The first few days after a nationwide lockdown was announced on 24 March saw total chaos with disruption in essential services as the authorities weren't clear what was to be considered essential. So much so, delivery services of groceries and supply chains of essential services were disrupted.
With public transport completely shut down, it has become difficult for those who had to rely on public transport and yet were connected with essential services – including medical staff, bank workers, grocery shopkeepers, and delivery agents.
While some semblance of order has been restored in the past few days once "curfew passes" were made available to essential services, there is still a huge problem for transport. And that's where some of India's shared-mobility service companies have been pitching in.
Here's a look at what some of those service providers are offering.
Self-drive car-rental company ZoomCar has grounded its entire fleet for hire obviously. However, it is using select vehicles to ensure emergency mobility for frontline staff, such as medical workers, bankers, healthcare professionals, and delivery executives.
Sanitised ZoomCar vehicles will be provided to these essential staff to commute to their workplaces, according to the company's CEO & co-founder, Greg Moran.
“We are ensuring safer transportation options through personalised and completely sanitised self-drive vehicles. From the government officials to the healthcare staff, we’ve seen the demand come in from multiple emergency functions.”Greg Moran, CEO & co-founder, ZoomCar
Multibrand workshop services, GoMechanic, which could be accessed online has decided to offer the services of its trained mechanics to offer emergency repairs. Police, electricity, water and other essential services would need help with their vehicles. GoMechanic will provide assistance to them, it said in a statement.
Online bike-taxi aggregator, Rapido, has announced a partnership with major essential suppliers such as Big Basket, Big Bazaar and Spencer's Retail to help in the last-mile deliveries. The company claims it can help deliver goods from these services to customers in nearly 90 cities. It is in talks with Grofers, Dunzo and others to help with their deliveries as well, but hasn't started that service yet.
The company says it won't be charging any commission from its riders during these deliveries.
Electric-scooter rental app Zypp has partnered with online grocer Big Basket to enable home delivery of everyday essentials and grocery items using its electric scooters. Big Basket has been trying to recruit more delivery agents to keep up with demand during the lockdown.
“Zypp is powering thousands of deliveries of groceries, medicines and food to customers daily for Big Basket, Apollo Pharmacy, Spencers retail, Modern Bazaar, Zomato, Swiggy and others. We’re adding riders for these merchants on a daily basis.”Akash Gupta, Founder & CEO, Zypp
Uber has tied up with Flipkart to push deliveries of essential goods. Uber said its aim is to keep vital supply chains running. To get more of its driver-partners on board, Uber said it will not be charging any commission for the deliveries made.
“Uber will not charge any commission, enabling drivers to keep 100 percent of billed amounts," said Prabhjeet Singh, Director-Operations and Head of Cities, Uber India and South Asia in a statement.