An incessant spell of rains caused havoc in Delhi on Thursday and Friday. Such was the impact of the water-logged roads and traffic jams, that the national capital had to be put on ‘yellow alert’ by the Indian Meteorological Department.
One section which was visibly affected by the rains apart from people going to the office and children going to school is the delivery companies and individuals delivering orders.
Food delivery start-up, Zomato, said that the weather has had an impact on services due to infrastructure constraints and difficult road conditions. “We are trying our best to be serviceable at this time and request everyone to please be empathetic with the ground crew who are braving the roads and bad weather to serve our customers,” the company’s spokesperson told Business Today.
She further added that the delivery partners are equipped with the right gear - raincoats, mobile covers, traffic, and water-logging support, among others as they deliver essentials across the region. Zomato’s rival, Swiggy, had a similar strategy.
Apart from monitoring the situation constantly, the foodtech unicorn said that it compensates its delivery partners from the ‘surge component’ that leads to a rise in prices during such times.
BT also spoke to a delivery partner in Zomato in light of the prevailing situation. He said that he is facing a minimum 30-minute delay for all the orders because of the rains. The delivery person added that if he gets an order from the company, he must deliver it irrespective of the rains.
Swiggy is not the only start-up to impose the surge component. Reliance-backed quick commerce company, Dunzo, also adds a surge fee during intense periods of rain.
Vijay Verma, Vice President of Supply and Operations at Dunzo shared an interesting point. He said that the number of orders usually goes up during rains because people are unable to step out. He noted that they are mindful of the safety of their delivery partners while ensuring that customers have access to the essentials.
Some of the other steps Dunzo takes to ensure smoother processes include increasing the delivery time from 19 minutes to 60 minutes and temporarily pausing services in completely water-logged and inaccessible areas.
E-grocery start-up, Zepto, which is known for its ‘10-minute’ deliveries pushes its delivery times. In addition, talking about the on-ground situation, Zepto’s COO, Vijay Dhanani, said that the rains have severely impacted areas in and around Gurugram and a few areas in South Delhi.
“The rest of the operations in the NCR continue as usual with a slight increase in traffic, which is adversely impacting delivery times.”
Delhi, it seems, is a big and hard-to-ignore market for delivery and ecommerce companies. Online retail firm, Fynd, says that one-quarter of its total orders come from Delhi. And therefore, the situation in the last 72 hours led to the piling up of orders. To combat this, it has created WhatsApp groups to keep the delivery partners posted about the on-ground situation.
“We are keeping a close watch and ensuring that we deliver safely and on time,” says Harsh Shah, co-founder of Fynd. Not only Shah, but all others have pointed out that they are waiting for the situation to normalise as soon as possible.
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