How Businesses And Startups Dealt With The Coronavirus Lockdown On Day 2

The reality is slowly setting in, and India’s business community is slowly finding its feet amidst the nationwide coronavirus lockdown. Even as most businesses are shut, they’re either trying to keep the lights on by working from home, negotiating with the government to get their services back up, and helping out their customers and employees. Here are the updates of how India’s businesses and startups dealt with on the second day of the coronavirus lockdown.

1.Grocery delivery companies look to resume services: Yesterday, several grocery delivery companies had found it hard to make deliveries with their warehouses being not allowed to operate, and some of their delivery personnel not allowed on the roads. But the negotiations that the companies began with the government seem close to bearing fruit. “We were not able to resume services at a lot of places but we were able to meet with authorities and should be able to resolve all the on-ground issues by Thursday so that we are live in most cities by the weekend,” said Grofers CEO Albinder Dhindsa.

2. Amazon stops cash on delivery: Cash can be a source of contamination of the virus, and Amazon has stopped accepting cash on delivery orders amid the crisis. Big Basket meanwhile said that its delivery executives were handing over a paper bag to collect cash from customers, and transferring the balance to its digital wallet.

3. Zomato, Swiggy ordered to shut down in several states: Tamil Nadu, Chattisgarh, Bihar, Assam and Pondicherry have directed Zomato and Swiggy to stop operations during the lockdown. However, Karnataka, Delhi-NCR and Maharashtra have issued notifications to local authorities to let food deliveries function smoothly. “We are working through the teething issues due to the lockdown,” said Deepinder Goyal, founder and CEO, Zomato. “We are yet to see 100% impact in most states.”

4. Zomato extends Gold memberships by 2 months: With most restaurants shut, Zomato extended its Gold memberships by 2 months in India, UAE, Australia, Indonesia, Philippines, Lebanon, Turkey, New Zealand, Portugal and Qatar.

5. Curefit extends memberships by 21 days: With Curefit’s fitness centers closed across India, Curefit added 21 pause days to their customers’ memberships.

6. Daily soaps to not shoot episodes: Outside the world of tech, several daily soaps have cancelled shoots, and won’t be showing new episodes. Some TV channels are working to telecast web series instead of regular programming in the place of regular soaps. Prasar Bharti is also reportedly looking to show episodes of Mahabharata and Ramayana, the smash hit shows from the 80s, on Doordarshan.

7. MX Player expands to US and UK: But it’s not all doom and gloom — one of the few industries that’s been positively impacted by the coronavirus is online streaming, and Times Internet’s MX Player appears to have used the opportunity to expand its services to the US and UK.