India: Swiggy, Zomato start home delivery of alcohol in non-metros

A Swiggy delivery executive enroute to a restaurant. Photo: Livemint

Food delivery unicorns Swiggy and Zomato have enabled online processing and home delivery of alcohol in non-metros, in an attempt to diversify when their core business has been hit due to the covid-19 lockdown.

Extending this service to large metros may take a while, though.

Swiggy’s alcohol delivery service went live in Ranchi on Thursday, after the company obtained necessary approvals from the Jharkhand government. The service can be availed by users under the ‘Wine Shops’ category on the Swiggy app.

Zomato told Mint that its service will go live in Ranchi by Friday and in another seven other cities in Jharkhand over the next couple of days. The Gurugram-based food delivery firm said it has received the necessary approvals.

These approvals may take a couple of weeks to a month to come through.

Swiggy was looking to expand this service to certain cities in Odisha, but with Cyclone Amphan wrecking havoc in the state, it has decided to halt expansion there as of now, said a person aware of the discussions.

“…we have been working closely with local authorities to support them with initiatives like expansion of grocery delivery and covid-19 relief efforts. By enabling home delivery of alcohol in a safe and responsible manner, we can generate additional business for retail outlets while solving the problem of overcrowding, thereby promoting social distancing,” said Anuj Rathi, vice president, products, Swiggy.

Customers can verify their age by uploading a picture of a valid government ID, followed by a selfie which the platform will use for authentication using an AI-powered system.

All orders will carry a unique OTP which needs to be provided by the customer at the time of delivery. There is also a cap on the order quantity.

Swiggy, in a statement, said it was partnering authorised retailers after validating their license and other required documents as outlined by the respective state governments.

Delivery partners and retailers have been virtually trained to facilitate smooth processing and fulfilment of orders.

This article was first published on livemint.com.

 

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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.