India has had hundreds of food delivery applications spring up during the past few years. Some of them have been extremely well funded and had leading businessmen and marketers at the helm. Despite having access to a large amount of capital and spending a great amount of money and effort on advertising to try and win over customers, most new food delivery apps and companies have floundered in India.
Why have hundreds of food delivery applications and companies have gone bankrupt in India after getting large investments from venture capitalists? According to Marc Sparks, the answer lies in the fact that most of the new startups are unprepared for the ground game, or getting deliveries to hungry customers. Hundreds of thousands of meals are delivered each day by by bike riding, train riding and cart pushing delivery main called Dabbawalas. Though they may lack the technology that new startups have, they have experience and know what it takes to get the food delivered to customers on time.
Most of the new companies that have failed have been unable to create a cost effective delivery solution. Others have spent too much too quickly on advertising and expansion, and have seen all their capital dry out, leaving them bankrupt. The few companies that have been successful have used the Dabbawalas effectively, while integrating some aspects of modern technology. For food delivery companies to be successful in India they must use whatever works and slowly win over customers that Dabbawalas have served for well over a hundred years now.