Indian Startups Promise 10-Minute Grocery Delivery but Spark Safety Concerns

India, grocery delivery, startups

Indian grocery startups are rolling out deliveries in 10 minutes or less, appealing to those who want “quick commerce,” Reuters reported Sunday (Jan. 23).

That said, some are concerned about safety, due to bike riders looking to meet the tight deadlines of the deliveries. However, SoftBank-backed Blinkit and its competitor, Zepto, are hiring more staff and opening more stores to push these quick deliveries.

Both these delivery services offer 10-minute delivery services, which are much faster delivery times than grocery market rivals Amazon, Walmart, Flipkart and Reliance can offer.

Per Reuters, these quick delivery startups pack groceries at “dark stores” — small warehouses in dense neighborhoods — and then send bike riders to nearby locations with maybe seven minutes to spare.

Analysts say the 10-minute delivery model will force other companies to try and keep up by also reducing their delivery times. India has a quick commerce sector worth $300 million in 2021 — now, it could end up surging to 10 or 15 times that amount by 2025, according to the report.

While quick deliveries have become popular in other countries, India has roads riddled with potholes and other hazards, and cattle or other animals often walk in the middle of traffic and make problems for various kinds of motorists.

PYMNTS wrote recently that Dunzo, a quick commerce startup with backing from Reliance, has recently raised $240 million.

Read more: India’s Quick Commerce Startup Dunzo Raises $240M Led by Reliance

Reliance invested $200 million for a 25.8% stake in the company. It wants to use Dunzo to provide deliveries for its retail stores along with neighborhood grocers working on Jio Mart.

In addition, the capital will also be utilized to boost Dunzo’s goal of being the largest quick commerce company in the country. It also wants to grow its business-to-business (B2B) unit for logistics needs for local merchants.

“We are seeing a shift in consumption patterns to online and have been highly impressed with how Dunzo has disrupted the space,” Isha Ambani, a director at Reliance Retail Ventures, said at the time.