Ground Report | New Delhi: Food deliveries; Online food aggregator Zomato recently said that it plans to deliver food to its customers in 10 minutes, a model followed by fast-delivery grocery companies, its founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal said in a blog post.
Today, food delivery has become a global market worth more than $180 billion, having more than tripled since 2017. In India, the market has more than doubled during the COVID pandemic -19.
The advent of user-friendly, engaging apps and tech-enabled driver networks, coupled with changing consumer expectations, has unlocked ready-to-eat food delivery as a mainstream category. Lockdowns and physical distancing requirements early in the pandemic gave the category a huge boost, with delivery becoming a lifeline for the restaurant industry. In the future, it is poised to remain a permanent fixture on the dining scene.
Founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal Zomato said “I started to feel that Zomato’s average 30-minute delivery time is too slow and will soon have to become obsolete. If we don’t make it obsolete, someone else will”. “Innovating and leading from the front is the only way to survive (and therefore thrive) in the tech industry. And here we are… with our 10-minute food delivery offering: Zomato Instant,” he added.
But the idea seems to have failed to impress the vast majority of people in the second-most populous country despite a huge appetite for such services. It was called “ridiculous” and a “death trap” for delivery partners.
A research scientist using his first name, Kushal, on Twitter said it was an “egregious model” that would have repercussions for workers who already lack basic employee rights.
“Zepto’s 10-minute delivery model is emulated by Swiggy, Blinkit. And now Zomato. These companies refuse to recognize their delivery providers as employees and therefore words like ‘drivers’, ‘captains’ and ‘passengers’ are used to refer to them,” he said.
The Indian Federation of App-Based Transport Workers (IFAT) accused Zomato of forgetting that “workers are not machines,” News Minute reported. Shaik Salauddin, national secretary-general of IFAT, said companies are luring customers with the “fantasy of instant delivery”, but urged Zomato to view its delivery workers as “human beings who are more than data points”. for the algorithm to handle.
“It is the incentive-driven working conditions that these platforms actively set that prompt delivery worker to pursue those incentive targets that motivate delivery workers to resort to such acts,” he said. He said workers lack adequate access to restrooms, break areas, charging stations and Wi-Fi and are often penalized for spill issues, without buying the company’s no-penalty promise.
A higher number of delivery startups are mushrooming due to their high popularity and more young people are taking jobs as delivery agents due to a Covid-pandemic induced slump in the job market.
According to the World Bank, India records a death every four minutes on its roads and accidents kill around 150,000 people each year. (Food deliveries)