E-COMMERCE GIANTS AMAZON AND ALIBABA ENTER INDIA’S ALCOHOL DELIVERY MARKET
By Siulan Law Mathews DipWSET
Credit: Ravi Sharma/Unsplash
American e-commerce giant Amazon and its Chinese counter-part Alibaba have won approval to enter India’s alcohol delivery market, following the footsteps of local food delivery platforms Swiggy and Zomato.
The Reuters news agency quoted a notice issued by the West Bengal State Beverages Corp, the agency authorised to carry out online retail of liquor in the state, as reporting that Amazon and Alibaba-backed grocery platform BigBasket have won approval to deliver alcohol in the state.
West Bengal is India’s fourth most populous state, with a population of more than 90 million people.
The notice was reported to have said that Amazon has been invited to sign a memorandum of understanding with the state.
Upon being asked by Indian media when BigBasket would start operations, its CEO Hari Menon said: "I cannot confirm now how soon we will start, but yes it will be the first for the company."
Indian food ordering platforms Zomato and Swiggy have already started delivering alcohol in West Bengal and some other states after getting the necessary approvals.
Retailers Spencer's and HipBar have also joined the business as Indian authorities allowed home delivery of alcohol to reduce footfall at stores amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Indian media said another eight lesser-known platforms have expressed interests in alcohol delivery and have been asked by the authorities to demonstrate their capabilities in executing online orders.
According to estimates by international drinks market research company IWSR, India’s liquor market is worth around USD27.2 billion.
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