With food aggregator and hyperlocal delivery platforms prepping up to reap the many benefits of Drones, this segment is all set to scale newer heights as it harnesses the very best of technology by infusing it into its day-to-day deliveries. With New-Age Aerial Deliveries all lined up, we explore how Drones will emerge as a game-changer for India’s hyperlocal delivery sphere.
Drones have emerged as a very 21st Century saviour. For people tight on budget and low on manpower, they have delivered beyond expectations in conducting real-time surveys and surveillance for visiting sites, collecting information and in automating data delivery.
Likewise, to take food delivery service a notch higher, drones are all set to redefine the online food delivery service in India with giants like Zomato and Dunzo primed to begin trials of their drone delivery services this month.
It goes without saying that delivery through drones will pave a new path towards fast and secure delivery as online food delivery service provider, Zomato and Dunzo are expected to start the trials of their drone deliveries services this month.
Plans Lined Up For Action
Management consulting firm Alternative Global India (AGI) will assist both Zomato and Dunzo as a consulting partner to conduct these trials.
Homegrown food aggregator business, Zomato is deemed to be testing in Alwar in Rajasthan. On the other hand, hyperlocal delivery platform, Dunzo is speculating to undergo trials in the outskirts of Bengaluru.
AGI is a leading EV & Drone consulting firm in India which is keen on high growth industry vertices like electric vehicles (EV) and drones. Up until now, 100 hours of trials are lined up for both companies with different focus areas.
In the case of Zomato, these trials are focused on food and medicine delivery, whereas for Dunzo, the focus will primarily be on food, medicine and package delivery in both Business-to-consumer(B2C) and Business-to- Business (B2B) models.
Last-Mile Delivery or Inter-Hub Transport?
While clarifying the nuances regarding drone delivery services, Ankit Kumar, the managing partner of the AGI said that in the case of Dunzo, the drone delivery services will not be for last-mile delivery but from one hub to another. .
Mr Kumar highlighted that Dunzo was all set to go on trials in July or August but the plans were stalled due to last-minute clearance requirements from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). He noted that all the members of the Dunzo Air Consortium are undergoing regulatory security clearances and the trails are expected to be back on track in coming weeks. Members from Zomato’s consortium are also undergoing security trials.
Thus, there will be no change for hyperlocal delivery services as it will be conducted through delivery agents only.
Driving Drone Projects: The consortia
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has taken significant steps in drafting the government’s policy on allowing drones for civilian and commercial purpose.
The DGCA had come up with 10 consortia to conduct “beyond visual line of sight” (BVLOS) drone projects for deliveries, surveillance and more.
The consortium included Spicejet, Dunzo, Asteria Aerospace, ShopX, Throttle Aerospace Systems, Asteria Aerospace, Saubika Consortium, ShopXOmnipresent Consortium, Swiggy’s ANRA Consortia A and B, Spicejet, Dhaksha Unmanned Systems and Zomato’s ClearSky Flight Consortium.
At present, all the members of the Dunzo Air Consortium are in the process of going through regulatory security clearances and the trails are expected to be back on track in the coming weeks.
On the other hand, the members of Zomato’s consortium are also going through the security trials.
The Swiggy consortium will also be starting the trials soon.
Walmart also would be running a pilot project for the delivery of grocery and household products through automated drones with the assistance of end-to-end delivery firm Flytrex.
Thus 2020 will set the ground for Drones to make headway in making crucial advancements and changing the game for India’s online food delivery business.