Amazon Food: Biting into the Food Delivery Market in India
Amazon.com, Inc. (Amazon) India expanded Amazon Food into the food delivery market in March 2021 amid a pandemic and the ensuing lockdown. The move surprised the industry, especially considering that Swiggy and Zomato Ltd. (Zomato), the two key players in the food delivery business, were facing an all-time slump and that restaurants were seeking to move away from aggregators to create their own ordering platform. Zomato and Swiggy, a duopoly in the food service aggregator (FSA) space in the country, had been struggling to keep cash burn low, squeezing delivery-executive commissions, executing mass layoffs, and scaling down profit-draining cloud kitchens. Although the timing of the launch appeared risky, Amazon India's confidence to take on the established players and challenge the status quo stemmed from its size, reach, resources, technological prowess, reliability, trust, and goodwill. In a market scenario where safety and hygiene standards were set to change forever and the odds were stacked against FSAs, the industry and consumers were expecting a tough battle. Amazon had to reassess whether its strengths would be adequate to help it make satisfactory inroads into the industry, confront the obstacles, and overcome the ongoing slump and make good on its decision to be the new entrant when the established players were bearing the brunt of not only the pandemic but also a deeply divided restaurant industry.