Ola, which had started with food delivery with the launch of Ola Cafe, the company is now all set to launch grocery delivery service. A recent job posting on a job site, shows that the company is looking to hire delivery executives in Bangalore.
This move is similar to what Uber does in the US.
ET had previously reported, that the company was also looking to partner with companies with whom it could tie up and launch the service. However, it was not able to find any possible partner and thus now it is looking to partner with offline retailers directly for grocery collection and delivery. The company is expected to pilot the service next month.
This moves comes in at a time when, major players are trying their hands in the billion dollar grocery segment. Just recently, Paytm ventured into grocery by launching Zip app, Amazon launched KiranaNow, Snapdeal did the same by partnering with Godrej Group’s food retail arm Godrej Nature’s Basket. Several players like BigBasket which recently announced that it will be partnering with 1,800 neighbourhood stores to deliver orders faster, LocalBanya, Zopnow, Grofers and PepperTap, too, are focusing on hyperlocal deliveries by partnering with local stores.
According to a person close to the development, Ola wants the retailer to do the packaging and picking of the orders and only focus on the delivery.
As per the reports, India presently ranks sixth amongst the largest grocery market in the world. The retail market in India is expected to hit $ 725 Bn (about INR 43 lakh Cr.) by 2017. Retail consultancy Technopak estimates online grocery business to grow at a rate of 25-30% in major cities of India.
Last week covered a startup called Jugnoo which is trying to leverage its Auto fleet to deliver products to the customers.
Using a four-wheeler is not only traffic-sensitive but also incurs parking costs that turn up again them, which encouraged Ola to use their cars to deliver groceries. However, their Job Description points out that “Bike is must for all candidates” which begs to the question whether they are creating a new infrastructure just for this or somehow managed to make the current one robust. Making a new infrastructure does not makes sense just to deliver groceries which arises another question, what are they planning next?
Recently, Ola had raised its Series E round of $400 Mn led by DST Global with participation from GIC, Falcon Edge Capital and existing investors SoftBank Group, Tiger Global, Steadview Capital and Accel Partners US. The company has over 100,000 drivers on its platform across 85+ cities.