afaqs! news bureau

Uber India will now deliver groceries and essential goods to your doorstep

The cab-hailing firm has partnered with Flipkart, BigBasket, and Spencer's Retail to facilitate this delivery service.

India is half-way through its 21-day lockdown imposed to restrict the spread of Coronavirus. While people were asked to not leave their homes, firms that dealt in delivery of essential goods suffered greatly and so did customers who’d placed orders to stockpile during the lockdown.

Uber India announced on April 06, 2020, its partnership with Walmart-owned e-commerce major Flipkart to “...provide their customers enhanced access to essential supplies across Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.”

Rajneesh Kumar, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Flipkart, said, “This partnership is to help move essential supplies from our sellers/vendors to customers in the shortest possible span of time."

He continued, "Flipkart remains committed to supporting our customers and we are mobilizing all possible options to ensure that in this national fight against COVID 19, we can support the governments, by delivering essential supplies to people who are staying indoors.’’

Prabhjeet Singh, Director-Operations and Head of Cities, Uber India & South Asia, said, “We are pleased to announce our partnership with Flipkart today to further consolidate our new last-mile delivery service.

"The partnership helps keep the economy running and enables Indians to stay at home in line with government guidelines for containing COVID-19, as well as creates earning opportunities for drivers. Uber will not charge any commission, enabling drivers to keep 100 per cent of billed amounts,’’ he added.

This is Uber India’s third such partnership in a week after it inked similar deals with online grocery giant BigBasket and Kolkata-based retailer Spencer’s Retail for its last-mile delivery service.

The last-minute service in partnership with BigBasket will be available across Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chandigarh and Noida and Uber India will be deploying a mix of UberGo, UberXL and UberMoto for the service.

Lalita Aggarwal, National Process Head-Last Mile of BigBasket added, “The ongoing pan-India lockdown has led to a disruption in the supply of essential goods, primarily led by a shortage of personnel and delivery vehicles. We are very happy to partner with Uber India for this initiative and we will be utilizing a portion of their huge fleet of cars, bikes as well as personnel to help with our deliveries to fulfil customer orders.”

“We are thankful to Uber India for helping us deliver essential goods to thousands of customers across the country and the opportunity to provide financial sustenance to many drivers and riders during this time. As a brand, we are committed to providing the best possible services to our customers and this partnership with Uber is another step towards that goal.”

Singh said, “…all drivers associated with this service are being provided with personal protection equipment like masks, gloves, sanitisers, and specialized safety training to maintain the highest possible safety and hygiene standards.”

The cab-hailing service recently announced another new service called UberMedic that was aimed to provide efficient means of transport for healthcare workers from their homes to hospitals and back.

It will be interesting to see how these partnerships shape because, on day one of the lockdown, online delivery giants were crippled due to excessive orders and logistic issues.

As of April 06, 2020, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare says there are 3,851 active COVID - 19 cases and 111 deaths.