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    Have hired additional people to clear huge order backlog, says Grofers

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    Have hired additional people to clear huge order backlog, says Grofers

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    There could be some supply shortages in the next couple of weeks because only less than half of the warehouses have been able to supply to us, said Arvind Mediratta, MD & CEO, Metro Cash & Carry India.

    The online delivery services sector has been hit significantly by the current lockdown due to coronavirus scare but business has started limping back.
    Giving an on-ground check, Bikram Singh Bedi, chief strategy officer at Grofers and Arvind Mediratta, MD & CEO, Metro Cash & Carry India spoke with CNBC-TV18.
    Talking about online deliveries Bedi said, “Due to the lockdown there was some certain disruptions because of which we have had a large backlog of orders created. There has been a huge surge in demand, customers have reached out to us to try and buy essentials, food and groceries for themselves."
    "Over the last couple of days, we have been working very closely with district administrations as well as the state governments and central governments to try and regularise the situation and now we are back up in all cities. We have started deliveries, so very soon we will clear our backlogs,” said Bedi.
    Talking about hiring Bedi said, “We are one of the fortunate industries that gets the chance to serve the nation by delivering food groceries and other essentials to consumers, which gives us the ability to actually hire. So, we have hired about 2,500 additional people to get over the crisis. We are also bringing in this people from affiliated industries, from partner companies, from other industries where at this point in time they had to shut down and they are not  able to use their workers, so we are hiring them.”
    According to Bedi there has been a huge jump in consumption every day. In fact we are trying to educate customers by telling hem not to hoard because supplies are available with us as well as with the manufacturers. So, please manage and plan your supplies. "We are seeing huge jump in consumption simply because availability is far greater with the online stores at this point in time.”
    Speaking about safety measures Mediratta said, “Being a German company, we were slightly ahead of the curve because we had learnings from the European markets where this pandemic has hit really hard. So we have implemented almost 30 safety measures in all our stores for the benefit of our customers and our employees. Second thing has been to make sure that all the citizens of this country, at least the people that we can serve have access to essential food and grocery."
    "We have been working proactively even before the lockdown was imposed with all our supply partners to ensure that we have enough stock of all the essential food and grocery products,” reiterated Mediratta.
    According to him, there could be some shortages in the weeks ahead. "We pick up stuff from almost 600 warehouses, however, last week only 150 warehouses of the FMCG suppliers were in position to supply to us. This week the situation has got slightly better -- from 150 the number has jumped to around 180 warehouses."
    "Yesterday,  there was a meeting called by the Union Minister of Food Processing Harsimrat Kaur Badal with all the FMCG companies where we raised these issues and they are basically making sure that the FMCG companies can restart their production. So, I hope that situation would get better, though I expect shortages in the next few days and maybe next couple of weeks.”
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