Coronavirus spread: Uber, Flipkart join hands to deliver essential products

With a registered customer base of over 200 million, Flipkart has the capacity to offer over 150 million products across 80 categories.
Uber has partnered Walmart-owned e-commerce firm Flipkart to provide everyday essentials to people, amid the ongoing national lockdown. The two companies have jointly rolled out the service across Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi.

This partnership will keep the vital supply chains running and will address the growing needs of Flipkart customers to receive essential goods at their doorsteps every day. It will also support the government’s objective of keeping hundreds of millions of Indians at home to contain the spread of Covid-19.

“The partnership helps keep the economy running and enables Indians to stay at home, as well as creates earning opportunities for drivers. Uber will not charge any commission, enabling drivers to keep 100 per cent of billed amounts,” said Prabhjeet Singh, director-operations and head of cities, Uber India and South Asia. Uber also said all drivers associated with this service were being provided with masks, gloves, sanitizers.

“This partnership is to help move essential supplies to customers in the shortest possible span of time. Flipkart remains committed to supporting our customers and we are mobilising all possible options to ensure that in this fight we can support the governments by delivering essential supplies to people,” said Rajneesh Kumar, chief corporate affairs officer, Flipkart. With a registered customer base of over 200 million, Flipkart has the capacity to offer over 150 million products across 80 categories.
Singh of Uber said the partnership with Flipkart further consolidates its new last-mile delivery service, which was launched a week ago and leverage its technology and network with third parties who are ready to provide essential products.

“There is a huge interest from driver-partners and businesses for the last-mile delivery (service),” said Singh.

Experts said as the lockdown progresses, companies, especially those employing gig workers, are looking at innovative partnerships to keep their businesses going.

Bike-taxi unicorn Rapido on Monday said it had collaborated with major essential suppliers such as Bigbasket, Big Bazaar and Spencer’s Retail for aiding last-mile deliveries across more than 90 cities in the country. The company said it was committed to accelerating its existing Rapido-Delivery services to provide for essential supplies during the ongoing lockdown. The company said 70 per cent of its fleet of Captains (driver-partners) are on-ground in order to facilitate supplies. “In addition, we are currently in talks with multiple players such as Grofers, Dunzo, FreshtoHome and others on extending our support to help them deliver essential orders,” said Rapido. While Rapido will be the platform to felicitate these deliveries, the company said it would not be charging any commission from the Captains.

Uber recently announced two new business-to-business partnerships — UberMedic — a 24X7 service that will work with health care authorities. It will arrange transport for front-line health care providers to and from their homes and medical facilities. The other one is with Bigbasket where driver-partners will help with last-mile delivery of everyday essential items in four cities. Its Bengaluru-based rival Ola Cabs has agreed to give 500 vehicles to the Karnataka government for transporting doctors and for other Covid-related activities. Flipkart is also exploring other collaboration ideas. It is currently having talks with various cab aggregators and the Indian Railways to ensure smooth and hassle-free movement of essential products from vendors to customers.


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