Food delivery in India via drones? Zomato, Swiggy, Dunzo can start testing

Food delivery via flying drones could soon become a reality in India. The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has given a nod to food startups like Zomato, Swiggy and Dunzo to start testing beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS) drones for deliveries.

According to a report, budget airline SpiceJet, Reliance-backed drone startup Asteria Aerospace, Zomato, Swiggy and Dunzo are among 13 consortia that have received approvals from the aviation regulator to test fly drones.

Last year, India announced its plans to allow experimental long-range drone flights. The tests are likely to begin in the the first week of July. This will be India’s first step to develop local drone-based services.

This consortia will need to complete at least 100 hours of flight time in the specific airspace designated by Airport Authority of India by September 30. They have to submit their reports to the DGCA.

“Testing of drone technology for last mile connectivity and cost-effective cargo deliveries are a big leap in the air transportation of essential and non-essential supplies in India,” SpiceJet chairman and managing director Ajay Singh said.

“Food delivery by drones is no longer just a pipe dream. It’s almost here,” the Zomato founder said earlier.

Last year, the popular food delivery startup Zomato successfully completed a test delivery using drones in India. The drone carried a payload of 5 kg covered 5 kms in 10 minutes, said Deepinder Goyal, the CEO of Zomato. The drone hit a peak speed of 80 kmph. The food delivery chain aims to deliver food to customer in less than 15 minutes.

At a time when the world is looking for new ways for contactless delivery, the approval of drone delivery can prove to be a game-changer.

This article was first published on livemint.com.

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.

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.