India’s Blinkit halts rapid delivery in some neighbourhoods
13:15, 20 December 2021
Grocery delivery service Blinkit (formerly Grofers) said Monday that it will briefly halt operations in several Indian neighbourhoods where it cannot move provisions within 10 minutes.
The decision will impact some 75,000 of the 200,000 customers it caters to daily, said CEO Albinder Dhindsa.
Blinkit is backed by Softbank Group and food delivery giant Zomato.
“While we understand a 15 minute or 20 minute delivery service would be better than no service, our systems and infrastructure are built solely with 10 minutes (or less) in mind,” Dhindsa wrote in a 20 December blog post.
“That said, we are opening a new store (in India) every 4 hours and accelerating that pace even further. This means, this is a temporary lack of service and we hope to be able to serve all our affected customers within four weeks from today,” he added.
Dhindsa’s post did not list the affected neighbourhoods.
Zomato’s stock has inched up some 1% to INR126.55 on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) thus far, valuing the firm at around INR1.07trn ($14.1bn).
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“Today, we are surging ahead as a new company, and we have a new mission statement – ‘instant commerce indistinguishable from magic’. And we will no longer be doing this as Grofers – we will be doing it as Blinkit…” Dhindsa announced in a 12 December post.
The announcement was made almost four months after the company expanded its ambitious 10-minute delivery service to 10 cities in the subcontinent.
India’s competition watchdog rubber-stamped Zomato’s proposal to acquire a minority stake in the retailer of fruits and vegetables in August.