AGENCIES, Mumbai: After Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown on Tuesday night to curb coronavirus outbreak in the country, Flipkart had temporarily suspended all its services on Wednesday morning despite the Centre mentioning e-commerce services as one of the essential services in its essential list notification released on Tuesday evening. Flipkart had even flashed a message on its website, “Hello fellow Indians, We are temporarily suspending operations. Your needs have always been our priority and our promise is that we will be back to serve you, as soon as possible,” on the website.
However, according to a report in Economic Times after temporarily suspending all its services on Wednesday morning, Flipkart has decided to start its grocery delivery service Supermart in the next few hours. The article on the portal mentioned that the company will first kick off deliveries of food and other essentials in Bengaluru, followed by Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Delhi NCR, where Supermart has been operational for the past few months.
Meanwhile, Amazon, too, has halted orders for non-essential products in the country, to focus on delivering essential items. On Amazon’s website, one can find the message that they have prioritized their resources to serve the customers better during this time.
Amid the lockdown, the government has clarified that the delivery of all essential goods including food, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment can be delivered through e-commerce.
Despite the Centre and states clarifying what classifies as an essential service, grocery delivery startups and food delivery platforms have been facing issues with serving customers.