It is the second day of the 21-day nationwide lockdown
and operations of essential service providers, especially e-commerce companies remain badly hit today as well. Most e-commerce companies are witnessing a sharp drop in attendance of delivery personnel. They have also been hit by courier and logistics partners shutting their operations.
However, Centre and various states have assured e-commerce companies
of cooperation by local authorities. In Delhi, delivery persons would be allowed if they show their ID cards. In Bengaluru, the police is issuing passes to deliverymen. States like Kerala have also decided to home deliver food kits, to fill the e-commerce gap. The state had also announced a Rs 19,000 crore package to tackle the impact of COVID-19.
In Punjab, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has instructed district level officials to take steps to minimise inconvenience to people for essential items and services. The state has also announced a relief package for construction workers.
Ashish Jhina, co-founder and COO of Jumbotail; Rajesh Yabaji, co-ounder and CEO of Blackbuck, and Sahil Barua, co-founder and CEO of Delhivery discussed steps announced by the Centre and states. They also spoke about the issues that essential services providers are facing.
Barua said, “There has been a lot of change in the last 24 hours. Yesterday, there was still some confusion on the ground in terms of the orders of the central government versus state authorities but today we have got permission to operate in almost all of the cities that we are live in.”
“We are coordinating with the local authorities and they have been very proactive since morning in issuing very clear guidelines, not just to us, but to a wide range of companies. We have had staff returning and we have been able to open up most of our facilities again. There are still a few states where we are awaiting confirmation, but otherwise in general the move appears to be pretty decisive, pretty quick, and pretty well coordinated right now,” Barua further said in an interview with CNBC-TV18.
Jinha said, “As far as Karnataka is concerned, there are physical passes being issued. Karnataka went into lockdown a little bit earlier than the rest of the country, so we had a few more days to prepare. There are some implementation challenges on the ground, percolation of information to the lowest level takes time, but we have seen a lot of proactive attempts by government and police to make sure that facilities are open.”
“Demand is spiking although there are some shortages in terms of vehicles and last mile delivery boys, etc.From a government perspective there is a huge amount of intent and situation does seem to be getting better day-by-day,” Jinha added.
Agreeing with Barua and Jinha, Yabaji said that the situation on ground is smoother today than when the lockdown first kicked-in. “Most of the state borders have got resolved in terms of what is the clarity. Customers also have been proactive, large companies like Coco-Cola, etc. have their sanctions in place to move the goods which they produce. So, when it started, there was a lot of confusion, and as today we speak, situation is back to smooth.”