The coronavirus lockdown has virtually shuttered many businesses in India — but some are coming up with interesting ways to keep operating.
Uber has tied up with Spencer’s Retail, Big Basket and Flipkart for last-mile delivery of essentials during the coronavirus lockdown. Uber has partnered with Flipkart in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai and Bangalore, and will eventually extend the program to other cities. “Flipkart being a leading e-commerce player with a dedicated customer base, this service will help to reach a lot of people. We are exploring opportunities to expand it to other cities,” said Uber India and South Asia director operations and head of cities Prabhjeet Singh. Uber had earlier struck similar partnerships with Big Basket and Spencer’s Retail.
Singh said this service of Uber rolled out last week is an innovation in India. He said the company is in talks with other retailers and players who may be keen to utilise Uber’s existing mobility infrastructure to reach consumers’ homes with essentials. “This service will enable containment of Covid-19 and also offer our driver-partners opportunity to participate in earning opportunity making it a win-win for everybody. We are not charging any commission and all the earnings in these business to business deals are directly passed on to the driver-partner allowing them extra earning opportunity,” said Singh.
Customers are already taking to social media to share accounts of their deliveries being made in Ubers. A Twitter user shared a picture of an Uber car with several Big Basket deliver boxes in the back seat.
You know you're in Bangalore when your Big Basket order comes in an Uber pic.twitter.com/8KooBuPPa5
— MB (@desiboho) April 6, 2020
The idea is indeed a win-win: during the coronavirus lockdown, no cabs are allowed on roads, while delivery companies like Big Basket are seeing a spike in orders that their current delivery fleets can’t handle. By partnering up, Uber’s drivers get an opportunity to earn income while their cars normally would’ve been lying idle, and delivery companies are able to make orders that they normally wouldn’t have been able to fulfill. The coronavirus has been a bolt from the blue for startups around the world — but at least in India, companies are coming up with creative ways to continue serving their employees and customers.