Grocery delivery race among Indian startups stirs road safety concerns

By Akshay Kedari  | Date: 2022-01-24

Grocery delivery race among Indian startups stirs road safety concerns

Indian grocery entrepreneurs have been enticing tech-savvy clients with the promise of 10-minute deliveries, however, this has prompted road safety concerns as bikers strive to fulfill strict deadlines. Flipkart, Walmart, Amazon, and Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance are a few companies competing in India's USD 600 billion grocery retail business.

Meanwhile, SoftBank-based Blinkit and rival Zepto have also been actively onboarding people and opening stores to win market share by offering convenience delivery within 10 minutes, compared to the hours or days that other larger competitors take.

Blinkett and Zepto, both founded by two 19-year-old Stanford dropouts, have captured the whims of consumers, satisfying food appetites, active shopping, and urgent demands for daily necessities. Their goal is to pack food in so-called dark stores, or small warehouses in densely inhabited neighborhood buildings, in just a few minutes, and transport cyclists to neighboring sites in approximately seven minutes.

Blinkit claims that its service is indistinguishable from magic and that it aspires to be a USD 100 billion company. Whereas, Zepto has a market capitalization of USD 570 million and has set its sights on becoming a USD 20 billion firm.

Experts believe that this could be a major challenge for large businesses. If people become accustomed to instant gratification, organizations that provide 24-hour delivery services will be forced to reduce their timetables, he added.

Unrivaled express deliveries are evident in the United States and Europe, where companies like German Gorillas and Turkish Getir are developing rapidly, but express commerce in India is a perilous industry due to the presence of accident-prone roadways.

Even in urban areas, most roads are besieged with potholes, with stray animals in traffic pose a constant challenge for drivers who are known to frequently disregard traffic rules. Delivery riders often mark the orders delivered before they reach the destination. The rider could also face fines up to USD 4.03 in case of a customer complaint.

These concerns show the dark side of India's booming gig economy wherein workers often feel poorly compensated or endure tough working conditions.

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Akshay Kedari     aeresearch.net

Akshay Kedari

A qualified computer engineering graduate, Akshay Kedari takes pride in having his way with words. Following his passion for content creation, he writes insightful pieces on aeresearch.net and a few other portals. Also endorsed with a short-term experience in web deve...

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