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Uber Starts Hyperlocal Delivery Service With 9 Cities In India

Uber has launched a Hyperlocal delivery service in 9 Indian cities. But customers have to pay directly to the store for now. This move comes in response to Zomato's Blinkit, Zepto, and Swiggy’s Instamart's popularity

By Rashaad Ather
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Dara Khosrowshahi - Uber CEO

Dara Khosrowshahi - Uber CEO

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Blinkit, Zepto and Instamart have a new competitor. And it’s none other than Uber.

Uber wants to capitalise on the rising quick commerce industry of India.

It’s focusing on hyperlocal delivery from Kirana stores, and neighbourhood stores although it’s only accepting prepaid orders for now.

It means that Uber’s quick commerce service is essentially just a pick-up delivery service. 

There’s a benefit too: “Store pickups will give customers the option to pick any store in serviced areas so long as they share its location, and make the payment directly,” Uber India’s spokesperson told ET.

But it plans to expand, clarified Uber India’s spokesperson.

“Uber is starting with delivery of prepaid items from neighbourhood kirana shops, departmental stores, pharmacies, and several other use cases…but the product will be expanded where it would collect from and make the payments on behalf of the customer to the shop”

The service has launched in 9 Indian cities: Delhi-National Capital Region, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Kolkata, Guwahati and Ludhiana. 

“Store pickups is a new addition to our package service where users can request an Uber driver to pick up the prepaid items from a store”: the spokesperson shared.

Loads of companies are trying to enter the quick commerce segment like Flipkart, Rapido and Porter, making the job of existing companies tougher. Especially Zomato, who acquired Blinkit in its nascent stage and bought Uber’s food delivery service “Uber Eats India” in 2020.

Uber’s pickup service already exists in the US. In India, it comes on the back of the decline of Reliance Retail-backed Dunzo, which offered similar services. 

According to ET, there are 12 million local Kirana store numbers in India.

Uber CEO's Commitment:

This news follows the CEO Dara Khosrowshahi’s commitment made in March this year that he plans to expand in India.

Dara Khosrowshahi said in an interview, "India is one of the toughest markets out there; they are so demanding and do not pay for anything. If we can succeed here, we can succeed anywhere else."

However, Uber’s main focus is expanding its two-wheeler and three-wheeler services in India.