Uber partners with Medlife to deliver medicines at doorsteps in 5 cities

Representative image | Photo: iStock
Uber and Medlife, an e-health platform, are collaborating to provide residents of five cities access to prescription and other over-the-counter medicines, as the India stays under lockdown until May 3 to contain the coronavirus, said the cab-hailing company on Friday.

Uber will use its network of driver partners to support Medlife in delivering medicines safely at doorsteps in Kolkata, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Lucknow and Pune.

“We are pleased to announce our partnership with Medlife--our first with an online pharmacy platform--to support last-mile delivery of prescription and other medicines. During these challenging times, we are committed to the well-being of our communities and to ensure they stay healthy and safe. Through this service, we continue to provide earning opportunities for drivers," said Shiva Shailendran, general manager, North India, Uber.

All drivers associated with this service will be being provided masks, gloves, sanitisers and safety training, Uber said in a statement.

Talking about the partnership, Manish Garg, Head of Supply Chain Management, Medlife said, “Our aim is to ensure timely and hassle-free delivery of all essential medical supplies to our customers. Uber has the capabilities and mode to help us tide through this phase and we look forward to a very fruitful partnership in the days ahead. We will work with them across multiple cities and hope to bridge the gap between demand and supply at the earliest.”

In order to remain relevant during the lockdown, Uber has struck several interesting partnerships with businesses classified as essential services. It has a partnership with bigbasket to deliver grocery, and another service called UberMedic which services hospitals in different cities. 

Leading hospitals in Delhi such as Sri Ganga Ram Hospital, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and Safdarjung Hospital are amongst those using the UberMedic service. These public hospitals will get UberMedic cars free of cost to transport frontline health workers across the city as part of the 10 million free rides being offered globally, as announced by Uber CEO Khosrowshahi.

The UberMedic service has been expanded to public and private hospitals across ten Indian cities- New Delhi, Noida, Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Lucknow and Patna with 18 hospitals already using it. 

Based on an agreement with the National Health Authority (NHA), Uber is making its Medic cars available to many of these public sector hospitals free of cost. Over the next few days, UberMedic cars will also be provided at no charge to several public hospitals in Ghaziabad, Kanpur and Prayagraj. In addition, Uber will also be providing the UberMedic cars to private hospitals on an at-cost basis with a view to support livelihoods of its driver partners.

“By leveraging our global experience, technology and network of drivers, UberMedic allows us to facilitate reliable and convenient transport to India’s real heroes, our medical workers, who’re helping keep our communities safe," said Pavan Vaish, Head of Central Operations, Uber India and South Asia. 

As part of an ongoing pilot with the NHA, all UberMedic cars are fitted with a roof-to-floor plastic sheeting enclosing the driver, which acts as a protective barrier to limit contact between the driver and the rider. All UberMedic drivers are being specially trained in safety procedures and equipped with personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves, sanitizers and disinfectants.

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel