Ola plans to enter the on-demand grocery delivery business for the second time in five years as it looks to expand beyond its mainstay ride-hailing arm.
The company will house the hyperlocal business within the new mobility business, a person privy to the development told BloombergQuint on the condition of anonymity. It’s going to be the company's next big focus after the vehicle commerce business, Ola Cars, which was launched last month.
The Bengaluru-based firm's delivery and logistics unit Ola Delivery has roped in Vinay Bhopatkar, former chief executive officer of Café Coffee Day, to head the food, grocery and hyperlocal business, the person cited earlier said.
Bhopatkar will also be responsible for the driver and supply ecosystem of Ola’s mobility platform, group Chief Executive Officer Bhavish Aggarwal wrote in an email to employees while announcing an organisational restructuring on Tuesday.
The company previously entered the segment in 2016 through the dark store model—involving fulfilment centres that cater solely to online orders—but pulled the plug on it within a year of launch.
Ola didn't respond to BloombergQuint's emailed queries on the grocery delivery plan.
On-demand delivery is back in the spotlight. Swiggy, Zomato-backed Grofers, Flipkart, Amazon and Big Basket having dabbled in the space in the last one year. Swiggy, Dunzo and Grofers promise delivery within 15 minutes in certain cities.
Ola’s rival Uber Technologies Inc., too, operates a delivery model that isn’t focused on any particular segment but allows customers to deliver parcels. In its home market U.S., it operates a grocery delivery vertical alongside Uber Eats, its food delivery unit.
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