Amazon, the e-commerce giant, is eyeing at the Indian food delivery market and is expected to launch its own delivery service, a report said on Thursday, citing a person familiar with the matter. If true, Amazon will be setting up against local food delivery giants, Swiggy and Zomato, after the exit of UberEats in January 2020. The report comes nearly a month after its founder Jeff Bezos's visit to India. At the time of his visit, Bezos had announced an investment of over $1 billion to help digitise the small and medium enterprise sector in the country.
According to TechCrunch, the launch of the service, which would be offered as part of either Amazon's Prime Now or Amazon Fresh platform, could happen in the coming months. The report also added that Amazon has been working on the service for several quarters and had planned on launching it earlier, however it is unclear what caused the delay. The company has also been testing it in Bengaluru for some time.
When approached, Amazon didn't say anything about the food delivery service and mentioned that we will hear from the company when it has something to reveal officially.
"We believe in innovating on behalf of our customers to create newer experiences for them. As part of this commitment, we are constantly evaluating new areas and opportunities to connect with and serve our customers. We will come back to you when we have something to announce,” the company told Gadgets 360 in a statement.
At the moment, Amazon is competing against several local and international giants in India in multiple verticals. When it comes to food products, the company in August last year, launched AmazonFresh, offering food and grocery items, that is in direct competition with startups such Grofers and Big Basket. The service by Amazon is powered by its Prime Now service.
Amazon's entry into the food delivery market can also be favourable for the company since many restaurants have been showing frustration with the existing apps. For instance, in September 2019, the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) had slammed Zomato for extending its "Gold" programme on its delivery platform, saying it is a desperate attempt by the online food aggregator to shore up the sinking fortunes of its flagship Gold programme.
In January this year, Uber had sold its online food-ordering business to the local rival Zomato in exchange for a 9.99 percent stake. Ola's Food Panda last year stumbled after a report claimed that the company is suspending its business, just 18 months after acquiring it.
However, the battle is not fully won, given Flipkart's plans to enter the food retail market and existing aggregators' strong foothold across the country.