Flipkart has announced its partnership with cab services company Meru to deliver daily essentials and groceries to consumers during the ongoing national lockdown in India. The new move by the Walmart-owned e-commerce firm will ease doorstep deliveries across Bengaluru, Delhi NCR, and Hyderabad. Flipkart has claimed that it has installed “Ozone Air Purifier” at its dispatch hubs from where Meru drivers will be able to sanitise their cabs before proceeding the deliveries. Cab companies such as Ola and Uber are also helping healthcare personnel by offering essential medical trips in certain cities across the country.
According to the deal between Flipkart and Meru, as defined through a press statement, Flipkart will run a training module for Meru driver partners to help them understand its processes for safe and timely delivery of grocery items. Meru, on the other hand, has also claimed to train its partners with preventive measures such as alcohol-based sanitisers and wearing face masks while processing deliveries to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The fleet is also touted to be Ozone Sanitised and work in line with the government guidelines.
“This partnership with Meru is a result of our teams exploring new, innovative ways to drive value for our ecosystem of sellers, brands, partners, and customers to ensure the safe and swift availability of grocery and essential goods. We have a very secure and safe supply chain where we follow SOPs [standard operating procedures] diligently,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart Group, in the statement.
Win-win for both
The partnership is a win-win move for both Flipkart and Meru. While the e-commerce giant isn’t able to process non-essential deliveries due to the authoritative restrictions and majorly has daily essentials and groceries as the key items to sell nowadays, the cab company also doesn’t have the permit to drive regular cabs on roads, thanks to the lockdown. The latest deal, thus, makes sense for both companies.
“This service will also offer our driver-partners an additional earning opportunity during this challenging time,” said Neeraj Gupta, Founder and CEO at Meru Mobility Tech, in the joint statement.
A similar move to BigBasket
Earlier this month, BigBasket also partnered with Meru-rival Uber to start delivering home essential items and groceries in Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, and Noida. Uber during that announcement also said that it would not charge a commission to provide the delivery service.
How are we staying sane during this Coronavirus lockdown? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.