15 Aug 2020: Flipkart is gearing up to deliver alcohol in India
The Walmart-owned company has partnered with a start-up backed by Diageo, a multinational alcohol company, to start delivering liquor right at your doorstep, even during the ongoing pandemic.
Here is all you need to know about it.
Plan: Work to deliver liquor in Odisha and West Bengal
According to documents seen by Reuters, Flipkart has received permission from Odisha and West Bengal government to serve as a technology service provider to Hipbar, an Indian start-up engaged in home-delivery of alcohol.
As part of this arrangement, Hipbar's service will be provided through the Flipkart app to let customers of the e-commerce company place alcohol orders in the eligible states.
Details: Hipbar will fulfill the order
Once an order is placed through the Flipkart app, Hipbar will fulfill it through its network of delivery partners and retail outlets, a person directly familiar with the development stated.
However, it must be noted that neither Flipkart nor Hipbar, 26% of which is owned by Diageo India, have confirmed the arrangement or how it would work.
Goal: Goal to foray into India's alcohol market
If confirmed, Flipkart will use this partnership to foray into India's massive alcohol market, valued at more than $27 billion.
Leading food-tech giants Swiggy and Zomato are already delivering alcohol in select Indian cities, while Flipkart's main competitor, Amazon India, has also secured the license to start alcohol delivery in West Bengal.
Amazon's service is yet to be started though.
Shift: Online delivery is on the rise
The alcohol delivery push also comes as millions of Indians continue to switch to online services to buy products they need and protect themselves from COVID-19 at the same time.
The demand for grocery delivery has already surged exponentially and now other categories, including alcohol and medicines, are following up, prompting companies to expand their offerings to cash in on the opportunity.