India’s ‘Premium rush’ can wait

Startups and delivery companies are now waging a full-blown war with each other on ‘who is getting there faster?’. It would be easy to blame Zepto who marketed big time with a USP claiming ‘10-minute-delivery’. But I won’t do that. In fact I can admire the hustle in building something like that.

Photo by Charlie Egan on Unsplash

But now anyone who delivers anything have decided that they too need to be fast.

Why ?

I mean really. Why? Why does Dunzo need to deliver groceries faster? Last I checked Masterchef kitchens didnt wait for Dunzo to bring in the eggs or bacon.

Why does Swiggy need to bring food faster? Are the hotels simply going to cook faster? Are the delivery agents simply going to wait faster?

Why do any of them need to do things at lightning speeds?What happened to regular wait times like 30 mins and 40 mins?

OK, before you breakout your ‘Oh,didn’t we move from steam engines to electric engines? Didn’t we move from horses to bikes? It is natural progression mate’

Stop it. Right there. Please!

I am fine with all the optimization that these companies bring along with their growth. All the bleeding-edge tech and ideas are great too. And yes, to a great extent getting work done faster is awesome. Not disagreeing with any of that. My gripe is, companies are using something aside from tech, marketing, hustle, discounts, etc., here. They are using their human resources the way they like, without any kind of regulation.

Aside from innovations in packing, lead allotment, selection algorithm, higher number of physical stores, the only way these companies squeeze the delivery time is by reducing the time on road ie, time from source to destination. The only way that can be reduced is by excessive speed.

Here is where I draw the line. Why should delivery boys take the pressure of commitments from the top? Even if we do not care about them or their companies, why are we unleashing such a terrible idea to the already-unsafe roads of India? As such the driving is horrible and rules are thrown out the window the moment most Indians step outside. Add to all that chaos these deliver folks zig-zagging through rash-drivers, wrong-siders, jaywalkers, road ragers and of course autos — we have a recipe for disaster. And for what?

No, they cannot take ‘shortcuts that are free’. This is India.

No, they cannot take fewer breaks. They have none.

No, it is not a supply-demand, dog-eats-dog world, I mean it is. But these are humans.

No, they cannot perform magic. At least not to my knowledge.

No, this is not a way to pamper ourselves. I mean it is, but is it something that we really need?

I mean what are we going to do with foods/essentials/groceries in 10 mins? We take longer than that to select a bloody show on Netflix while we sit down to eat food.

I am fine with everything reaching my doorstep earlier. But do I need it? That too at the expense of safety and health? Nope. Absolutely not.

Time to take a breather or maybe show what we call ‘empathy’.

P.S: For those who didn’t understand th use of Premium rush in the title. It is the name of a Joseph Gordon-Levitt movie from 2012. Damn that made me feel old.

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Product manager, builds human-centric products for …humans

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Vijay Balasubramanian

Vijay Balasubramanian

Product manager, builds human-centric products for …humans

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