In a bid to ensure fast delivery of essential products across the country, grocery delivery platforms are now leveraging the manpower of other last-mile connectivity services such as Zomato and Swiggy as well as retailers that have temporarily shut shops to solve the shortage of workers.
According to ET, those working in apparel showrooms and electronics stores are now working with food and grocery delivery platforms. As their primary workplaces have had to shut shops temporarily due to lockdown restrictions, startups are helping companies deliver products and handling backend operations as well.
Besides employees of brick-and-mortar stores, Grofers, BigBasket and other grocery delivery companies have also tied up with food delivery platforms Swiggy and Zomato to deliver orders.
Retailers Association of India (RAI) chief executive Kumar Rajagopalan said that is the first instance of such sharing of manpower when the entire industry has come together foregoing rivalries. “They are ensuring the supply of essentials to consumers when several migrant workers, who often provided the last-mile services, have the cities for their homes amid lockdown,” Rajagopalan added.
For instance, Reliance Retail, which operates apparel, electronics, and grocery stores, is utilising the available manpower to deliver essential products. The company has also got proposals from other ecommerce players to collaborate and enhance the last-mile delivery of essential items. CEO of Reliance Fresh and Reliance Smart Damodar Mall said that these are tough times and any available resources will help.
According to RAI, around 25% of the staff of brick-and-mortar stores turned up for delivery and backend work on Saturday (March 28). RAI has created WhatsApp groups to connect retailers, ecommerce firms, manufacturers and local administration. Using these groups, they can request each other to help them in their operations. Rajagopalan said that there have been instances where the recruiting heads of some companies are discussing finer details to make these partnerships work.
Delivering Groceries From Retailers
After the announcement of the lockdown, there has been an upsurge in the number of online grocery orders on Grofers, BigBasket and other online grocery delivery platforms. However, these companies failed to deliver most of the orders, thanks to the restrictions imposed on them by the local authorities as well as the lack of supply of fresh produce.
In some cities, local authorities even closed down warehouses of companies. Without access to these warehouses, most orders were either cancelled or rescheduled by these companies.
However, they have now found a solution to tackle this problem by picking up products from retail grocery stores and supermarkets to fulfil the delivery of online orders of essential items.
CEO of Grofers Albinder Dhindsa said that the delivery-partners of the company have started picking up and delivering orders from brick-and-mortar stores in Delhi and Lucknow. Grofers is planning to follow this approach in other parts of the country as well.