A delivery worker of Zomato prepares to leave to pick up an order from a restaurant in Mumbai. File / Reuters
CEO Deepinder Goyal said in a post late on Monday the service "Zomato Instant" would rely on a densely located network of so-called food "finishing stations," which will house bestseller items from restaurants and use a sophisticated demand prediction algorithm.
"Nobody in the world has so far delivered hot and fresh food in under 10 minutes at scale," Goyal wrote on LinkedIn and Twitter. "We were eager to be the first."
Within hours, Zomato's announcement sparked a flurry of responses. A lawmaker questioned the business model while executives raised concerns about rider safety on Indian roads.
Zomato, which counts China's Ant Group as an investor, did not respond to requests for comment.
Many on social media urged a rethink, saying food can wait as even ambulances in India take longer to reach patients. Some on LinkedIn questioned the need for such a model.
"I don't want to eat food that someone has brought to me while keeping his life at risk," wrote Gunjan Rastogi, a researcher at India's RSB Insights & Analytics.
Karti P. Chidambaram, an Indian lawmaker, tweeted: "This is absurd! It's going to put undue pressure on the delivery personnel."
The Zomato CEO's Monday announcement started by saying: "We will start with a clarification ... we do not put any pressure on delivery partners."
After it failed to convince many, Goyal issued another tweet on Tuesday stressing that delivery will be "safe" for riders who will face no penalties, urging people to understand the model "before the outrage."
"Quick commerce" grocery startups in India have been a rage with SoftBank-backed Blinkit and rival Zepto expanding rapidly. Reuters reported in January delivery bikers said they faced pressure to meet deadlines, which often led to speeding, for fear of being rebuked by store managers.
Critics say risks are too high on Indian roads. Even in cities, most roads are riddled with potholes and motorists violate basic rules. The World Bank says India has a death every four minutes on its roads and crashes kill around 150,000 people each year.
Nevertheless, many customers have been hooked to quick commerce grocery services to meet their instant shopping needs.
"I would be happy to get my food in 10 minutes," said one LinkedIn user, Sonu Sekharan.
The two parties discussed the roadmap and outreach campaigns to step up the traffic safety level of this activity and examined the quality regulation applicable to motorcycles and their drivers.
The award is comprised of two categories. The first category is for Companies and aims to recognise the best two companies in the delivery service as well as the best two companies in delivery service via smart platforms and apps.
A video clip went viral on the social networking sites of an Indian young man delivering food orders on a horseback amid heavy rains in Mumbai, India.
The story of Saud Bin Muhammad Al-Ghamdi, 70, baffled many, and social networking sites were buzzing with the elderly man’s story, which many saw as more like a fantasy, especially since doctors were unable to find a solution to make him sleep.
A 102-year-old American doctor Gladys McGarry, credit the secret of her long healthy life to consuming large amounts of water, exercising and following a healthy diet.
The flights will not be limited to hotel guests only, but anyone can book the plane for a trip of up to 12 hours, according to Bloomberg.