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Reliance Pilots JioMart Express In Navi Mumbai; To Expand To 200+ Cities By FY23

Reliance Pilots JioMart Express In Navi Mumbai; To Expand To 200+ Cities By FY23

With this move, Reliance Retail joins Zomato’s Blinkit and Instant, Zepto, Swiggy Instamart, Tata’s BigBasket and Ola Dash

The pilot in Navi Mumbai covers over 2K+ SKUs including groceries, personal care and home care products

The JioMart Express is a part of the larger super app plan of the data-to-oil conglomerate

The need for speed has finally caught up with one of India’s largest conglomerates. Reliance Retail is reportedly entering the quick commerce ecosystem with the launch of JioMart Express taking on the new kids on the block.

According to an ET Retail report, Reliance Retail is conducting a pilot in Navi Mumbai. It plans to expand the service to 200+ cities where JioMart is operational by this financial year.

With this, Reliance Retail takes on Zomato’s Blinkit and Instant, Zepto, Swiggy Instamart, Tata’s BigBasket and Ola Dash.

While some reports claim that JioMart Express will use Dunzo’s delivery fleet and local kirana stores as hyperlocal hubs, other reports suggest that JioMart Express will be fulfilled from Reliance Retail stores.

An email sent to Reliance Retail for comment on quick commerce remained unanswered until the filing of the story.

Currently, the pilot in Navi Mumbai covers over 2K+ SKUs including groceries, personal and home care products. The Mukesh Ambani-led retail giant plans to operate in other categories such as medicines and small electronic products including smartphones.

This is not Reliance’s first tryst with quick commerce. The company already backs Kabeer Biswas-led Dunzo, a major player in the grocery delivery industry. In June 2021, the startup launched Dunzo Daily in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and Mumbai, providing groceries, meat, pet supplies, medicines, etc.

The Clouded Indian Quick Commerce Sky

Valued at $700 Mn, the quick commerce industry relies on a dense dark store network, located close to high-demand customer neighbourhoods. But the quick commerce model has been repeatedly questioned.

Many users have sought validity of such quick commerce models, debating driver safety, stress on delivery personnel, accidents over speedy and rash driving, possible penalisation over delivery lags and over-the-top targets.

Grofers (now BlinkIt) introduced the model and invited flak over the model. It had to later issue clarifications that the company only delivers to areas within a 2 km radius of a grocery store. Anand Mahindra also debated the consequences of the model with Zepto cofounder Aadit Paalicha. Not only that, but Ola also recently pivoted from food delivery to quick commerce – in a segment marred with inefficiency, questionable tactics and no regulatory policies in place where Zomato already failed a pilot once.

The likes of Zomato and Swiggy are also facing the threat of poaching of their delivery personnel by Zepto and Dunzo and others. The outrage against the lack of income stability and job security has also forced the government to form new policies.

Reliance’s Super App Ambitions

Besides Dunzo, Reliance’s portfolio of startup acquisitions includes:

This is part of the company’s plan to build a hybrid offline-to-online ecosystem. It intends to bring its data-to-oil ecosystem’s customers to shop online and pick up products offline or have them delivered to their homes.

Operational in 5K+ cities, Reliance Retail has over 5.1K point of sales stores and more than 10 apps in the digital Jio ecosystem, serving an active user base of 379 Mn+ Jio network users.