After grocery, Indian unicorn Zomato eyes alcohol deliveries
Indian food delivery company Zomato aims to branch out into delivering alcohol, according to a document seen by Reuters, as it seeks to cash in on high demand for booze during the country’s coronavirus lockdown.
Zomato has already diversified into grocery deliveries as the restrictions on movement shuttered some restaurants and people hesitated to order outside food due to fears of catching the disease.
Alcohol stores, closed nationwide on March 25, were allowed to re-open this week, generating queues of hundreds of people outside some outlets in some cities and leading to baton charges by police to enforce social distancing protocols.
To deter the large crowds, New Delhi authorities introduced a “Special Corona Fee” of 70% on top of retail alcohol prices, while Mumbai shut its liquor stores within two days of reopening them.
There is currently no legal provision for home deliveries of alcohol in India, something that industry body International Spirits and Wines Association of India (ISWAI) is lobbying to change in conjunction with Zomato and others. “We believe that a technology-enabled home delivery based solution can promote responsible consumption of alcohol,” Mohit Gupta, Zomato’s CEO for food delivery, wrote in a business proposal to ISWAI.