| New Delhi |
Updated: May 31, 2020 1:51:39 am
FROM USING an existing mobility infrastructure for intra-city logistics to leveraging clientele base of premium hotels to generate business by delivering food, the impact of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown on revenue streams, has forced consumer internet companies to think outside the box.
For instance, food-delivery platform Swiggy and ridesharing company Uber have started leveraging their two-wheeler fleets to offer services under Genie and Connect, respectively, to transport small items such as office documents, lunchboxes, etc within the city limits. Similarly, online travel agency Makemytrip announced it has partnered with premium hotel chains and independent properties in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru to deliver food.
In the early days of the country-wide lockdown, Swiggy and its rival Zomato, recognised the need for more players in the grocery delivery segment and launched services in this space. A similar pivot was seen with Domino’s Pizza partnering ITC to deliver essential goods.
The COVID-19 pandemic and its after effects have hit online aggregators hard, particularly those depending on hospitality segments such as hotels, restaurants and air travel. While domestic flights have resumed after two months with a truncated schedule — bringing respite to several stakeholders including cab aggregators, which record a major chunk of metro operations from airport rides — hotels and restaurants are still not fully open for business.
“Many such online companies have long-term plans laid out for venturing out into new businesses to expand their revenue streams in the future. Much of what you are seeing right now is the acceleration of those plans. There is no doubt the pandemic has brought tailwinds for digital businesses and everyone would want to leverage that opportunity,” said an executive with a large digital services firm based in Mumbai.
In an e-mail to the company’s employees earlier this month, Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal said he expected the number of restaurants to shrink by 25-40 per cent over the next 6-12 months. As of May 15, the company’s grocery delivery went live in 185 cities across India. Similarly, its rival Swiggy also expanded its grocery delivery operations and chalked out plans to invest more efforts in services that it deems will “continue to do well”. It has also reallocated the job roles for some of its employees to this effect.
“While this crisis has impacted our core business negatively, there is no doubt that we are now at an inflection point for the penetration of…
Go to the news source: Hit by coronavirus, online aggregators create new revenue streams