Covid-19 has brought several businesses to its knees. But it has also given small opportunities to hungry entrepreneurs, keen to display their social conscience.
With companies declaring a work-from-home model and the novel coronavirus pandemic spreading its tentacles, BA graduate Hemlata Kushwaha from Kolkata has taken up the opportunity to provide ‘pick up and drop service’ to take the necessities at the doorstep of the people of the city.
‘Pick up and drop facility’ has become an essential service for consumers all across the country. The service allows one to deliver or receive anything, be it lunch boxes, documents, laundry, items for repair, shoes, stationery and other materials from one location to another from anywhere in their city. It also allows one to buy stuff from beetle shops, supermarkets, pharmacies and home-cooked means making the daily errands easier. Those running a business can also opt for deliveries of office documents as well.
Kolkata based start-up ‘Delivery Pigeon’ – a self-funded start-up – provides ‘same day pick and drop services’ to working professionals, small businesses and senior citizens at their doorsteps within city limits.
Functioning from March 2021, “the start-up currently gets 200 orders per day. The number is steadily increasing due to an increase in Covid cases. We currently operate with more than 180 provider partners all over the city,” said 45-year-old Kushwaha.
“Keeping in mind our customers’ concerns for safety, the parcels are verified twice by provider partners at the pickup and drop points. We also offer easy payment options – both online and offline mode as well as the flexibility of making payment at either point. The app also allows users to schedule their orders 24 hours in advance,” she added.
Initially started to help family members suffering from the deadly virus, the start-up is now a full-fledged automated, app-based service. Like its competitors in other cities, it aims to make local pick and drop services quick, easy and accessible for all through a user-friendly and hassle-free app. Efforts are on to make Delivery Pigeon a key player in the hyperlocal delivery space in Kolkata.
Elaborating on India’s logistics-tech industry, Kushwaha said: “The potential for small, medium and big companies is huge. Following the advent of Covid-19, people are looking for contactless deliveries more than ever now. In addition to industry biggies like food-tech unicorn Swiggy and ride-hailing giant Uber, the country witnessed emergence of several logistics tech start-ups including Bengaluru-based Dunzo, Delhi-based Jhutpat, Delhi-NCR focused start-up Meretask, Chandigarh-based Jugnoo offering same-day pickup and drop services to individuals and corporates for charges based on the kilometre run.