Zomato 10-minute food delivery gets a lot of flak
Zomato Instant, the grand plan of the CEO Deepinder Goyal to delivery food in 10 minutes, was always going to be tough. But what Deepinder did not bargain for was the huge social media controversy it created.
If you go by the memes and trolls that Deepinder attracted on social media, people were almost aghast that somebody could force their feet-on-street staff to deliver food in 10 minutes. What about the traffic hazards and driving risks?
Talking about traffic hazards and driving risks, Deepinder was at pains to clarify on social media that the 10 minutes delivery would be achieved without any form of rash driving and without endangering the lives of people.
The entire quick delivery food model was going to be algorithm based. High demand zones would be identified and the complete logistics and support services would be planned backward for that area.
Zomato itself is treading cautiously in this field. For instance, it plans to launch Zomato Instant (10-minute food delivery) only in Gurugram next month. Only based on the Gurugram experience, it would be extended to other places.
But the bet on rapid delivery is based on the premise that quick delivery of groceries by Blinkit and Swiggy Instamart had been a big hit among consumers. Zomato had recently taken controlling stake in Blinkit.
However, the big challenge for the quick commerce franchise would be costs and profitability. Blinkit went into a deep financial mess after its quick commerce launch and that led Blinkit to approach Zomato for funding.
It is also not clear whether the quick commerce model for groceries can really be extended to food deliveries also. Zomato is conscious of the fact that it would be expensive without any added revenue benefits.
To underscore his argument on safety, Deepinder Goyal went to the extent of clarifying that Zomato will not penalise delivery workers for late deliveries nor would be offer incentives for on-time deliveries.
In the case of the delivery partner, they would not even know if it is a 10 minute delivery or a 30 minute delivery. That part will be done by tweaking and fine tuning the delivery logistics and creating clusters to even have cloud kitchens.
In a way, the pioneers of ultra-quick deliveries were Blinkit and Zepto in India. Many of these quick commerce companies have come in for flak for putting inordinate pressure on their delivery partners and the delivery staff, even at the cost of living and driving dangerously.
Of course, not all orders and not all food items will be delivered in 10 minutes. We need to wait and see the entire offering evolve in India.
With Blinkit already a part of Zomato, the partnership is looking to leveraging on quick delivery as a differentiator. Zomato has lost out the market cap game to Swiggy recently and wants to get back its mojo as the pioneer in online food delivery.
Whether or not quick commerce helps Zomato to regain mojo remains to be seen. For now, it surely looks like an idea that has taken the Indian consumers by storm. Now, it is over to the experience.
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