With a move that could make an increasingly crowded market more competitive, Amazon is reportedly planning to roll out a food delivery service in India. The eCommerce retailer is said to be working with Catamaran and has started hiring workers for the operation per unnamed sources, Reuters reported.
According to an unnamed source in the report, Amazon is looking to roll out the new restaurant delivery service before the month-long festive season in India that begins in September. And, while the rising middle class of India has brought growth of the online food delivery sector, profitability is said to remain “elusive” per the report. The space is dominated by Tencent and Naspers-backed Swiggy and Zomato (that has Sequoia as an investor.)
Amazon’s move into delivery from takeaway food outlets as well as restaurants could help the company bring in shoppers for other offerings per one unnamed source in the report. As it stands, the company rolled out Prime services in the country in 2016. It already has music as well as video streaming in addition to groceries delivery in many of the country’s cities.
In separate news, Amazon was gearing up to roll out kiosks in India that will enable consumers to purchase its hardware including its Echo, Kindle eBook reader and the Fire TV stick per reports earlier this year. According to a report that cited two people familiar with the company’s plans, Amazon would install 100 kiosks in malls across India by the conclusion of 2019. The kiosks could be the early stage of Amazon creating more of a physical retail presence in India
An Amazon spokesperson told the ET in an emailed response per news in March, “The Amazon Devices Kiosk gives customers a first-hand experience of the devices. Customers can walk up to the kiosk and take an assisted live demo of Kindle, Fire TV and Echo family of devices with the help of the store staff before purchasing devices. The store staff is also available to solve customer queries, pre and post purchase.”