India’s leading ecommerce marketplace Flipkart has resumed the delivery of grocery and other essentials after it suspended all services on Wednesday morning following developments on the nationwide lockdown, to combat coronavirus.
Flipkart Group CEO, Kalyan Krishnamurthy in a statement said, “We have been assured of the safe and smooth passage of our supply chain and delivery executives by local law enforcement authorities and are resuming our grocery and essential services later today.”
The temporary suspension of services came after the announcement of the nationwide lockdown by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday night to combat coronavirus, which also resulted in panic situations of people thronging to stores to stock up on the daily essentials.
However, the Government also quickly pointed out that there were many exemptions from the lockdown like grocery stores, pharmacies and it also included the commerce industry. There were also reports pf delivery personnel of ecommerce companies being manhandled by the police while performing their duties.
Kalyan said, “We are very grateful for the clarification provided by the Government and local state authorities on the functioning of ecommerce as ‘essential service’ during the lockdown, and taking cognisance of the role we can play to ensure people's needs are met during this time, as India fights this unprecedented challenge.”
Meanwhile, Amazon has already stated that it is prioritising its available fulfilment and logistics capacity to serve products that are of high priority, which include household staples, packaged food, healthcare, hygiene, personal safety etc. It also stated that it would temporarily stop taking orders and disable shipments for lower-priority products.
Snapdeal also said it is operational and working region-wise while delivering essential goods according to local operating conditions.
“We will continue to accept other orders too and are informing other buyers that these will be delivered once movement restrictions are lifted,” it said in a statement.
In light of the severe challenges faced by ecommerce companies in discharging their functions, they had raised this issue with various authorities. The police departments across Delhi, Bengaluru, Gurugram, Pune, and Mumbai met the representatives of ecommerce companies to sort out the issues.
The primary challenge was around the supply chain as there is complex interplay on the movement of goods from various districts and states. Any blockade from one state could virtually paralyse the entire operation.
“We continue to strengthen our supply chain in a safe and secure manner for our employees and consumers alike and will leverage our efficient and robust delivery network to make products available to customers across the country and support the nation in this time of crisis through a sanitised and safe supply chain,” Kalyan said.