Delivery race among Indian grocery startups brings road safety risks
NEW DELHI : Indian grocery startups are luring tech-savvy customers with the promise of deliveries within 10 minutes, sparking a boom in 'quick commerce', but heating up concerns about road safety as bike riders scramble to meet tight deadlines.Competition is already intense in India's $600-billion grocer
Now SoftBank-backed Blinkit and its rival Zepto are racing to hire staff and open stores in their bid to grab a share of the market by offering the convenience of delivery in 10 minutes, far lower than the hours, or days competitors take.As activity grows, research firm RedSeer says India's quick commerce sector, worth $300 million last year, will swell 10-15 times to touch $5 billion by 2025.
The 75-year-old, who lives in the city of Gurugram near the capital, New Delhi, was a keen user of Amazon and Indian conglomerate Tata's online grocer BigBasket, but prizes Blinkit's rapid response in such situations.Blinkit and Zepto did not respond to queries from Reuters.Read more: CNA »
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Volunteers fill critical Covid-19 data gaps left by Indian government
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Volunteers fill critical Covid-19 data gaps left by Indian government
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LinkedIn NEW DELHI : Indian grocery startups are luring tech-savvy customers with the promise of deliveries within 10 minutes, sparking a boom in"quick commerce", but heating up concerns about road safety as bike riders scramble to meet tight deadlines.highly infectious Omicron variant races through the world's second most populous country, harried Indians have turned to volunteer-driven data portals for information to keep themselves safe in this third wave.LinkedIn “If you ate today, thank a farmer” is the motto of new Australian-inspired gourmet grocer and cafe Surrey Hills, which prides itself on sustainable sourcing.highly infectious Omicron variant races through the world's second most populous country, harried Indians have turned to volunteer-driven data portals for information to keep themselves safe in this third wave.
Competition is already intense in India's $600-billion grocery retailing industry, populated by the likes of Amazon, Walmart's Flipkart and Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance. Now SoftBank-backed Blinkit and its rival Zepto are racing to hire staff and open stores in their bid to grab a share of the market by offering the convenience of delivery in 10 minutes, far lower than the hours, or days competitors take.org and incovid19. Their mission: pack groceries within a few minutes at so-called dark stores, or small warehouses in densely populated neighbourhood buildings, and send bike riders to nearby locations with about seven minutes to spare. The business expanded into a three-chain outlet and was later bought over by an Australian company. "It's a threat to the larger players," Ashwin Mehta, a lead IT sector analyst at India's Ambit Capital, told Reuters. In a country where the government has not only suppressed certain inconvenient healthcare data, such as Covid-19 mortality figures that exceed official estimates, but also failed to present information it is willing to share in an accessible manner, these easily navigable websites have become an indispensable source for critical information, including for researchers whose models help shape containment strategies."If people get used to 10 minutes, those companies offering 24-hour deliveries will be forced to reduce their timelines. These websites have picked up the baton from an illustrious predecessor, covid19india.
" As activity grows, research firm RedSeer says India's quick commerce sector, worth $300 million last year, will swell 10-15 times to touch $5 billion by 2025.org, that tracked the pandemic's ebb and flow in India since Jan 2020. For the time-pressed, Surrey Hills is also a drive-through grocer – their “direct-to-boot” concept allows customers to place orders online and have goods loaded into their car boots. Blinkit and Zepto, started by two 19-year-old dropouts from Stanford, have caught consumers' fancy, satisfying cravings for food and impulse shopping, as well as urgent needs for daily supplies. "This is very convenient, it has made a lifestyle change," said Sharmistha Lahiri, who now turns to Blinkit to fill the gap when ingredients suddenly run out in her kitchen, from tomatoes for soup to chocolate icing for a cake.4 billion visits. The 75-year-old, who lives in the city of Gurugram near the capital, New Delhi, was a keen user of Amazon and Indian conglomerate Tata's online grocer BigBasket, but prizes Blinkit's rapid response in such situations. 1. The unbeatable convenience of rapid deliveries is evident in Europe and the United States, where companies such as Turkey's Getir and Germany's Gorillas are expanding fast, but India's accident-prone roads make quick commerce a dangerous business. Mourning its closure on the portal's blog, one frequent user said checking the site had"become a habit like sitting down with a glass of mellow single malt after sundown", adding that its information had guided his major decisions through the pandemic. Mourning its closure on the portal's blog, one frequent user said checking the site had"become a habit like sitting down with a glass of mellow single malt after sundown", adding that its information had guided his major decisions through the pandemic.
"Ten minutes is very sharp," said a former road secretary, Vijay Chhibber."If there was a (road safety) regulator, it would have said this can't be a company's unique selling point. India's 28 states and eight union territories also publish these details district-wise on various platforms, including on social media, but with no standardisation in presentation and often on links difficult to trace. (Photo: Joyee Koo) With the concept of farm-to-table, all products are directly imported from Australia or locally sourced." Blinkit and Zepto did not respond to queries from Reuters. RISKY ROADS, DRIVERS' WOES Even in cities, most roads are riddled with potholes, while cattle or other animals straying into traffic present a frequent challenge for motorists, who often violate basic rules. "These days there are a lot of efforts towards building models for predicting how the future months will look like with the new variant, or maybe you want to know what the reproductivity rate is for a certain district… Those kinds of research efforts require data, especially of the kind we are putting out," said Dr Asha Subramanian, the founder and CEO of Semantic Web India, one of the several stakeholders behind incovid19. Last year, the World Bank said India had a death every four minutes on its roads.’s seasonal selection of handcrafted teas.org.
Crashes kill about 150,000 people each year. Dr Bhramar Mukherjee, Chair of Biostatistics at the University of Michigan, who has been tracking the pandemic's evolution in India, told The Straits Times it would have been"nearly impossible" to do state-level modelling without support from covid19india. All the 13 drivers for Blinkit and Zepto whom Reuters interviewed in the key cities of Mumbai, New Delhi and Gurugram said they faced pressure to meet delivery deadlines, which often led to speeding, for fear of being rebuked by store managers. "We get five to six minutes and I feel tense and fear for my life," said one Blinkit driver, who sought anonymity.org. Items at Surrey Hills are sourced directly from farms and producers and benchmarked against their retail prices in Australia. In August, Blinkit's chief executive said on Twitter that riders were not penalised and could deliver"at their own pace and rhythm," as dark stores are always near destination sites. Delivery riders disagreed.org extensively and now rely on both its successors for information used in their predictive models.org extensively and now rely on both its successors for information used in their predictive models.
In their rush, many of them told Reuters, they mark orders as having been delivered even before they get to the destination. FLOWERS (Photo: Joyee Koo) Visitors are welcomed by a display of flowers right at the door. And if a customer complained about the practice, they faced a penalty of 300 Indian rupees ($4."It does not speak well of the Indian government's commitment to open data and transparency.03). A Blinkit app screenshot provided by one driver showed the term, MDND, or"Marked Delivered, Not Delivered" used to designate such items. India, for instance, has yet to create a systemic mechanism to disseminate data oncritical issues such as vaccine efficacy and breakthrough infection rates. 3. Frustration was also on display in the conversation on a WhatsApp group of Blinkit riders in Mumbai reviewed by Reuters. While the two sites have benefited from covid19india.
"Ban this 10-minute (delivery)," said one user, after pictures were posted of a rider said to have been injured in a deadline rush.org's open source code, churning out these daily updates is no mean feat for volunteers who lend a hand every night after their regular day jobs. The concerns reflect the dark side of India's booming gig economy, in which workers often say they feel shortchanged or battle tough working conditions. Of course, you can also find well-known favourites such as Contessa Rosa. BULLISH Blinkit calls its service"indistinguishable from magic" and says it wants to become a $100-billion business.org said the biggest challenge they face is when states either do not publish data on time or provide district-level granularity. Zepto has been valued at $570 million and has set its eyes on becoming a $20-billion company, already backed by investors such as U.S. And while some sources provide data in friendly machine-readable formats, freeing volunteers from manually keying them in, formats can change randomly, upsetting the workflow. Her idea was for the blends to reduce the hassle of making a steak dinner or having a barbecue night. And while some sources provide data in friendly machine-readable formats, freeing volunteers from manually keying them in, formats can change randomly, upsetting the workflow.
-based Glade Brook Capital. The instant delivery market is a $50-billion opportunity, India's largest offline retailer, Reliance, said this month, when it invested in Dunzo, another Indian startup that runs a 19-minute delivery service.org. But, unlike most foreign companies that charge $2 to $3 a delivery, deliveries by Indian startups are mostly free in a nation with a population of 1. BRUNCH-STYLE CAFE Steak sandwich (Photo: Joyee Koo) If you get hungry from all that shopping, or you’re just looking for a new place to hang out, Surrey Hills Cafe offers a 38-seat, pet-friendly dining area and a breezy al fresco experience.4 billion potential customers. Not having district-level data readily available, for instance, can offer a cursory, even misleading, view of the pandemic with reporting focused only on state-level data or restricted to major cities. "With free delivery, the business is unlikely to be viable," said T. Using data from covid19bharat.
N.org, she tweeted on Jan 5 to say that while the rise in Covid-19 cases in Mumbai the day before (over 10,000 new cases) was worrying, nine other cities or districts had reported over 1,000 new cases that day, indicating how deep the third wave's tentacles had spread into the country. Expect brunch favourites like avo toast with whipped ricotta and vegemite (S$19), steak sandwiches (S$25) and crayfish eggs Benedict (S$24). Hari, who heads human resources at online grocery BigBasket, which delivers most orders within five hours. "And with a delivery fee that makes it viable, the market size is likely to be small. I would stop just at what the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is producing every day and tell limited stories and miss a lot," she told ST." For now, Indians are hooked. Coffee break, anyone? Source: CNA/my. Deliveries on New Year's Eve included more than 43,000 cans of fizzy drinks, a Blinkit investor said on Twitter, adding,"33,440 condoms were ordered on @letsblinkit today. In her recent book Whole Numbers and Half Truths, Ms Rukmini S. In her recent book Whole Numbers and Half Truths, Ms Rukmini S.
Someone ordered 80 condoms in one go." (Reporting by Aditya Kalra in New Delhi and Abhirup Roy in Mumbai; Additional reporting by Aditi Shah, Chandini Monnappa and Chris Thomas; Editing by Clarence Fernandez) Source: Reuters . On multiple occasions, when she used figures from the Health Management Information System to report on the severe curtailment of regular non-Covid health services during the pandemic as well as excess Covid-19 mortality, the data went offline with the flimsy excuse of"server problems".