Swiggy and Zomato will now deliver liquor in Jharkhand
Dharshana Kathiresan, INN/Chennai, @Infodeaofficial
Food delivery apps, Swiggy and Zomato have started home delivery of alcohol in some cities of Jharkhand. This measure has been taken to diversify their business which was one among the many that had been severely hit by the COVID-19 outbreak. They also mentioned that they are ready to move this forward to multiple cities, once they receive approval from the respective state governments.
Swiggy brought this alcohol feature in Ranchi, last Thursday, after getting authorization from the Jharkhand government. Customers can make use of this under the ‘wine shops’ category which has been added to the app, recently. It has also assured that this will soon be launched in all other major cities of Jharkhand such as Jamshedpur and Bokaro.
As the wine shops have started to function during lockdown, there are long queues for buying liquor and that has resulted in overcrowding among the customers. These apps are certain that this situation can be avoided if people can get safe access to alcohol at their doorsteps, thereby maintaining social distancing. Apart from delivering food, Swiggy and Zomato began to sell groceries to people at home during the lockdown period in the country.
Reports suggest that the two companies have sent proposals to state governments and officials responsible for major metros to start home delivery of alcohol for its users. However, it might take some time to formalize.
“Taking advantage of our existing technology and infrastructure to enable hyperlocal deliveries, we have been working closely with local authorities to support them with initiatives such as the expansion of grocery delivery and covid-19 relief efforts. By enabling home delivery of alcohol in a safe and responsible manner, we can generate additional business for retail outlets while solving the problem of overcrowding, thereby promoting social distancing,” said Anuj Rathi, Vice President, Products, Swiggy.
Swiggy has included measures such as mandatory age verification and user authentication to complete deliveries, in order to maintain legal standards. Customers can complete their instant age verification by uploading a picture of their valid government ID, followed by a selfie, which the platform will use for authentication using an AI-powered system.
Additionally, all orders will carry a one-time password that needs to be provided at the time of delivery and the order will be handed over to the person, to whom the account belongs. There is also a capping on the order quantity to ensure that a customer is not able to get liquor above the prescribed limit as per the state law.
Swiggy is partnering with local, authorized retailers after validating their licenses and other documents as outlined by the states.
Meanwhile, Zomato also started their service in Ranchi last week. The firm said it has secured approvals from the state government to deliver liquor in homes. This feature is also currently active in Jamshedpur and Bokaro. But the company has not yet revealed how it will be delivering alcohol to people. So we expect it to follow the same protocols as Swiggy.
“With permissions and licences in place, we are starting home delivery of alcohol in Jharkhand. We believe that a technology-enabled, home delivery-based solution can enable responsible consumption of alcohol and provide an option that’s safer and promotes social distancing. We will go live in Ranchi and in seven other cities in Jharkhand,” said an official from Zomato.
Reports also mentioned that both rival companies aim to expand this service in Odisha and Haryana. Also, with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) stating that alcohol shops can use e-commerce platforms to start home deliveries (excluding the containment zones), these delivery apps are operating to bring the service in Mumbai as well.