Don’t be surprised if your Zomato or Swiggy delivery boy delivers you groceries instead of your favourite meal.
To tide over the acute shortage of manpower, Retailers Association of India (RAI) have requested e-commerce and non-food players to help with delivery staff for delivering essentials from grocery stores and local kiranas to customers.
Considering the acute shortage of manpower due to the exodus of workers and travel restrictions during the lockdown, offline stores are finding it difficult to manage walk-in customers and home deliveries at the same time.
“Steps are being taken to deploy the workforce that is employed with non-food retailers in stores that are selling essentials to overcome the shortage of manpower. We are is also in discussions with online food delivery firms like Swiggy and Zomato to tie-up with retailers for the last-mile delivery of essentials,” Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, RAI, told Moneycontrol.
Currently, a private run for delivering essentials with the help of Swiggy and Zomato delivery employees is underway in northern India.
Rajagopalan said people working in apparel showrooms and electronic stores, which are closed at the moment, could be roped in by online e-grocery and kirana stores.
He said even e-grocery stores such as Grofers and BigBasket, which are struggling to deliver essentials on time due to the burgeoning demand, will also be using Zomato and Swiggy delivery staff.
After 21-day lockdown was announced, e-grocers faced immense shortage of manpower as slew of employees are not able to make it to offices/warehouses.
He added that kirana stores are facing difficulty in ensuring home delivery.
However, considering that there are close to 12 million kirana stores, Rajagopalan believes Indians are not as severely impacted as the rest of the world for access to daily need items.
The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic has spread across 177 countries. Today is the sixth day of India’s 21-day lockdown. The total number of reported COVID-19 cases in India stands at 1,071.