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Ola may soon tie-up with offline retailers for grocery collection and delivery

Taxi-hailing app service Ola is reportedly planning to
launch a delivery platform using its fleet of taxis, beginning with groceries –
wading into a crowding online front where a number of high-profile newcomers
are taking on specialist firms to cater to everyday home necessities, reports
the Economic Times. Ola

Taxi-hailing app service Ola is reportedly planning to
launch a delivery platform using its fleet of taxis, beginning with groceries –
wading into a crowding online front where a number of high-profile newcomers
are taking on specialist firms to cater to everyday home necessities, reports
the Economic Times. Ola
may launch a pilot next month. 

According to industry experts, Ola plans to mirror
rival Uber’s model in several foreign cities where the US firm has ventured
into logistics. Although India’s congested roads may pose a great challenge to
Ola in moonlighting as a delivery service.

Online grocery store BigBasket recently announced an
initiative to partner with 1,800 neighbourhood stores to deliver orders faster.
Smaller online grocers Local-Banya, Zopnow, Grofers and PepperTap, too, are
focusing on hyperlocal deliveries by partnering with local stores, an
asset-light model that Ola is pursuing. Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon are also
entering the online groceries market.

“Right now we are exploring opportunities to see
how we can leverage the cars we have on the road to do deliveries as well, and
groceries is one of the top sectors we are working out,” a top Ola
executive told the Economic Times.

The
company has not been able to find a partner to launch the service with, and is
looking at tying up with offline retailers directly for grocery collection and
delivery, reports the Economic Times, citing sources.

“Ola wants the retailer to do the packaging and
picking of the orders and only focus on the delivery,” an on-demand grocer
familiar with the development was quoted in the report as saying.

“Uber has done the same by diversifying, for
example, UberEATS in Barcelona. Similarly, Ola is going for an asset light
model where at any point of time they are about logistics and people movements,
so it probably opens up a higher valuation,” Rishi Khiani, CEO and MD of
Ant Farm incubator, told the Economic Times.

Founded in 2011 by IIT-Bombay alumni Bhavish Aggarwal
and Ankit Bhati, Ola raised Rs 1,300 crore in a funding round led by Japan’s
SoftBank Capital in October. Last month, it acquired core rival TaxiForSure for
$200 million. The Bengaluru-based company also announced a food delivery pilot
named ‘Ola Cafe’ last month to deliver select food items from partner
restaurants. 

 

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