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On Demand Businesses 101

How Can The On-Demand Industry Survive Coronavirus?

“It [COVID-19] just tells us where there is testing, there are cases. And that’s what we have to understand and get on with how we’re going to deal with them.”

Do you want pizza delivered to your doorstep? Or maybe some groceries? Or maybe call a cab to get to a destination? Marketplace platforms make it painless! 

According to the Harvard Business Report, nearly 22.4 million people across the globe enjoy the comfort that ’On-Demand’ companies offer. From food delivery to laundry to mobility services to home care services and many more, dedicated on-demand services make our lives more convenient. A new pair of jeans or a set of chairs can arrive within a day or two. Groceries can come within hours. A car can be at your doorstep within minutes. There is no such thing as delayed gratification anymore. The on-demand industry connects people who need assistance with day-to-day problems to those who are ready to provide instant solutions.

We saw an augmenting on-demand economy, but, with the epidemic novel Coronavirus (origin Wuhan, China, December 2019), the questions one must ask are: 

  1. Will the economy witness the same contribution from the on-demand industry amid Coronavirus? 
  2. Are people still willing to come in contact with suppliers from unknown sources, only to save time and effort?
  3. Is it safe to put the fear of COVID- 19 behind the hegemony of the on-demand industry? 

With 103,725 people infected and 3,527 dead, is there still a chance that COVID-19 will prove to be a fire drill than an actual fire?

Current Industry Scenario You Need To Know

The CDC has declared to minimise human contact to control the vulnerability of COVID 19. In a typical situation, the on-demand services involve interaction with hundreds of people in the course of their jobs. Does this imply that people should put an end to their offerings?

The despair of COVID 19 outbreak has curbed communities to avail the services, leading to a slowdown in the industry.

What Impact Is The Industry Dealing With?

Food Deliveries: Coronavirus is suspected to have traces in the animal market. Given a glance at products, milk and meat are commonly consumed good. With the recent findings, the dairy and meat industry is knocked down. People are scrupulous to place orders. As per the Economic Times, the investigation caused less demand for food products and delivery request, which led to a 50% drop in prices.

Mobility Services: Service providers like Uber, Bla Bla Car and Ola connect multifarious riders and drivers every day. Both associated hesitate to take rides as the rider is dubious about the health conditions of passengers who travelled before him/her and identical concerns endure for the drivers.

House cleaning, Groceries, Salon, Others: Distrustful personal hygiene of service providers (delivery agents) and the extent of disinfectant used on the products delivered/used in a cautious situation like this has restrained people to place orders and refrain contact. This further led to panic bulk purchase of canned food and bottled water.

Tips To Sustain This Commanding Situation

Food Delivery: The welfare of employees is paramount.
 – Food outlets should attach quality testified labels of products, dairy and meat categorically.
– Body temperature certificates of the chef should be affixed, augmenting faith in consumers. It’s imperative as fever is a primary symptom of COVID- 19. 
– Involved personnel must wear gloves and masks every-time.
– Delivery agents must sanitise (alcohol-based) their hands before picking the order and after delivering the order.
 

Mobility Services: It’s a common topic of discussion in my rides now, with a hint of underlying agitation from all parties, says Sarthak, an uber driver in India. I disinfect the entire car … after I get anyone in the car coughing.” So, yes! To alleviate risk, operators;
 – Should spray disinfectants after every ride is completed. 
 – Must stay home in case of any ailment.
 – Use sanitiser after every 30 minutes & on establishing physical contact with riders (Example: collecting cash etc) 

 House cleaning, Groceries, Salon, Others:
 – Disinfect frequently touched items, for instance, phones, items to be delivered, tools used for salon services etc.
– Give consumers “Leave At Door” option to restrict physical contact.
– Mask and gloves are primary precautions. They should be washed and replaced persistently. 
 – Service providers and delivery agent should use tissues while coughing or sneezing and meticulously dispose of the tissues.

Final Thought

“What should each of us do, beyond staying informed and washing our hands frequently? Keep calm and rational. It might be worth stocking some reserve of critical medications. “

Educating people on how they can safeguard themselves will impactfully control fear and the decline in the industry.

Novel coronavirus spreads, delivery and ride-hail services could either emerge as vectors of the disease — or as hope for isolated people. Matter of discussion is, can the on-demand industry become immune to the coronavirus?

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