In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the entire population of India, except those on the front-lines, has been put on lockdown.
The move, aimed at slowing the spread of the disease, has disrupted the daily lives of people as well as home delivery services.
Now, food-tech giant Zomato has announced some crucial measures to help its partners, customers in this crisis.
How lockdown has affected delivery services?
When the nation-wide, 21-day lockdown went into effect, confusion ensued over the government's message on e-commerce, more specifically the home delivery of groceries and other essentials.
As a result of this confusion, police officers halted (even harassed) many delivery agents around the country. This included those of Zomato, and that has largely disrupted food-delivery business of the company.
Deepinder Goyal says work going on to get issues resolved
In a series of tweets, Deepinder Goyal, the founder of Zomato, said that the company is working to get the on-ground issues resolved, with full support from central and state governments.
He emphasized that Delhi, Maharashtra, and Karnataka have issued notifications to allow e-commerce for the delivery of essential services while other states are also in the process of doing the same.
Help for lockdown-hit restaurants, delivery partners
As the work to get food delivery services up and running goes on, Goyal says Zomato has announced the provision of working capital loans for its gold and delivery restaurant partners.
"Dining out in many countries is badly hit," Goyal tweeted while adding that "thousands of restaurants have [also] been severely hit because of their immobilized workforce due to the lockdown."
Here's what Goyal said about the loan facility
FYI - we can only help facilitate loans to Gold partner restaurants since the transactions flow through us, and it is easier and cheaper for our fintech partners to underwrite it. Trying to figure out how to help the rest of the restaurant community. [4/n]
Relief fund to cover up lost earnings for delivery agents
Among other things, Goyal noted that Zomato is also starting a relief fund to cover up lost earnings of thousands of its delivery agents.
He didn't provide specific details of the fund but said that several Zomato employees have voluntarily taken deep salary cuts to donate to this fund as well as to help conserve the company's cash flows.
Finally, Gold membership has been extended for 2 months
Finally, to help subscribers who can not dine out during the COVID-19 crisis, which has killed over 21,000 people worldwide, Zomato is extending all current Gold memberships by a period of two months.
The extension has been given for free and is applicable across several countries, including India, UAE, Australia, Indonesia, Philippines, Lebanon, Turkey, New Zealand, Portugal, and Qatar.
Zomato's 'Feed the Daily Wager' campaign
Zomato is also running a campaign called 'Feed the Daily Wager' to raise money and feed 450 million Indians who depend on daily wages to run their household but are now under lockdown due to restrictions. The fund has raised Rs. 8 crore so far.