And it’s already Thursday, hope everyone is well and safe in quarantine! Seems like in the last couple of days, food and grocery services have been slammed with a bunch of orders & in some cities the police isn’t letting individuals operate essential service or deliver them, and all we can hope for is that local governments make these ordinances clearer so that the police don’t trouble people unnecessarily. Got a couple stories on this theme today:
So as I mentioned above, with not much of a heads up given for the lockdown there were several reports of police beating up & harassing delivery personnel in certain cities & states.
The Delhi govt. was able to pull off something pretty cool in a very short amount of time. Individuals who work in essential services and don’t have any identification cards (online delivery personnel) can apply for an electronic pass through a helpline or email the Delhi government.
Once approved, they would receive this e-pass on WhatsApp or email and they can show this to the cops if they are stopped. Moreover, the Delhi Police has also created a helpline that people can call if they are being harassed by the cops.
So this is a fairly simple solution and hopefully will be somewhat effective (as of last morning 2500 passes were already issued), but I’m super impressed at the speed that the local government was able to pull this off on. This is definitely a model other states could adopt to ensure people can get food & essential items delivered to their houses.
As we start to see a rise in online ordering in India (where the manufacturing sector is able to keep up hopefully), this might provide some form of employment to individuals in the SME sector who’s businesses have been shuttered completely. I would assume there would be a need for warehouse (with proper hygiene precautions) and delivery personnel in the coming days.
In a very timely announcement, BharatPe will now let users get groceries & medicines from nearby stores.
This honestly makes a lot of sense to me. With the current surge in orders from the big e-tailers, their supply chain and kind-of central order channel probably hasn’t been able to keep up with the demand. On the other hand, BharatPe is letting existing offline merchants come online and lets consumers order essential groceries and medicines from them directly.
There has definitely been some amount of hoarding in India already along with people rushing to order online which has lead to huge backlogs on the online systems. With BharatPe’s order mechanism, people might be still able to get some essentials delivered- they might not be able to provide the widest selection or the most quantity but at least they can connect consumers who need stuff and merchants who have those things.
I really hope they are able to scale this up across the country in the coming days until the supply for these bigger platforms kick in and are able to manage the surge.