Indian Delivery Services Using AI

Around 2015, a widely unknown service was attempting to complete various tasks individuals had utilising WhatsApp chats. This continued until about 2016, during which the founders meticulously crafted a technology that would ensure a more formal state.

Known as Dunzo in 2019, this rudimentary service has transformed into an app that can complete menial chores for customers. In addition, it has moved into food and grocery deliveries and bike taxis. This is all done using sophisticated machine learning artificial intelligence algorithms.

Dunzo is an Indian company that provides delivery services in Bengaluru, Delhi, Gurgaon, Pune, Chennai and Hyderabad.

Dunzo is an Indian company that provides delivery services in Bengaluru, Delhi, Gurgaon, Pune, Chennai and Hyderabad.

Mukund Jha, chief technology officer and co-founder, has said Dunzo wants to do anything requiring a journey from point A to B. It currently facilitates around 2 million transactions per month, with aspirations to grow to 7 million by the eclose of 2019. Moreover, Jha states it plans to grow by 30 times its current size over the coming 18 months by adding further cities to its reach (and perhaps more services).

We chose to focus on one city (Bengaluru) for a very long time, going deeper into the city in ways that wouldn’t have been possible if we launched city after city fast. This enabled us to have a strong foundation or a strong base, something that would act as a blueprint for future city launches
— Mukund Jha, Chief Technology Officer, Co-founder

So far, the biggest success story in the hyperlocal delivery space has been Swiggy, which raised $1 billion in December 2018. Starting with food delivery, Swiggy has swooped into the hyperlocal market with the reveal of Swiggy Stores in February 2019.

In the last 12 months, Swiggy has grown 3X with over 1,00,000 partner restaurants on-board across 200+ cities. Our partners have also seen tremendous growth in Swiggy’s contribution to their business
— Swiggy spokesperson

Scootsy is another company attempting to use technology to squeeze profit out of the hyperlocal market. The Mumbai-based startup was bought by Swiggy in 2018, and recently revealed a partnership with Foodhall, Future Group’s premium food store.

There have been an abundance of failures too. Services such as Russsh have done business for a short time period and then proceeded to shut down.

Given that it was a self-funded business, we couldn’t offer great discounts like the other emergent players, and to achieve success in a developing service market proved daunting. Building a solid business such as ours became a heartfelt endeavour with a focus on scalability and sustainability
— A Letter to Users on Russsh’s Website

Swiggy and Dunzo attribute most of their success to their high emphasis on technology. Dunzo’s Jha claimed the firm provides the basics for merchants such as a dashboard to put up their products, input pricing, etc. However, their secret weapon is the ability to show dynamic pricing to its users, along with trying to match the most suitable delivery partners to customers (ensuring the partner making the delivery is aware of the area from where the order is originating, the store from which the order is placed etc).

Market research firm Ken Research has published a report claiming the Indian hyperlocal delivery market is due to grow to around $29 billion by 2020. With the power of AI on these companies’ side, these projections may just be within the realms of reality.