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New opportunities await for hyperlocal startups as Delhi allows home delivery of liquor

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At a time when the demand for hyperlocal services are on an all-time high, the Delhi government’s nod to home delivery of Indian and foreign liquor may open a plethora of opportunities for a segment that has already been embraced by the country with much gusto. We look at how hyperlocal services in Delhi can seek to benefit from the new excise policy.

In what comes as an interesting development, the Delhi government has permitted home delivery of Indian liquor and foreign liquor as curbs continue to be in place in the city. Under the new excise policy, liquor can be ordered for home delivery in Delhi through online portals.

Over a month ago, liquor manufacturers had asked the Delhi government to permit home delivery of alcoholic beverages.

Home delivery of liquor in Delhi will be allowed through online order using mobile apps or online web portals after the changes brought in place with the Delhi Excise (Amendment) Rules, 2021.

Under the previous rules, home delivery of liquor in Delhi was allowed, but only L-13 license holders were allowed to carry out such deliveries “at the residences only if order is received through e-mail or by fax (not telephone)”.

Now, under the new excise rules, liquor home delivery has been allowed through mobile app and portals in Delhi.

Boon for hyperlocal services

Hyperlocal delivery services target potential customers present in a specific and limited geographical area. Since the pandemic, these services have turned out to be a blessing for local retailers while enabling them to gain maximum results with minimum efforts.

The Delhi government’s nod to permit home delivery of liquor will open a bag of opportunities for the hyperlocal segment, allowing them the space to cater to a niche space that has been reeling under demand ever since the lockdown curbs were announced.

As an emerging business model that has made considerable strides in the retail sector, hyperlocal delivery startups can tap into the opportunities that now await them by offering enhanced convenience and comfort of many alcohol enthusiasts who until now, had no alternative to meet their alcohol requirements. Because of lockdowns, people had gathered at wine shops to purchase liquor in advance.

According to Delhi government sources, the facility to start home delivery of liquor will be available after L-13 licenses are given to proprietors.

However, so far, no such license has been issued, as a result of which no app is available where one can order liquor from, in Delhi.

As an unchartered domain in Delhi, there have been no apps as of now that had offered alcohol delivery services in the city, making it a niche space for hyperlocal delivery startups to explore and avail of.

The demand for alcohol in the state can be gauged from the massive crowding that took place in the city back in March 2020 with the first announcement of the lockdown. Delhi liquor shops saw massive crowding, which further spread the fear of contracting Covid-19. The Supreme Court had then suggested considering home delivery of liquor.

Even in 2021, Delhi liquor shops witnessed long queues for several hours ahead of the COVID-19 curbs imposed by the Delhi government in April.

However, the nod for permitting delivery of liquor in the state does not mean that liquor shops across Delhi will be allowed to deliver alcohol.

Another state that allows home delivery of liquor is Maharashtra. The government allowed home delivery after a severe COVID-19 wave this year.

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