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Orders of Blinkit rivals surge as workers strike in Delhi-NCR continues

The delivery executives are seeking a reversal of the pay-out structure, which they claim is causing a reduction in their earnings

Zomato-owned Blinkit to deliver printouts at your home in 10 minutes

Zomato-owned Blinkit to deliver printouts at your home in 10 minutes

BS Web Team New Delhi

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Days after Zomato-owned quick commerce platform Blinkit's delivery executives went on a strike over a change in their pay-out structure, its rivals -- Tata-owned BigBasket, Nexus Venture Partners-backed Zepto and Swiggy’s Instamart --  have seen a surge in orders in the Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR).

According to a report by the Economic Times, daily orders for the three quick-commerce platforms have increased by 25-50 per cent.

The daily orders at the company's quick-commerce vertical, BigBasket Now, increased 46 per cent in Delhi and 61 per cent in both Gurugram and Noida on April 13 and 14 compared with the same days last month, BigBasket chief executive Hari Menon told the ET.

"Normally, we would have grown by 18 per cent in the same period,” he said, adding that similar growth numbers were observed this week as well.

Another top industry executive said that the orders have jumped 40 per cent at Zepto, while Swiggy's daily orders have increased by more than 25 per cent.

To meet the increased demand, Zepto has hired more than 500 delivery personnel in Delhi-NCR, he said.

Trouble at Blinkit

On Monday evening, a Blinkit spokeswoman stated that the company has reopened almost all of its dark stores, from which executives pick orders for delivery. However, the Blinkit app indicated that some stores in Gurugram, Delhi, and Noida were closed.

"We will continue to engage with all delivery partners to help them understand the new pay-out structure," said the spokeswoman.

Blinkit on Monday informed its protesting delivery executives that it was closing several of its dark storefronts in Gurugram and Delhi due to the strike. The delivery executives are seeking a reversal of the pay-out structure, which they claim is causing a reduction in their earnings.

Several Blinkit delivery executives in Gurugram and Delhi stated they received a message on the Blinkit delivery partner app informing them that some establishments were being permanently closed because no work had been done in the last 3-4 days.

The delivery executive's registration with the platform was being terminated, the notification read.

Unlike food-delivery services, where gig-workers are free to transport across regions, riders working with quick-commerce platforms are linked to certain dark stores that they have signed on with.

Why Blinkit's delivery executives are protesting

Blinkit delivery executives went on strike last week in Delhi, Gurugram, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, and Noida after the company changed the pay-out mechanism from a flat Rs 25 per delivery (plus Rs 7 during peak hours) to a minimum of Rs 15 for each delivery with a distance-based component.

Delivery executives in Delhi and Noida said some stores were reopening, with some riders breaking off from the strike and delivering in the early morning and late-night hours. However, operations in these stores remained hampered for the majority of the day.

Early on Monday, a Blinkit spokeswoman stated that only Gurugram and Noida remain majorly affected currently and that the company is working to ensure that riders willing to work in these areas are allowed to work safely.

Blinkit protest and its effect

An ICICI Securities study released on Monday, stated that Blinkit is estimated to lose 1 per cent of its revenue during the April-June quarter due to the continuing strike.

According to the study, the impact on parent company Zomato would be 0.15 per cent of revenue.

As per reports, around 100 Blinkit dark stores were shut temporarily because of the strike. The company has around 400 dark stores, almost half of which are in the Delhi-NCR region.

ICICI Securities said that the change in the payout structure was required for Zomato to reduce costs.

“We think the change in delivery fee structure indicates Zomato’s efforts towards cost control. In our view, this would allow Blinkit to increase the delivery radius for its existing dark stores and thus improve its network coverage with limited capex spends," ICICI Securities was quoted as saying by the ET.

“Given that the strike [at Blinkit] is happening in the national capital and has already garnered political attention, we think the company should try to resolve the issue at the earliest. This could be through a combination of clearer communication on the expected change in earnings for delivery executives and/or some concessions on the delivery fee,” it added.

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First Published: Apr 18 2023 | 12:53 PM IST

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