Metroplus

Look what’s at your doorstep

Illustration by Mihir Balantrapu

Illustration by Mihir Balantrapu  

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No longer living the simple life but running a thousand errands? Hyperlocal delivery services in the city will rescue you from the drudgery of everyday chores, writes RANJANI RAJENDRA

There are a hundred things you have to do. There are the professional commitments, bills to be paid, planning that dinner party, catering to your family’s needs and running a thousand errands; and only 24 hours in a day and so much energy you can summon. Now, if only you could pay someone to run a few of those errands for you. Maybe a helpful somebody who would go pick up that medical report from the doctor’s office that you were supposed to collect a week ago. Or probably just someone to run to the nearest grocery to pick up that one spice you forgot and don’t have the patience to go all the way for again. Help is at hand. A slew of product/hyperlocal delivery services has entered the foray, like armed crusaders set to rescue you from the drudgery of everyday chores — for a fee, of course.

Be it a packet of instant noodles, a laptop that you’ve been meaning to go pick up, dry cleaning or even a split AC — they will do it all. Take Kwickdel for instance — the service that will deliver anything that is manageable on a bike; anywhere in the city. All you need to do is pick up the phone and place your request. Or if you’re the tech-savvy sort, log on to their website.



Be it a packet of instant noodles, a laptop that you’ve been meaning to go pick up, dry cleaning or even a split AC — Kwickdel will do it all.


There’s also Roadrunnr and VDeliver that work along similar lines. Name it and they’ll bring it to you, with VDeliver promising to deliver anything from food to stationery and even corporate gifts. The latter set up operations in Hyderabad, and is soon launching services in the city as well.



VDeliver promisines to deliver anything from food to stationery and even corporate gifts


Then there’s LocaLegs, a service that not only delivers products from the local brick and mortar stores, but is also willing to tie-up with online retailers for last-mile deliveries. “The idea for Kwickdel came to me when I realised just how irksome it was for me to go run a thousand errands. I found it rather inconvenient to send the driver too. The whole process is so time-consuming and cumbersome; and then, there’s that omnipresent traffic snarl to be factored in. So, why not a service that will cater to all your needs? Kwickdel aims to do just that. We’ll pick up anything a client wants from a place of their choice, and deliver it to their doorstep,” says Pooja Jalan, founder of the company. “It’s just an attempt to make life easier.”

Another entrant in this market is OyeThere. The company promises to deliver anything from electronics to FMCG products and everything in between, within a timeframe of 30 to 300 minutes. “We have a carefully curated list of products on our website that one can choose from. There are baby products, groceries, organic produce, books and even tender coconut,” says S. Shriram, the founder. According to him, the website has over 2,700 products listed online, and is in talks to tie up with a consumer durables store in Chennai. “Our aim is to be able to deliver electronics like a split AC within the said timeframe before summer sets in.”



OyeThere promises to deliver anything from electronics to FMCG products and everything in between, within a timeframe of 30 to 300 minutes.


The convenience, of course, makes these services a hit with the busy citizen. According to Pooja, in a working period of three months, they’ve carried out 1,200 deliveries, while Shriram says that at OyeThere nearly 50 per cent of their clients are repeat customers, “That itself is a very encouraging trend for the business.”

“We’re sort of like the Mumbai dabbawallas — we deliver at any destination at your chosen time. Except, we don’t just deliver food; we deliver anything you’d want us to. The idea is to go hyperlocal and cater to the small and medium-sized enterprises that are hit by bigger players,” says Pooja, explaining that at present, they haven’t tied up with any specific vendor. “We don’t want to restrict ourselves to any particular store or brand. So, if there’s something you want from a tiny store in Mylapore, we’ll fetch it for you.”

Shriram adds, “We like to think of ourselves as the bridge between shops and customers. We’ve had a lot of calls from elderly clients as well, who find the delivery service very convenient. Only recently, I had an elderly man, who lives by himself, call us and thank us for making errands easier for him.”

And services don’t cater to individuals alone. eCourierz is another start-up that provides logistical solutions to small and medium-scale entrepreneurs. “We’re essentially an automated shipping platform for people who don’t have logistics of their own, and are looking for someone to make delivering their products easier. You could say we are a shipping technology for these companies, and most of our clients are home-based entrepreneurs,” says Sreenivas Saba, co-founder of the company.



eCourierz is another start-up that provides logistical solutions to small and medium-scale entrepreneurs.


The best part: these services are rather affordable. While Kwickdel charges Rs. 50 per five kilometres, excluding the price of a product, OyeThere does not have a delivery charge for orders above Rs. 500. Orders below that cost Rs. 30, irrespective of distance.

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2018 7:01:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/need-help-running-errands-turn-to-these-startups/article8356473.ece

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