Ride-hailing giant Ola has vehemently denied shutting down Foodpanda India’s delivery operations, laying off 40 employees and ending the contracts of a majority of its 1,500 food delivery executives, as previously reported by media. As per industry inputs, there has been an internal restructuring exercise and a refocus in place in the company since the last couple of months.
“As part of our ongoing business repurposing initiatives, we are focused on building a portfolio of own food brands and curate food offerings through our fast expanding network of kitchens. Many of these offerings are already available in all major cities through the Ola and Foodpanda apps,” an Ola spokesperson told economictimes.com.
Reports say that Ola is in talks with other food delivery partners such as Zomato and Dunzo to relist its cloud kitchen brands. Sources suggest that Ola is ramping up its current 50+ cloud kitchens and is hiring people with a culinary experience. The company is also looking at opening offline stores for these brands, say sources. There are various in-house brands such as The Great Khichdi Experiment, Flrt, Lovemade and Grandma’s kitchen which the company has plans to leverage on.
The spokesperson further added, “We continue to invest in expanding our facilities and kitchens, as well as our portfolio of food offerings for customers. We remain committed to our mission of building a superior food experience for millions of our customers.”
However, some sources on condition of anonymity told economictimes.com that it has been a tough ride for the cab aggregator to compete with the likes of Swiggy and Zomato in the market and hence scaling down was the obvious choice for them.