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Google Adds Food To Its Indian Platter

Google Adds Food To Its Indian Platter

NRAI believes that Google’s entry will be a game-changer due to its massive reach

Google will be partnering with third-party delivery partners like Dunzo and others

Currently, Zomato and Swiggy have the biggest piece of India’s food delivery market

After Amazon, global tech giant Google is reportedly planning to enter food delivery services in India directly through Google.com.

According to an ET NOW report citing sources, Google’s food delivery business will allow users to search and discover restaurants on the search engine itself, order and transact directly. The delivery will be conducted by third-party platforms like Google-backed hyperlocal delivery startup Dunzo.

Sources have also noted that Dunzo has been updating its systems to integrate and reflect menus, pricing in preparation for Google’s food delivery segments launch. However, the partnership with Dunzo may not be an exclusive one, and the company may onboard other logistics partners as well. The report also highlights that Google has already started testing its food delivery platform for India on the search engines. The feature is currently available in the US at orderfood.google.com, and also allows users to place orders through Google’s voice assistant.

President of National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI), Anurag Katriar told ET NOW that Google’s entry in the business will be a game-changer because there is no one as big as Google as far as search is concerned. Google has also tested its transaction business with Google Pay. Katriar added that this will definitely disrupt the industry since nobody has the size and reach of Google.

Notably, NRAI has been aggressively leading a protest against predatory practices of food delivery platforms like Zomato and Swiggy since last year. The association has noted that these foodtech giants have been charging hefty commissions, delivery charges to eat into their revenues. Besides this, the platforms have also been accused of giving special treatment to few restaurants.

The association has also initiated talks on commission structure with online platforms, which charge 20-25% of order value as commission, depending on multiple factors like brand, exclusivity and consumer reach. Moreover, restaurants are demanding Swiggy and Zomato to implement changes and do away with ‘forced platform discounting’. They said these changes were essential to stave off closure.

With Google coming into the picture, this will definitely be advantageous for restaurant partners that are already listed on Zomato and Swiggy. Though they have a dominant position in the Indian food delivery market and have been catering to more than 3 Mn orders per day cumulatively, pre-Covid. UberEats was also catering to this segment until January 2020, before it was acquired by Zomato.

Global ecommerce giant Amazon has also launched its food delivery services, Amazon Food, in select areas of Bengaluru like Bellandur, Haralur, Marathalli and Whitefield. Amazon’s food delivery business is meant to create a more robust product portfolio, which has everything from entertainment to groceries to electronics, under the Amazon Prime banner.