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Why Zomato’s 10 Min delivery program has stroked a controversy

It has been barely 24 hours that Zomato’s co-founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal announced about the company’s ambitious 10 minute delivery program on his personal Twitter handle. This much hyped up program was on the cards ever since Zomato bought a stake in BlinkIt (previously known as Grofers), a startup that aims to redefine food delivery service with its express delivery.

It is pretty clear that Zomato has pinned lot of hopes on this program, more so in the aftermath of the continuous slide in Zomato’s share price. The company’s stock price is currently trading at Rs 80, way below than its IPO price. But not everyone was ready to share Goyal’s buoyancy.

Not long before Goyal made this announcement, netzines came out clamoring hard to eke out answers for their several questions and concerns. Some of the pressing concerns include about the freshness and taste of the food as well as restaurant’s efficiency in delivering the food so instantaneously. The latter concern is especially justifiably as restaurants normally take at least 15 minutes to cook the food.

But the concern and the contentious issue that eventually became the talking point was the unrealistic pressure that this 10 minute delivery program will put on Zomato’s delivery personals. What about the safety of the delivery personals, will this program compel Zomato’s delivery personal to resort to rash driving and thereby risk their lives, will they be penalized if they fail to deliver within 10 minutes, what about their job security so and so forth.

These concerns were forthrightly put forward by Congress MP Karthik Chidambaram, who is the Member of Parliament from Congress Party and also the son of Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram.

Karthik Chidambaram did not raised the voice over delivery personals on Twitter alone. He raised the voice even on the floor of parliament…

Here is what Karthik Chidambaram said on Twitter:

“This is absurd! It’s going to put undue pressure on the delivery personnel, who are not employees & who have no benefits or security, who have no bargaining power with @zomato  I have raised this in Parliament & have written to the Govt. Will pursue this further.”

Sucheta Dalal, a prominent business journalist, also raised her voice against Zomato’s 10 minute program on Twitter

This is what Sucheta Dalal tweeted on Twitter..

“The universal response ought to tell the company what people think of how delivery ‘partners’ drive — if people have been silent it is out of empathy and sympathy for the delivery partners, not the company & promoters raking in profits”

Chidambaram and Dalal’s concerns for delivery personals are understandable since they belong to the economically vulnerable section. They not only suffer from low economic wages but also lack social security cover.

Although over the years Indian government passed several labor bills to provide social security cover to gig workers, they so far have not been effectively implemented.

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