Bangalore: The Government of Karnataka along with the Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority and the Member of Parliament launched ‘COVID 19 Home Delivery’ in Bangalore today. One of the biggest challenges of tackling the Covid19 pandemic through a lockdown intended to slow the spread of the virus has been the unintended consequence of the hardship and challenges families have faced in procuring essentials such as groceries, medicines, etc. To alleviate the situation, the Member of Parliament, along with ITW Consulting & Cartoon Mango curated and digitized this task force, an efficient COVID 19 helpline that will help the citizens of Bangalore get door delivery of groceries and other essential daily needs.
Currently, there are 15 WhatsApp group and 200 volunteers catering to the needs of Bangalore residents with respect to COVID 19 emergencies, receiving close to 3000 phone calls every day. With this new facility, citizens from Bangalore can call the COVID-19 Home Delivery Helpline, set up by the Task Force of Tejasvi Surya, on 080 6191 4960.
They may also place their orders by sending a ‘Hi’ on the same number. Over 12 million households residing in Bangalore constituencies can order groceries, medicines, fruits, and vegetables through the helpline. The home delivery charges have been fixed at a flat rate of INR 10/- currently and the purchases items would be delivered within a day. The process is as simple as typing out the list or sending a photo of the list of grocery items required or a picture of the doctor’s prescription in case of medicines.
The helpline is a result of a partnership and the ingenuity of some of Bengaluru’s best tech talent. ITW Consulting and Cartoon Mango have powered the back-end of the ordering system that seamlessly connects to every delivery partner working with the initiative and enables to create a coexisting ecosystem for all. Kaleyra has provided the WhatsApp Chatbot system, along with 7.ai manning of the Helpline call centre. The platform was built under the guidance of the Office of the MP, Elephant Ear Consulting and iSpirt.
It uses the integrated back end system to centralize information about the orders, and then sorts and connects them to the front end and last-mile connectivity partners, who deliver them. Dunzo and Rapido are providing last-mile delivery to the citizens. Meanwhile, PharmEasy and Spotcare assist in delivering medicines; Big Bazaar, StoreSe, ShopG (a community buying start-up), Clover Ventures, and Ninja Cart, are all delivering groceries and fruits to households as well as apartments in bulk. Housejoy has stepped in to help fumigate households and assist in delivery, while Let’s Be The Change has mapped all important stores that are verified and open.
“We noticed that many citizens continued to venture out to purchase groceries, fruits, and vegetables during the lockdown, putting themselves at risk of getting infected by the coronavirus. In order to ensure citizens stay indoors during the COVID-19 lockdown period, we created this platform which provides for the home delivery of essential goods.” Tejasvi Surya said in a statement.
“We initially launched a pilot of this service in the Kathriguppe ward of Bengaluru. Based on the success of that project, we have extended the service to BBMP limits. We’re glad to collaborate with ITW to develop the technical platform for the helpline,” he added.
Talking about this initiative, Karthik M Bhat, Business Head, ITW consulting said, “As a company, it is crucial that we work as a team and help people during the tough times. When this idea was initially brought to light, we wanted to start working and roll out the services initially. The beauty of the Platform is that it enables even those without a smartphone to go digital via the helpline no. and having every Kirana store listed on the BBMP made available for deliveries gives the people more choice.”
Mr. Hari Prasad, Co-founder, Cartoon Mango, who designed the back-end, spoke about this initiative and said,” We are a design studio that prides itself on its problem-solving capabilities and this was a great opportunity to do the same. Solutions like these are important during the global crisis. This is a great initiative by Mr Tejasvi Surya and we are glad we could involve in its digital transformations.”
Citizens may also call their regular traders and request for home delivery. If the grocer does not support home delivery, he or she may also call the helpline requesting for the items to be picked up from the shop and delivered. Being an open platform, any last-mile connectivity provider or a service provider in the area of essential goods can get involved, making it a scalable solution. Currently, there are a total of 16,000+ stores which includes, Grocery stores, Fruit & Vegetable shops, Meat Shops, Bakery & Medical stores. The next step would be to map all the 30,000 stores registered with BBMP to come on board for this initiative.