Monday, March 19, 2007

distribution in reverse

There are two kinds of people in Bangalore: those who live in Koramangala and those who don't.

I happen to be one of the latter and I also happen to absolutely not envy the others. Except when it comes to ordering food home. Almost no restaurant, including the pizza joints (yes, can you believe that!), delivers to HSR Layout and obviously all do to Koramangala. I don't blame them - wading through Bangalore traffic is probably deterrent enough. The ROI on delivering to places farther off must be very little and if the food is late (which is as often as not, thanks to the traffic) the restaurant ends up forfeiting a sizable amount of the bill.
It ends up being much more lucrative to just serve people closer by.

So I wonder why there cannot be a small supply chain that works from the other end. Instead of delivering food from a restaurant to nearby places it will bring food from restaurants to a given area. For my sake, let's assume the area is HSR Layout. It shouldn't be too difficult finding people who would like food delivered from various restaurants in Koramangal and are willing to wait out the traffic delays (way better than driving by oneself to pick up the food anyway). The delivery folks can take advantage of the fact that they'll need to pick up food from multiple restaurants in a particular locality and drop the food to homes clustered in a second locality. Service can be expanded optimally by picking areas where restaurants are concentrated preferably along the same route to the home locality. Of course, there are a whole lot other tricks to save some time and money

I'm darn sure that this can be done profitably। Eventually, there are economies of (small?) scale to take advantage of.

1 comment:

jyothirmayee said...

"Polished" Dabbawalas. Its Proven, it works :)(Hint: Bombay)