While Google heated up India’s surging food delivery space with Areo, its now Uber, which is looking to expand its UberEATS service to India, as early as this summer.
The service is expected to roll out in one city by the end of this summer, with rapid expansion on card later this year. The expansion drive could be similar to Uber’s own expansion in India, wherein despite having presence in a significantly lower number of cities as compared to its rivals, the company still holds a commanding market share in the country.
Uber has already started on-boarding restaurants on its platform to create a massive delivery network.
It appears that the management team for the UberEATS service will be different from the ridesharing app at national and city levels and UberEATS has been hiring city general managers, city-level restaurant operations managers as well as branding and sales heads across six cities, namely Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai, Chennai and Gurugram.
Allen Penn, the Asia Pacific Head of UberEATS, told The Economic Times,
We are currently in the process of setting up a team dedicated to the UberEATS business in India, this includes internal transfers, primarily experts in marketplace management as well as external hires. From a hiring perspective, we are looking at bringing some of the best talent in the restaurant industry, including successful entrepreneurs, people with experience in logistics management and various other aspects of the food delivery business.
The service will be launched in one city by the second quarter of the calendar year, following which the service will be scaled to six cities by end of the year.
For the restaurants on-board, UberEATS will charge between 25 to 30% commission on each delivery. This is higher than what competitor Swiggy charges its restaurant partner at 15-20% of the order value, apart from the delivery charges billed to the customer.
While UberEATS is the latest entrant and is yet to debut, India’s food delivery space is already a hotbed for intense competition. Google for example, debuted its food delivery and home services aggregator mobile application named Areo in the Indian market. Operational only in Mumbai and Bangalore as of now, it passes on leads to partners such as Faasos, Freshmenu, UrbanClap and others.
One of India’s first unicorns Zomato, is already a leader in the food tech space, though it still has to make a mark in the delivery space. Swiggy is another example of a company, doing fine in the domain. However, the competition for both these (and many other) local players will be getting a lot tougher, largely because of the fact that while they look to raise fresh funds to remain operational, Uber and Google are already flush with capital, enough to help them surge their operations at will.
This will be an interesting space to watch out now, stay tuned.