India-based food delivery and restaurant discovery platform Zomato is making a big move to introduce bicycles for its last mile delivery fleet in various Indian cities, a green initiative which is also expected to bring in some additions to the startup unicorn’s bottom line.
Zomato will introduce electric and mechanical bicycles as part of its fleet for short distance delivery in the vicinity of 2.5 km, the company has announced.
The food tech major, which also operates in the food delivery segment in the UAE market, has partnered with Zoomcar’s PEDL, Mobycy, Yulu, TNT and e-HIRAN to source a large fleet of e-cycles for its thousands of delivery executive across various cities in India.
The company has made a target of replacing 40 percent of its current fleet motor bikes with e-cycles over the next two years.
“We are working closely with our vendor partners to raise the scale of e-cycle adoption and aim to convert 40 percent of our fleet to power-assisted bikes within the next two years," Mohit Gupta, CEO-, Food Delivery business at Zomato, said in a media statement.
Zomato said it already has about 5000 cyclists across 12 Indian cities, with the maximum number being in Delhi-NCR (national capital region).
Zomato claims it carries out close to a million deliveries a day.
This translates to traversing approximately 4.4 million kilometers a day, much of it through over-crowded lanes and by lanes in cities across various parts of India.
Besides being environment friendly, Zomato believes use of bicycles will be more efficient in many areas, helping it to save average delivery time for orders.
With bicycles being far less expensive mode of transport compared to motor bikes, launch of bicycles could also help Zomato to save some costs on its overall delivery expenses.
In line with the company’s planned expansion in India, Zomato was looking at increasing its last mile fleet by close to 150 delivery partners every day.
"This places the onus of focussing on pollution-free and minimal fossil-fuel solutions on us,” Gupta said.
Zomato has been taking baby steps towards environmental responsibility by promoting biodegradable packaging and targeting food wastage with Feeding India, the company said.
With the move to introduce bicycles in its delivery fleet, the company is aiming to build a future that creates more tangible value and leaves a lesser carbon footprint, Gupta said.
The bicycles are provided with a delivery bag and delivery partners are trained on road safety norms at the Zomato Rider University.For all the latest retail news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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