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Investors are pouring money into food delivery in India

投资者正向印度食品配送行业投入大量资金



OF THE thousands of young men trying to make their fortunes in Mumbai, India’s biggest city, Abdul Haq Ansari is doing better than most. Wearing a black and orange jacket and carrying a cooler bag, he climbs aboard his battered Royal Enfield motorbike and sets off towards a local restaurant. In the past month, he has started making deliveries for Swiggy, a fast-growing food-ordering app, around Bandra, a hip suburb popular with Bollywood stars and cricketers. Delivering meals is “very good for money”, he enthuses. Working for five or six hours an evening, Mr Ansari makes about 20,000 rupees a month ($270), enough to put him into the top 20% of Indian earners. And because this is his second job—Mr Ansari is also a personal trainer—he is in fact well into the top 10%.

www.nb68.com_【官方首页】-牛博娱乐城在印度最大的城市孟买,成千上万的年轻人试图在此发家致富,阿卜杜勒·哈克·安萨里做得比大多数人要好。他穿着一件黑橙相间的夹克,背着保温箱,骑着他那辆破旧的皇家恩菲尔德摩托出发前往当地的一家餐馆。www.nb68.com_【官方首页】-牛博娱乐城过去一个月里,他开始在班德拉社区为发展迅速的订餐软件Swiggy送餐。班德拉是一个时髦的社区,深受宝莱坞明星和板球运动员的欢迎。送餐“很赚钱”,他热情地说道。安萨里一天晚上工作六到五个小时,一个月就能赚20000卢布(折合270美元),足以让他跻身印度收入最高的20%之列。由于这是他的第二份工作——安萨里同时也是私人教练——事实上他已经跻身前10%。

India’s urban middle classes have long expected to be able to get anything delivered to their doors by a horde of underemployed为充分就业的 young men. Mumbai’s “dubbawallahs”, who deliver thousands of lunch boxes to offices each day, have been the subject of earnest studies by management consultants. But now techies hope they can beat them at the same game. Over the past six months, food delivery has taken off, thanks to huge investments in app-based logistics firms.

印度的城市中产阶级一直希望那些未充分就业的的年轻人能够将所有东西送货上门。www.nb68.com_【官方首页】-牛博娱乐城孟买的“dubbawallahs”每天向办公室宋成千上万的午餐,成为管理顾问认真研究的主体。www.nb68.com_【官方首页】-牛博娱乐城但是现在技术人员希望他们能够在同场竞争中打败他们。www.nb68.com_【官方首页】-牛博娱乐城在过去六个月里,由于对基于应用软件的物流公司的大力投资,食品配送已经胜出。

Swiggy has raised $465m in total, much of it from Naspers, a South African internet firm which also owns a large share of Tencent, one of China’s online titans. It now claims to “partner with” some 70,000 drivers and deliver 700,000 meals a day. Its main competitors include Zomato, which has raised $200m from Alibaba, another huge Chinese e-commerce firm, and FoodPanda, which is owned by Ola, an Indian ride-sharing app with many foreign investors. Dozens more are trying to get in, notably Uber, an American ride-hailing giant.

Swiggy已经筹集了4.65亿美元,大多数资金来源于一家南非网络公司纳斯帕斯集团,它也持有中国网络巨头之一腾讯的大量股份。现在,Swiggy宣布与约70000名司机合作每天送餐700000万份。www.nb68.com_【官方首页】-牛博娱乐城它的主要竞争者包括Zomato和美食熊猫,前者从另一家中国电子商务公司阿里巴巴处筹集了2亿美元,后者的所有者是一款拥有许多外国投资者的印度拼车应用软件。还有数十家公司正试图进入印度市场,尤其是美国叫车巨头优步。

Investors are clearly licking their lips. The trouble is that for now they are mostly tasting losses. Take Mr Ansari: for each delivery, he makes between 40 and 120 rupees, depending on the time of day and distance. Yet most customers pay less than that; few meals, he says, cost more than 200 rupees. Restaurant prices are higher. The apps also offer a plethora of cheap “exclusive” specials with free delivery, desserts and drinks. The gap is made up by the firms. Indian newspapers estimate that Swiggy’s losses may be as high as $20m a month (the company publishes no such numbers). Zomato lost around 1bn rupees in the year to March.

投资者们已经跃跃欲试。www.nb68.com_【官方首页】-牛博娱乐城但是问题在于,到目前为止他们大多赔了。以安萨里先生为例:每一次送餐,他可以赚40到120卢布,具体收入取决于时间和距离。www.nb68.com_【官方首页】-牛博娱乐城然而大多数消费者付的钱更少;他表示,很少有一顿饭的价格超过200卢布。www.nb68.com_【官方首页】-牛博娱乐城餐馆的价格更高。这些应用软件还提供大量廉价的“独家”特价活动,包括免费配送,免费的点心和饮料。www.nb68.com_【官方首页】-牛博娱乐城而这个缺口由这些公司来填补。据印度报纸估计,Swiggy一个月的损失可能高达2000万美元(但Swiggy没有公布这些数据)。在截止今年3月的一年时间里,Zomato损失了约10亿卢布。

Could food delivery pay off? India’s economy is growing at 7-8% a year, and with it the number of people able to afford takeaways. The number with smartphones and access to the internet is growing even faster. So profits may yet come—but probably not fast enough for every investor. For one thing the middle class is still relatively small, as well as rather stingy. If Swiggy and others stop subsidising their customers, they may stop buying. And if profits do arrive there is nothing to stop firms such as Amazon, which already has a huge distribution network, jumping in too.

外卖行业能够盈利吗?印度的经济每年增长7%-8%,同时付得起外卖的人也在增加。拥有智能手机和互联网接入的人数增长更快。所以可能还是会盈利——但对于投资者来说,利润来得太慢。一方面,印度的中产阶级规模仍相对较小,且相当小气。如果Swiggy和其他平台停止补贴消费者,他们可能就不会再买外卖。如果利润真的到来了,那就没有任何事情能够阻止像亚马逊这样的已经拥有庞大分销网络的公司加入竞争。

India has been here before. In 2016 Zomato stopped serving several cities after making big losses. The same year Ola closed its “Ola Cafe” service. This wave of investment is more ambitious. The risk, jokes one investor, is that it may prove to be little more than a free gift “from pensioners in California to the Indian middle class”. And, for now at least, to the drivers.

印度以前也遇到过这样的情况。2016年,Zomato因亏损严重而停止对几座城市的服务。同年,Ola关闭了“Ola Cafe”服务。新一轮的投资显得更有野心。一位投资者开玩笑说,风险在于这轮投资不过是加州领取养老金者送给印度中产阶级的免费礼物。至少目前为止对于司机来说,是这样的。