Food delivery apps saw a significantly drop in order volumes after the country went into lockdown. While many upscale restaurants are jumping on the home delivery bandwagon, food ordering platforms are still reeling from a major slump in their core business.
And that has promoted them to expand their logistics services.
More than food on the platter
Zomato is eyeing the launch of a consumer-facing pick-up and drop service, mirroring rival Swiggy’s Genie. For its business-to-business push, Gurugram-based Zomato has started signing up merchants for pre-paid and cashless last-mile logistics services.
For example, if a store wants to offer home delivery as a service within an 8-10 km radius, they could use Zomato and Swiggy’s fleet, competing directly with logistics platforms like Shadowfax, Loadshare, and a clutch of other hyperlocal logistics players.
Why it matters
Food delivery orders, already down at least 70% over the last two months, are not expected to recover before year-end as people adjust to a new normal in the wake of the outbreak. The recovery is expected to take even longer in smaller towns and cities. Read More.
As the coronavirus outbreak wreaks havoc on the Indian startup ecosystem, software engineers, product managers, sales and marketing staff, and people in operational roles have been most affected by layoffs.
Software engineers are among the most impacted professionals due to the Covid-19 crisis. Engineers are expensive assets, and many companies that over-staffed their technology teams prior to the crisis in anticipation of growth are now forced to put new projects on indefinite hold and cut down their engineering headcount.
The silver lining
For professionals, there is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Sectors such as ed-tech, gaming and financial services are seeing an uptick in demand and have begun ramping up their teams. Software engineers are also back in demand. Read More.
The nationwide lockdown to stop the spread of Covid-19 has put the brakes on earnings of ride-hailing apps. And that’s bad news for graduates of India’s top business schools.
Uber rescinds job offers
The SoftBank-backed cab aggregator has revoked job offers across leading Indian Institutes of Managements, Management Development Institute, Gurgaon and SPJIMR.
According to various placement cells, job offers had been revoked across leading Indian Institutes of Managements, Management Development Institute, Gurgaon and SPJIMR. At an Indian Institutes of Technology, where Uber has hired for software engineer roles, no intimation has come so far on withdrawal of offers. At some IITs, Uber had made offers upwards of Rs 1 crore for jobs in the US. Now, even these institutes are worried. Read More.
An impromptu visit to a beauty parlour could be a thing of the past.
The new normal
Leading salons such as Lakme, BBlunt, Enrich and Bodycraft are planning to overhaul their day-to-day operations.
Top salon chains will ban entry of customer companions, children below 12 years of age and on-premise consumption of food and beverages. Godrej Consumer Products Ltd., which has a 30% stake in salon chain BBlunt, has advised its partner salons to use one-time-use personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times and disinfect high-touchpoint zones every three hours.
Why it matters
The new safety protocol will increase their operating cost, resulting in a price hike and straining the customer wallet amid salary cuts and layoffs. The industry estimates the number of salons in India at 65 lakhs, of which only 30% are registered. Like liquor retailers, salons may see serpentine queues once they reopen. Still most organised players expressed no ambition to pursue at-home service model offered by the likes of Urban Clap. Read More.
Facebook has agreed to pay $52 million to settle a class-action lawsuit in the United States which alleged that content moderators contracted to work for the social media giant had suffered mental health problems and trauma while filtering harmful content.
The lawsuit, filed in 2018, alleged that Facebook did not properly protect moderators—employees of various technology companies that Facebook had outsourced the work to—who were keeping out harmful content like rape, murder and suicide at the social media platform.
The tech giant agreed to pay a minimum of $1,000 per person in a settlement that covers over 10,000 current and former content moderators. Facebook has also agreed to offer counselling to those affected. Read More.
(Illustrations by Rahul Awasthi)