an inventory-led one as pursued by other major players. We have always advocated the objective of connecting neighbourhood offline stores to interested customers far and wide through its e-commerce platform. By virtue of this, Paytm Mall stands favourably poised to help the government and its people by quickly connecting stores with customers and ensuring house deliveries.
While our process and technology are in place, we are learning new ways of understanding on-ground realities, the safety of our staff who are working from home, and courier partners which are helping us navigate through these times.
We have helped our sellers by increasing SLAs, removed late processing charges, given the flexibility to process the order in 10 days and also supported them with moving products from their place to our courier partner FCs which will help smaller merchants to continue. Again, at this time we are going by what the government is requesting which is for the safety of all of us.
Essential goods were always a top-focus category for us. All category managers and Key Account Managers are actively scouting to bring new sellers on the platform on an immediate basis.
Q. Is there a slowdown or business loss that Paytm Mall has witnessed in the revenue or profit during the lockdown period?
A. Currently, we are focussing solely on ensuring that essential supplies reach our customers in time. At this crucial juncture, we want to ensure that millions of users have all basic essentials needed for sustenance during this on-going lockdown and pandemic. Also, we as a company are working towards keeping our employees, partners safe and work in conditions that provide safety.