Sources said the company has been working on developing a sustainable grocery delivery model globally as well as for India which is its most important market outside of the US. The company has been working on a blueprint for grocery delivery for India for the last three months and is drawing up the finer points, so that it can prepare itself for a pilot in the first half of next year.
“Things are still at the drawing board stage. Nothing has been finalised and they are looking into things such as who would be supplying the grocery, how hyperlocal the company wants the model to be, and the major retailers to be roped into the whole exercise. Once all these are worked out, only then will Uber go ahead with the plan,” said a source close to the company.
The cab aggregator has been quite bullish about its Uber Eats business globally, which, according to it, has been growing 200 per cent per year and has a $6 billion run rate. Uber’s June 2018 quarter net revenue was $2.7 billion, up 51 per cent from the same quarter last year, while gross bookings were $12 billion, which was 41 per cent higher year-on-year.
Other food delivery players such Swiggy are also planning to get into the grocery delivery space. According to recent reports, Swiggy is planning to launch grocery as well as medicine delivery services in the Delhi-National Capital Region, Mumbai, and Bengaluru in November this year.
Analysts, too, are bullish on the e-grocery segment and predict it will be worth $28 billion by the end of 2018. Little wonder that every e-commerce player wants to have a finger in the lucrative grocery pie.
Amazon, Flipkart, and the soon-to-be-launched Reliance e-commerce are pumping significant resources into this space. Sources at Flipkart said the Walmart-backed firm has allocated close to $400 million for the e-grocery segment alone. It has already launched its grocery vertical, Supermart.
Reliance e-commerce, too, is said to be developing the biggest omnichannel grocery store network in the country, riding on the back of its 3-million merchants and close to 8,000 stores.
And Amazon India is planning to introduce some of its Whole Foods range on the platform by the end of this year or early next year.