Following the commencement of the 21-day lockdown across India, citizens have found themselves increasingly dependent on online, app-based delivery services.
As individuals find it harder to leave the comfort of their homes under strict lockdown measure, food and essential commodity delivery services are slowly becoming the backbone of an urban population in quarantine.
Law enforcement too has helped facilitate the smooth functioning of the e-commerce industry with notifications being circulated regarding the exemption of online delivery services from the lockdown.
Really appreciate the speed, collaboration and compassion with which law enforcement authorities are working with the eCommerce industry to ensure seamless delivery of goods to consumers. 🙏🏼🇮🇳 @gurgaonpolice @DelhiPolice pic.twitter.com/ObrFdpubmY
— Kunal Bahl (@1kunalbahl) March 25, 2020
However, companies have also found themselves at odds with local authorities, with Grofers facing forced shutdown of their warehouses and m.Paani reporting closure of many of their partner shops, despite these supplying essential commodities.
Our @grofers warehouse in Faridabad was closed by local law enforcement today.While we understand they are doing their duty, essential items will be denied to 20,000+ households in Faridabad and Delhi every day. We need help in sorting this out. @Mcf_Faridabad @ArvindKejriwal
— Albinder Dhindsa (@albinder) March 24, 2020
Hi @amitabhk87 – @mPaani facing significant issues of police closing our local partner shops – esp in Mumbai. They are all essential category – grocery, chemist, fruits, veg. Making it impossible to serve citizens needs. Stock up deliveries to shops also being stopped on road 🙏🏻
— Akanksha Hazari (@AkankshaHazari) March 25, 2020
Hurdles aside however, the Indian startup landscape has shown determination and agility in extraordinary circumstances in order to provide clients and consumers with the best possible service.
Hello Delhi!We are taking orders in your city again.Our operations were temporarily interrupted,but with help of local authorities, we're accepting and delivering orders again. Kindly expect a longer delivery time as we serve older orders first.Thanks for your patience & support.
— Grofers (@Grofers) March 25, 2020
We're imMunzly proud of the dedicated workforce who're playing key roles during the lockdown. Do share pics/stories of the everyday heroes who keep your lives going during these critical times, in the thread below. Let's show them some love! 😊❤️ https://t.co/UgmnrSnBHa
— Dunzo (@DunzoIt) March 25, 2020
Bigbasket for example, took to Twitter on Wednesday to clarify the limits of its functionality during this period and the cities it would be servicing.
We've been working hard to ensure that we are able to serve you over the next few weeks. Here's an update on the status of our operations, by city (as on the evening of 25th March.)
Thanks for choosing bigbasket. Stay Safe. pic.twitter.com/Fy48IntXA2
— bigbasket (@bigbasket_com) March 25, 2020
App-based delivery services continue to face restrictions at one end, while being granted considerable leeway at another. However, their ease of movement may prove a vital asset to the daily lives of a country in lockdown.