India: Amazon launches food delivery service with ‘Amazon Food’

Photo: Pixabay

E-commerce major Amazon has forayed into food delivery segment in India to diversify its business, much like food tech unicorns Swiggy and Zomato explore other revenue models.

Amazon India has chosen Bengaluru to start its food delivery pilot, and is currently delivering to four pin codes in the city.

It is not clear if the firm will expand this service beyond Bengaluru anytime soon.

“Customers have been telling us for some time that they would like to order prepared meals on Amazon in addition to shopping for all other essentials. This is particularly relevant in present times as they stay home safe. We also recognize that local businesses need all the help they can get. We are launching Amazon Food in select Bangalore pin codes allowing customers to order from handpicked local restaurants and cloud kitchens that pass our high hygiene certification bar,” said an Amazon spokesperson.

The past two months have been particularly challenging for large e-commerce players, which were forced to sell only essentials during the nationwide lockdown that began on 25 March.

This led to e-commerce companies along with food delivery players ramping up efforts and in some cases launch deliveries of groceries and other essential items on their respective apps.

Although grocery deliveries count as a high-volume business, margins continue to be thin and dependent on operational efficiency.

The government only eased these curbs on e-commerce in the fourth phase of the lockdown, starting this week, where retailers were allowed to operate and deliver non-essential goods in the so-called red zones as well.

“I think the biggest impact internationally has been in India where, of course, similar to all companies, we’re now only fulfilling essential goods such as grocery; so that’s cut back a lot on our offering and we will further expand when the Indian government announces that we’re allowed to resume operations,” Brian T. Olsavsky, senior vice-president and chief financial officer, had said in an earnings call.

Earlier this week, American retailer Walmart, which owns Flipkart, also said net sales for its international business were hit as its Indian subsidiary was unable to make non-essential deliveries during the virus lockdown.

This article was first published on livemint.com.

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.