Amazon Invades Virus-Hit Home Food Delivery Biz in India
Amazon India will begin home food delivery operations in Bengaluru as the industry's big players, Zomato and Swiggy, laid off over 1,600 employees due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A spokesperson said they were persuaded by customers to offer prepared meals in addition to shopping essentials. The company added that home food delivery is very relevant during a lockdown.
Amazon has invested some $6.5 billion in India and sees significant growth potential in the fast-growing country.
It planned to launch the food delivery business before the lockdown and has been testing the service in India for over six months.
The service will cover over 100 restaurants, include outlets like Chaayos, Faasos, Box8, Chai point, Mad Over Donuts as well as restaurants from hotel chains like Marriott and Radisson.
Amazon's entry could be a significant challenge for Zomato and Swiggy, who dominate the home food delivery market in India.
The nationwide lockdown has forced Zomato and Swiggy to restructure their business.
In a blogpost, Zomato founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal admitted dramatic changes over the last couple of months that could permanent.
Swiggy said it was "severely impacted" by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it has started home delivery of alcohol in Ranchi and is in talks with various state governments about providing the same service.