Fast-food companies in China step up ‘contactless’ pickup, delivery as coronavirus rages – Benchmarking Change- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Contactless used to be a way you paid for things.
Now, with the coronavirus outbreak in China continuing to spread, McDonald’s Corp , Starbucks Corp and other fast-food companies are ramping up “contactless” pickup and delivery services to keep their workers and customers safe, the companies said.
McDonald’s has implemented contactless pickup and delivery of Big Macs, fries and other menu items across the China as the outbreak has unfolded.
Customers order remotely – on mobile phones or by computers in store – and employees seal the meals in bags and put them in a special spot for pickup without human contact, McDonald’s says on its website.
For delivery orders, drivers drop McDonald’s packages at building entrances, disinfect their delivery bags and wash their hands more frequently. Drivers carry ID cards showing that they – and the people who made and packaged their food – had their body temperature scanned to prove they do not have a fever.
“While we look at how to further improve the process, the stepped-up preventive measures apply to all of our servicing channels,” McDonald’s said in a statement to Reuters.
The flu-like virus has infected more than 68,500 people globally and killed 1,665 as of Sunday, mostly in the central Chinese province of Hubei. Some major Chinese cities still resemble ghost towns as China struggles to get its economy back on track after a prolonged Lunar New Year holiday.
In early February, 83 percent of all stores on the Meituan-Dianping delivery platform – one of the largest in the country – were closed, according to Beijing-based data firm BigOne Lab.
Earlier this month, China’s Tempemail Health Commission recommended that deliveries limit contact.
Starbucks suggests customers order coffee via its app and then wait outside its cafés until they get a pick-up notice. Orders are placed on tables just inside café entrances.
If they do enter Starbucks locations, customers have their temperature taken at the door, as fever is one of the main symptoms of infection, and baristas wear masks.
For delivery, Starbucks said it regularly sterilizes containers and that its delivery people have their temperature taken daily. Indoors staff must wash hands every 30 minutes, and public areas are sterilized every 2 hours.
Starbucks delivery is provided by ele.me, owned by ecommerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.
The measures illustrate how companies are quickly adapting in order to sell prepared food while keeping people safe.
Yum China Holdings Inc rolled out contactless delivery on Jan. 30, with contactless pickup coming two days later at its KFC and Pizza Hut locations, the company said.
Changing human transactions
There had been contactless delivery in China prior to the crisis, when couriers would drop packages at a consumer’s door or lobby or place parcels in lockers for later pickup.
But since the outbreak, many residential compounds are limiting access for drivers and asking customers to pick up their own packages.
In transactions that previously would have involved one person handing a package to the other, the driver now puts the food down – on the back of a moped, for instance – and then steps back and waits for the customer to take it and leave.
One customer, for example, asked a delivery person to put a parcel in the elevator and press the button for the designated floor. The customer grabbed the package when the doors opened – unaccompanied by the courier, according to a post on CCTV News’ social media account on Weibo, said Allison Malmsten, a marketing strategy analyst at Daxue Consulting in Shanghai.
The outbreak “redefines contactless food delivery,” Malmsten said via email.
Since the start of the outbreak, Yum China has closed more than 30 percent of its locations. There have been “significant interruptions,” with sales off as much as 50 percent in those that remained open since the Lunar New Year holiday, versus the same time last year, Chief Financial Officer Ka Wai Yeung said in a Feb. 5 earnings call.
The crisis has accelerated the rollout of Yum China’s contactless services in China, it said in a statement.
“These services have been well-received by customers and are playing an important role in ensuring that our delivery business continues to hold up during this period of significantly reduced dine-in traffic,” it said.
Early during the epidemic, meal delivery took a hit because customers feared contact with drivers would put them at risk of infection, according to news reports.
Cases of couriers being diagnosed with the virus after working for days arose in Shenzhen and Qingdao cities.
The companies’ reliance on pickup and delivery to offset some losses does, however, have limitations.
Malmsten said many drivers cannot return to work due to travel restrictions, and those who can return face long hours and physical and mental fatigue. As a result, SF Express, the second-largest courier in China, has ramped up hiring, she said.

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PNB One app has resulted in unified delivery of all banking services for customers: Sunil Soni, GM-IT, Punjab Tempemail Bank- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Read Article The app has resulted in customers using the digital channel more than visiting the branches. It has also resulted in enhanced customer engagement.
The post PNB One app has resulted in unified delivery of all banking services for customers: Sunil Soni, GM-IT, Punjab Tempemail Bank appeared first on Express Computer.

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Why drone delivery is not possible in New York or Delhi- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Your dream to get a pizza delivered by a drone or an Amazon drone knocking at the door will remain a dream as researchers have revealed that a drone delivery service is not realistic and may not be possible in densely-populated areas like New York or New Delhi.
The reason is simple: Demand for drone delivery in e-retail is high but the ability to meet that demand is very low. For a city like New York, the optimal design for the test locations, based on all factors, is three drone facilities covering 75 per cent of NYC area and 34 per cent of the population.
“Opening a fourth facility increases area and population coverage to 84 per cent and 38 per cent, respectively, but the increase in operation cost is not enough to cover the facility costs,” said the researchers from University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.
“We analyse the tradeoffs between distribution costs and revenues under varying social difficulties with drones like customer preferences and regulatory and technological limitations,” said Fatma Gzara, a professor in the Department of Management Sciences at Waterloo. “We then can make educated decisions on how many facilities to open, which services to offer at that facility and which services to make available to customers in certain areas,” she added.
The new research, published in the journal Transportation Science, looked at how possible and desirable it is to use drones for delivery for e-retailers considering cost and effectiveness in certain population areas and in certain locations.
The study, conducted by Gohram Baloch and Gzara, used New York City as an example and looks at data surrounding the Manhattan area. The authors separated the area into boroughs based on population and size.
Baloch and Gzara said they chose New York because the world’s largest e-retail company, Amazon, first started its 2-hour delivery services in the Big Apple.
“Our results show that government regulations, technological limitations, and service charge decisions play a vital role in optimal configurations and drone target markets,” said Gzara. “Under current drone landing capabilities, a drone delivery service may not be possible in a densely populated area like Manhattan where demand for such a service is expected to be high,” the researchers wrote.
e-retailers can reach smaller markets and more price-sensitive customers by possibly offering discounts on drone-delivered orders, the findings showed.

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Amazon roars back into US$1 trillion club, powered by one-day delivery boost – Finance- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

There is no stopping Amazon.com’s revenue growth, Wall Street analysts said on Friday.
The e-commerce giant re-entered the US$1 trillion (A$1.49 trillion) club after its results crushed expectations, benefiting from investments in faster shipping and a surge in Prime membership.
Nearly half of the 51 brokerages covering Amazon raised their 12-month price targets on the company’s stock, which was up 9 percent at US$2,036 in early trading.
In a note titled “Not-so-subtle Reminder Amazon is Still King”, Benchmark analysts said Amazon reminded the world of its “size and capacity advantage,” and raised his price target by US$150 to US$2,400.
Net sales jumped 21 percent to US$87.4 billion, with sales from AWS – the business responsible for selling data storage and computing power in the cloud – growing 34 percent. Revenue from subscription fees surged 32 percent as more shoppers signed up for Prime services.
“Amazon is easily less than half-way through transforming retail by exploiting deep fulfillment moats established over many years,” Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Graham said.
J.P.Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth raised his price target on the stock to US$2,525 from US$2,200, and said Amazon remains one of the brokerage’s top picks in its US focus list.
“Overall, in our view Amazon’s ability to re-accelerate revenue growth at such a large scale is evidence that its (Prime One Day) investments are paying off,” Anmuth said.
“We’re increasingly optimistic Amazon will continue to execute throughout 2020 on both the top and bottom line.”
Amazon has been in and around the US$1 trillion club for a while now, accompanied by the other tech giants like Apple, Alphabet and Microsoft.
Investors and analysts are touting Visa and Mastercard as the next companies in line to move in to the elite list.
At a time when Amazon has been trying to improve its delivery timings through in-house initiatives, the company’s fortunes could be intertwined with that of its delivery partner UPS, which earns more than one-tenth of its revenue through its partnership with the Washington-based company.
MKM Partners analyst Rohit Kulkarni said Amazon’s logistics business could eclipse UPS in as soon as five years.

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Boxed in: Amazon refused to take back unwanted delivery | Technology – Blog – 10 minute

A pensioner from Bristol has described his disbelief after Amazon delivered a 28kg (62lb) exercise machine he had not ordered, and then flatly refused to take it away – leaving it blocking his front room.
Tony Harding, who is 79 and unable to move the heavy item, says Amazon effectively abandoned the giant box in his and his wife’s Winterbourne home, apparently expecting him to dispose of the brand new exercise bike himself. Despite asking both the driver who brought the item, and a second driver who delivered the order he had been expecting, neither would take away the £149 machine. Customer services told him it was highly unlikely the company would come to retrieve the fitness bike, and he would have to dispose of it.
Harding, who says he rarely uses Amazon because of concerns over its tax affairs, says he “held his nose” in January and ordered a 20kg bag of reconstituted logs.
But he got more than he bargained for when the driver arrived with an enormous box, wrongly bearing his name and address.
“When I pointed out that the package contained a Nero Sports fitness bicycle, the delivery driver suggested that my logs might have been packed inside the box. I was flabbergasted by this suggestion, by which time the delivery man was halfway down the path. When I came to my senses I suggested to him that he should take the package back, or at least check that someone else in the Bristol area was due to receive a fitness bike. After checking his notes I was told he could not take the item back since he only did deliveries,” Harding says.
After finding his way through the maze of the Amazon website he says he eventually found a number to call where a very helpful person agreed to replace his missing logs. But when these arrived the second driver also refused to take the bike away.
“I was also told that if no one came to collect the fitness bike within 48 hours, I should feel free to dispose of it as I thought fit. That would be OK if had any use for an exercise bike, but I don’t. Aside from the inconvenience of having it filling my front room, I’m astonished at the cavalier waste of the world’s resources that have gone into this whole process. I’m guessing that someone else has ordered this machine and they have been similarly sent a replacement, when they should have this one,” he says.

Tony Harding and his wife Christine outside their home near Bristol. Photograph: Adrian Sherratt/The Guardian
After Guardian Money stepped in, the response was swift – and the firm collected the package from Harding almost immediately, with a bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolates.
A spokesman for Amazon said: “We have contacted the customer to apologise for his experience and collect the bike. We have also investigated the matter with our delivery partner and are taking appropriate action.”
Environmental groups are increasingly questioning the role of tech firms and their lack of response to the climate emergency.
Last August, Amazon was criticised by activists and customers after introducing a range of plastic packaging that cannot be recycled in the UK. The online retailer had started sending small items in unrecyclable plastic envelopes, seemingly to allow more parcels to be loaded on to each delivery truck.
In 2018, Money highlighted the extraordinary case of south London resident Tiffany Crow, who was being bombarded with hundreds of parcels from Amazon. Boxes of wireless speakers, fitness wristbands and batches of projectors kept arriving at her home, forcing her to spend hours dealing with them, and recycling all the packaging. Her repeated calls to Amazon to get them stopped drew a blank, and like Harding she was told she could do what she liked with them.
In January, hundreds of Amazon employees in the US defied corporate policy to publicly criticise the company for failing to meet its “moral responsibility” in the face of the climate crisis.

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Waymo and UPS team up for self-driving package delivery – Blog – 10 minute

Forward-looking: UPS and Waymo have announced a partnership that allows UPS to dip its toes into autonomous deliveries. The company thinks that Waymo’s driverless tech can transform how it delivers packages. While UPS isn’t the only company looking to leverage self-driving cars, this partnership is yet another stepping stone to a future where both packages and people can be transported without a driver.
Waymo, the Google subsidiary best known for its self-driving cars, is teaming up with UPS for a limited package delivery pilot program. The program involves Waymo’s Chrysler Pacifica minivans delivering packages from UPS stores to sorting facilities within Phoenix, AZ. The minivans will not deliver to people.
“UPS and Waymo are exploring automated and autonomous technologies to enhance network operations,” said Scott Price, UPS chief strategy and transformation officer. “Getting packages to our sortation facilities sooner and more frequently, while also creating an opportunity for later drop-offs for next-day service, can add enormous value for our customers.”
Waymo already operates a Level 4 autonomous driving fleet in Phoenix that is completely driver-less. However, the vans that are shuttling packages between UPS locations will still have a safety driver. UPS says the primary goal is to “explore how autonomous ground vehicles improve customer service and network efficiency”. That said, the company did not rule out any long term partnership if the pilot goes well.
The partnership isn’t exclusive to UPS, however.
Waymo already has a fleet of autonomous semi-trucks for freight delivery and regularly makes deliveries for auto retailer AutoNation. Furthermore, both UPS and the United States Postal Services piloted autonomous mail trucks last year via self-driving startup TuSimple.

Autonomous cars seem to be getting better and more sophisticated. Just a few days ago, we reported that Uber is bringing its self-driving cars to Washington, D.C. Although, unlike other cities deployments, Uber’s cars in D.C. will be manually driven.
The slower, methodical approach is probably better considering the controversy over Uber allegedly using Waymo’s technology. Regardless, a future in which packages and people are transported without a driver is coming fast.

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ICICI Bank launches ‘iBox’, a self-service delivery facility for customers- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

ICICI Bank, announced the launch of a unique self-service delivery facility, enabling its customers to collect their deliverables such as debit card, credit card, cheque book and returned-cheques, from a branch close to their home or office, in a hassle free manner, anytime any day. The Bank has introduced the facility, called ‘iBox’, at over 50 branches in 17 cities in the country. This facility is especially useful for customers who are not available at home to receive their package during working hours. The ‘iBox’ terminals have been stationed outside the premises of the Bank’s branches which are accessible beyond the official hours. It is equipped with an OTP based authentication system for enhanced security and can be accessed by customers using their registered mobile number 24X7, on all days including holidays.
The customer can avail of this first-of-its-kind facility if the branch, where they want to take delivery of the package containing their banking deliverable, houses an ‘iBox’ terminal. The fully automated process informs the customer of the current status of their package via an SMS at every stage– from dispatch to delivery. Once the package arrives in the ‘iBox’ terminal, an SMS notification is sent to the customer, which carries the GPS location of the ‘iBox’, an OTP and a QR code. The customer has to then visit the ‘iBox’, enter his/her registered mobile number and submit the OTP or show the QR code to open the box and access the package. The deliverable stays in the ‘iBox’ for seven days during which the customer can collect at any time of the day. The iBox therefore, brings in more flexibility for the customers and eliminates the need to visit the branch during busy working hours.
Speaking on the initiative, Mr. Sandeep Batra, President, ICICI Bank said, “We have always been pioneering innovative and path-breaking banking solutions for enhancing the convenience for our customers. ‘iBox’ facility enhances our offering to take banking to our customers when they want it. They can collect these deliverables at a time of their choosing, 24×7, and on all days including holidays.
The Bank has equipped the delivery facility with a robust security mechanism, which includes features like OTP based authentication and live tracking of the status of the dispatched deliverables. This ensures that the documents stay safe till the time they are collected by their designated recipients. The ‘iBox’ facility also aids the Bank in decongesting its branches, thereby leaving more time for customer engagement.”

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Uber sold its food delivery business in India to local rival Zomato – Blog – 10 minute

The big picture: Uber’s Eats business in India isn’t helping the company improve its bottom line, so it decided to offload it to one of its local rivals in exchange for a stake in their business. As a result, Uber can focus on other locations where it can make a profit. It’s now also the owner of 9.99% of Zomato.
Uber’s rapid global expansion has been far from perfect, and lately the company has been trying to cut its losses wherever it has trouble beating the local competition. Today, the company announced it sold its food delivery business in India to rival Zomato. The deal is estimated at around $160 to $200 million that Uber will get in the form of a 9.99 percent stake in the Indian startup, which is also backed by China’s Ant Financial group.
Zomato will take over Uber Eats’ operations in India. The company says it will keep the overall user experience the same, while working to improve coverage. Analysts at Forrester think Zomato still faces a relatively strong competitor, Swiggy, that raised around $1 billion in 2018 and is capable of handling more deliveries every day.

Uber entered the Indian market in 2017, but its Uber Eats business has failed to make any significant market share gains despite offering aggressive deals and discounts. The company’s CFO, Nelson Chai, says the recent move is part of “our commitment to take a hard look at Eats markets where we do not have a path to leadership.”
Uber promised investors that it will become profitable by 2021, but in the meantime it is burning cash at an alarming rate. As of late, the company has expanded to new places in the Middle East and Latin America, but Uber Eats India was apparently losing some $60 million per quarter in 2019, on revenues of $20 million.
Cutting its loses means the company can focus on other places where it can secure a foothold, as the global food delivery market is expected to be worth $15 billion by 2023.

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Pentalog Bucharest Delivery Center to Move to a New Home- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

You’re familiar with 3-D renderings of sparkly office spaces, right? Well, you won’t get this from me.
Instead, I’ll tell you the plain and simple story of the 15-year old company where I collaborate with the best teams who motivated me to grow professionally into a Customer Success Manager position.

You’ll find us on 20 Copilului Street, in Bucharest! We’ll greet you with amazing projects, technical events, and a skilled team!

Read on to learn where Pentalog’s Bucharest Delivery Center has just moved, why we moved, and what it’s like to work with us. Or at least stick around to see some old, awkward pictures from our younger days. 
Pentalog’s 2nd IT Outsourcing Center in Romania
Most of you probably know that Pentalog’s Bucharest IT Center was located in the heart of the city capital, where the central business district is. The Diplomat Business Center on Sevastopol Street has always been a welcoming home for us until there was no more room to expand (literally!).
Like all startups, we were a small group of enthusiastic developers when Pentalog Bucharest launched in 2004, five years after the company established its headquarters in Brasov.
Year after year, we rented more apartments – which we shared with other companies – linked them so we could stay connected, and filled them with desks, computers, and brilliant minds. Today, we’re more than 140 people strong, determined to take Pentalog to the next level!
In our spacious courtyard, we relaxed on sunny days, enjoyed the company of playful squirrels, and hosted PentaFoisor events as well as intimate gatherings with barbeque and beer. Good times, really!
Here’s the proof!

Laughter is part of our daily job. We like to make every moment count!

We also strengthened collaborations with our clients. We’ve successfully maintained long-term partnerships and delivered over 60 projects for more than 20 different clients in the United States, France, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium, and Romania.
Our portfolio includes a variety of technical solutions, ranging from highly technical multimedia and hardware-oriented projects designed for major companies in the telecom market to more economics-oriented business intelligence and business analysis projects developed for important financial institutions.

Here’s what we’ve done so far.

We’re proud to say that our IT engineers are skilled in advanced technical and industrial sectors, have experience in Agile and Lean methods, and master a wide range of technologies: PHP (Laravel, Magento, Symfony, Zend), C#/.NET, Embedded C, C/C++, JavaScript (Node.js, React, Angular, Vuejs), Python Django, Ruby or JAVA (Spring, Hibernate, Struts, Vaadin, EE). 
Preparing for the New Decade with a Modern Office Space
What’s coming up next is even more exciting! When we started looking for a new office space, I had some doubts that we’d find exactly what we wanted. Luckily, I was wrong!
The new office that I just love is located in a highly accessible and quiet neighborhood near the Triumph Arch and Casin Monastery, two of northern Bucharest’s most recognizable and iconic structures.
Since the office is near various means of transportation, parks, and restaurants, it’s a convenient location for people commuting from different parts of the city.
Henri Coanda international airport is only a 30-minute drive away, and Herastrau Park is also nearby, where our colleagues can play sports and relax.

The building itself is an old factory, but don’t expect it to have an industrial look. The interior is quite spectacular; it has large glass windows and lots of natural light shines in from above. It’s a modern workspace that offers a community atmosphere, which we all appreciate. We’re not fans of rigid corporate structures.
We rented 2,000 square meters of open offices on the first floor of the building, which is almost double the size of our previous space. We agreed on a flexible arrangement style. The production department is in one area for more efficiency. Separately, we created six meeting rooms, each with its own capacity, a kitchen, and a relaxation area. The SkillValue team has its own space, with a unique design and many other functionalities.
On the ground floor, we’ll enjoy a cozy courtyard and two training fields where the rugby team works out. And us, too, hopefully!
Now, we feel fully prepared to meet our clients in a suitable office space, in line with current design trends and innovations, where we enjoy the latest office technology.
I’m also confident that our new office will be more appealing to future colleagues who prefer welcoming, bright, cheery, and modern office spaces. Because, yes, we’re hiring! In 2020 our teams will grow like never before, I’m sure of that!

Check out our current job openings!

 
Pentalog Employees Speak Out: What’s it Like to Work with Us?
“I have been working at Pentalog Bucharest for eight years, climbing the hierarchical ladder from the developer position to the Practice Manager role. Pentalog is a great company and here’s why: it offers stability and professional development to employees while both business areas and technology stacks have always been diverse.
On the other hand, there’s a real partnership regarding product strategy decisions and solution architecture, from the first phases of product discovery to the last phases of deployment. We work in an Agile way, in various forms (Scrum, Kanban, SAFe), so we are organized, adapt very quickly, and offer visibility to our clients. There’s also a continuous interest in learning and training: e-learning and self-training platforms, workshops both with internal and external trainers, mentorships on various technologies, and the freedom to choose the professional direction we want. Now, when a new chapter begins, we have many ideas and plans. We strive for excellence!” – George, Practice Manager
“I have many beautiful memories from the former Pentalog location. What I enjoyed the most was the company of my colleagues, very nice people who always knew how to loosen up the atmosphere. The fact that we have the opportunity to take on different training courses offered by the company, from foreign language courses to tech presentations, is great! This is how I managed to learn some German.” – Cristina, Developer

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Swiggy Goes Beyond Food Delivery! Read This!- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Food delivery platform ‘Swiggy’ launches ‘Swiggy Go’, an instant pick up and drop service to send packages anywhere across the city. Using Swiggy Go people can pick up and drop off laundry, fetch forgotten keys, send lunch boxes from home to office, and even deliver documents or parcels to clients. This facility is quite similar to Swiggy stores, which promises to deliver to users’ doorstep household items like groceries, flowers, and medicines, among other things within an hour. Swigyy Go can be used as a part of the main Swiggy app itself. 
Sriharsha Majety, CEO of Swiggy said that Swiggy’s vision is to elevate the quality of life of urban customers by offering unparalleled convenience. He also said that Swiggy has been enabling this with food delivery for five years and stores across the city with Swiggy Stores, Go will open the Swiggy delivery superpower to all consumers in the city.
Majety also added that Bengaluru would be the first city in India to experience the Swiggy do the last minute delivery for everything, and not just-food. This year Swiggy Go is supposed to expand to over 300 cities and Swiggy Stores to all major metros. 
Swiggy Go would deliver products from any store, This includes than 300 merchant partners like Godrej Nature’s Basket, Nilgiris, Organic World, Heads Up For Tails, and Nandu’s Chicken.
Swiggy has tied up with more than 200 merchant partners like Ratnadeep, Ghanshyam, Sneha Chicken, Yellow and Greens, and 24 Organic Mantra.
Where Is Swiggy Now With Numbers?
Some national publications state that Swiggy filed its annual report for the period ending March 2019. Swiggy earned 72 percent of the total operating revenue income by providing the market place and food services. The remaining 18 and 10 percent of income came through delivery and also offering ancillary services.
Read More:
Read how Swiggy Used AI and Data Science To Grow Its Order Value By Over 200%
Diving deeper, it is seen that the biggest contributor was earnings from marketplace services that stood at INR. 805.7 crore. All points added, Swiggy recorded a 2.7X jump in operating revenue from INR. 1,121 crore in FY19 from INR. 417 crore in FY18. Also, Swiggy’s earnings from interest on deposits and mutual fund gains shot up 4.3X from INR. 39.5 crore in FY18  to INR. 170 crore. As Swiggy launches Swiggy Go, there are some possibilities that tables would be turned. 
Also read: 
Swiggy: Harnessing Hyper-Personalised Approach For Efficient Food Deliveries

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