​Nasper-backed online food ordering & delivery startup Swiggy is all set to start delivering medicines and grocery as it looks to diversify its business model and boost volume beyond just food ordering. This new service will be named as 'Dash', reported Economic Times.

Swiggy will kickstart pilot operations of Dash in the next few months.

Citing a person familiar with the development at Swiggy, the report further said that, “While several categories have been discussed, they may start with medicines and then move on to groceries."

Through this diversification, Swiggy is aiming at improving cost optimisation and utilisation of its over-30,000 strong workforce during the lean hours, especially between 2 pm and 6 pm.

As per the report, a Swiggy spokesperson said, “At Swiggy, we’re continuously experimenting with ways in which we can enrich the lives of our consumers and partners by making it more convenient and hassle-free."

However the company did not share any further details of the new initiatives being planned.

Notably, Swiggy is also in middle of negotiations to raise over $200 million from DST Global and hedge fund Coatue Management in a round that will see its valuation cross the $1-billion mark and become a unicorn startup in line with its competitor Zomato.

Food-delivery firms diversifying into other categories, especially in to groceries, to optimize fleet costs is a strategy that has been adopted globally. This week, US-based DoorDash signed a pact with Walmart to provide grocery delivery services to the retailer.

Speaking about online grocery delivery market, according to the Forrester’s the Indian Online Retail Market report, India is the fastest-growing online retail market in the world. As per the report, e-commerce sales in India will reach $64 billion by 2021, growing at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 31.2%.

To recall, last November, it was reported that Reliance Jio, a wholly owned subsidiary of India’s biggest business conglomerate Reliance Industries, is also planning to make entry into India’s online grocery market.

Prior to that, Adani Wilmar, the company that markets ‘Fortune’ brand of food products in India, also announced its plans to enter the online grocery sales business with a new e-commerce portal and app called ‘Fortune Online’.

Flipkart too has launched its grocery delivery app called Supermart, as a pilot in Bengaluru, in November 2017.

[Top Image - lbb.in]

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