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E-commerce firms slowly coming back on stream

Patient wait: People waiting to buy essential items in Delhi.

Patient wait: People waiting to buy essential items in Delhi.   | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

They suspended deliveries as many staff were stopped and even beaten by police for violating the lockdown

Following assurances of safe passage for their delivery agents from local authorities, online delivery services such as Flipkart and Grofers on Thursday began resuming operations.

“After a few hiccups, we have resumed operations in Delhi, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Noida, Ghaziabad, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Kanpur with the help of local authorities...We are taking every measure to ensure the delivery of essential items to our customers,” Co-founder & CEO, Grofers Albinder Dhindsa said.

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He added that for these cities, the company would be ramping up capacities in the coming days to fulfil the backlog of orders. “For the remaining cities, we are working closely with the respective authorities and shall resume operations as soon as we get the necessary permissions.” Most e-commerce firms were forced to suspend deliveries as many delivery executives faced challenges, including getting stopped by the police, and some even getting beaten up by policemen.

A food delivery boy operating in Kochi.

A food delivery boy operating in Kochi.   | Photo Credit: Thulasi Kakkat

In a statement, Flipkart said it was grateful for the clarification provided by the government and State authorities on the functioning of e-commerce as “essential service”.

“We have been assured of safe and smooth passage of our supply chain and delivery executives and are resuming our grocery & essentials services…,” Flipkart Group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy said.

On Thursday, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal held a virtual meeting with the e-commerce and logistics industry to discuss the challenges faced by them.

Among those who participated were Snapdeal CEO Kunal Bahl, Shopclues CEO Sanjay Sethi, Mr. Dhindsa (Grofers), Delhivery CEO Shail Barua, NetMeds founder Pradeep Dadha, PharmEasy CEO Dharmil Sheth, and Amazon India CEO Amit Aggrawal and Big Basket CEO Hari Menon.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 1:59:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/e-commerce-firms-slowly-coming-back-on-stream/article31176123.ece

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