The food delivery space seems to be heating up in India. Just days after Google announced the launch of Areo to help food delivery startups, reports suggest that Uber is now planning to expand UberEATS to India.
According to a report in the Economic times, UberEATS will be a different app and will be launched in the second quarter of this year.
The service will be launched in one city in the second quarter of the calendar year and will then be expanded to six cities by the end of 2017.
The report also states that UberEATS has already begun hiring managers, city-level restaurant operations managers as well as branding and sales heads across Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai, Chennai and Gurugram – these could be the six cities it enters this year.
In fact, Uber has already started onboarding restaurants for this. Discussions, the report states, were started with hyperlocal delivery players earlier this year. This is also being seen as a way to bring in some revenue for the company to be able to utilize driver partner network better on the platform. A commission of 25-30% will be charged on each delivery reports ET.
Allen Penn, the Asia Pacific Head of UberEATS, told The Economic Times that the company is in the process of setting up a team dedicated to this business in India. “This includes internal transfers, primarily experts in marketplace management as well as external hires. From a hiring perspective, we are looking at bringing some of the best talent in the restaurant industry, including successful entrepreneurs, people with experience in logistics management and various other aspects of the food delivery business,” he added.
This will be Uber’s entry into an already crowded food-tech space in India. The trend started with startups like Zomato and later Food Panda, Swiggy and TinyOwl. While some have succeeded quite a bit, some even shut shop. In fact, Ola, too, tried and tested food delivery with Ola Cafein April 2015 but shut operations soon enough. Now with Google Areo too coming into the fray to help out companies like Faasos and Freshmenu, it remains to be seen if Uber survives in this competitive market.