Mea culpa, Amazon

Amazon has made a perplexing late entry into food delivery in India. But despite its infinite resources and famed execution chops, this is far from a slam dunk.

First, a mea culpa. Earlier this year, when Zomato acquired Uber Eats, the Indian food delivery operations of Uber, we were quick to announce the arrival of a duopoly in the food delivery business. With the market split between Swiggy and Zomato, we said the food wars were over and an uncomfortable but surely truce was on its way. One which could end years of burning cash in favour of a more sober outcome of making money, something investors in both companies desperately need.

Now at the time, while rumours were circulating of Amazon’s food delivery ambitions and pilots in Bengaluru, we were quick to dismiss them as mere wishful thinking.

Last week, Amazon said it is entering the food delivery business and has called the venture Amazon Food.

Not only has Amazon taken the plunge, but it has also timed it right smack in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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