Unlocking the potentials of home-delivery services
Dimapur, April 27 (EMN): The nationwide lockdown amidst the Covid-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the business community, daily wage earners and transportation drivers to name a few; and Nagaland is no exception.
However, not long after the lockdown was imposed, the state government and the district municipalities came up with the idea of home delivery services, making it convenient for citizens to purchase their needs. Permit was given to a few delivery services including the Nagaland Two Wheeler Taxi Association Dimapur District (NTWTADD).
The Dimapur Municipal Council (DMC) permitted the two-wheeler passenger service — NTWTADD which was introduced in 2019 — for home delivery of essential goods to ease the situation during the lockdown.
However, the two-wheeler taxi association had to face challenges initially when they ventured into delivery services.
NTWTADD general secretary Joel Ngullie, who also manages the operation, told Eastern Mirror: “When we started out on April 6, there was total lockdown in place. So, we procured perishable items (vegetables) in bulk from local farmers (Seithekie) at a higher rate than what it is now. Unfortunately, as we progressed a couple of days later the lockdown was relaxed and vegetable markets were allowed to sell. This caused us a huge loss as we couldn’t dispose off all that we bought and eventually more than half of our stock had to be discarded.”
“Even after that we continued to function on a deficit unable to make up on our investment. However, we still stood by our conviction towards giving our best services to the citizens of Dimapur town and beyond during lockdown. Now we don’t take the risk of buying perishable items, rather we are compelled to buy from the retail market just for the sake of delivering to those that place orders (meat, medicines, dry ration, vegetables, anything that the customer lists up, and all that running around for a meagre delivery charge ) and in spite of all the drawbacks, the riders are sacrificing and are ready to go the distance,” he shared.
Ngullie said the permit for delivery service from the DMC was a blessing in disguise as the lockdown had affected most of their earnings and it was just a few months ago that they had started the passenger services.
He said initially the job was demanding and good customer service was difficult especially when there were only few shops and essential commodities available.
Even the rate fixed by DMC at INR 50 for the delivery charges was less, as the riders had to go to the market to search for the items and deliver them at the customer’s place. The orders received were also overloaded and overwhelming but ‘everything is smooth now,’ he said.
Ngullie also said that although the permit was within the town area, they started receiving orders from beyond the town area. They started delivering till 4th Mile while working from 10 am to 4 pm. Even during the rainy days, he said, the riders were on duty because of the demands of the customers for essential needs.
With the rise of delivery service in demand, he said the association was contemplating on continuing with delivery services especially considering the unemployed youths.
Laljamlou Lupho, who started ‘The Delivery’ service seven years ago, said during the lockdown he has been receiving lots of orders for home delivery—more than the normal days before the lockdown was announced.
Lupho, who delivers the orders himself, said he and his boys had ‘no time to give rest to their phones with the non-stop and one after the other calls that they receive for delivery orders’.
He said since the lockdown, they have been receiving lots of orders from beyond Purana Bazaar to Chümoukedima, as they are unable to travel to Dimapur markets. However, he said most of the orders are not available in the market especially after the wholesale market at Marwari Patti was sealed.
Atu Jamir, a baker by profession, said: “Initially during the lockdown, I had to cancel lots of orders as movement of public and vehicles were restricted. But with the introduction of home delivery services for home essential commodities and groceries by the district administration and DMC, it has given the opportunity for all local entrepreneurs and work-from-home wives and businesses like us to reach our customers for their needs. I have also started to keep in touch with the delivery firms and have started taking orders. I am happy with the way the administration has taken this step and I believe more delivery firms should be permitted to deliver.”
Jamir also shared that “if there are about 1000 home delivery orders, that simply means 1000 people less in the marketplace as social distancing is very important or simply public gathering at any given point of time”.
She urged the public to stay home, stay safe and use these services.