Amazon already has a strong presence in India with its e-commerce business and the food delivery services would only add an attractive option for the company that has been investing heavily in the country. The feature was launched after the app received the nod from the Jharkhand government.
The entry of Amazon into food delivery makes it a very interesting scenario as it has got the financial muscle and technology depth to battle with the existing players in the market. We are launching Amazon Food in select Bengaluru pin codes allowing customers to order from handpicked local restaurants and cloud kitchens that pass our high hygiene certification bar.
As part of this, users will have to upload their selfies and government IDs on the Swiggy app as well as share a unique OTP at the time of delivery.
Reports surfaced a year ago amid Zomato-Swiggy merger talks that Amazon was gearing up to launch its own online food delivery division to compete with food delivery apps in the Indian market.
Amazon Food, the service, was launched on Thursday in areas with select pin codes in Bengaluru while the company is learnt to be mulling scaling it up to other cities in the near future. "We are adhering to the highest standards of safety to ensure our customers remain safe while having a delightful experience", the spokesperson said. "We also recognise that local businesses need all the help they can get", an Amazon India spokesperson said. Earlier this year, Zomato had acquired the Indian business of Uber Eats to strengthen its position in the Indian market. Both the startups today are seeing fewer than 1 million orders on their respective platforms, down from almost 3 million they were each processing earlier this year.
Speaking of the initiative, Swiggy's VP-Products, Anuj Rathi said, "By enabling home delivery of alcohol in a safe and responsible manner, we can generate additional business for retail outlets while solving the problem of overcrowding, thereby promoting social distancing".
The company said that the service has gone live in Ranchi and will open up in other major cities of Jharkhand by the end of this week.
Amazon has launched Amazon's Prime Now and Amazon Fresh platforms in India to sell perishables and grocery items in recent years, and expanded its warehouses in several parts of the country along the way.