Food Management and Trading extends home delivery serviceSastodeal will transport the government company's grocery products up to 5 km from the Ring Road.
Food Management and Trading Company has extended its home delivery service up to 5 km from the Ring Road by outsourcing deliveries to Sastodeal.
Online seller Sastodeal began transporting groceries within the valley for the government corporation from Sunday. Food Management and Trading Company has been home delivering its products within the Ring Road, and this service will continue as before, officials said.
Shri Maniraj Khanal, deputy general manager of Food Management and Trading Company, said the deal with Sastodeal was in line with its expansion plan.
"We signed a pact with the private firm on Thursday to enlarge our reach. The government has also prioritised online trade through the budget statement for the fiscal year 2020-21," he said.
“We are holding talks with other private sector e-commerce service providers to expand delivery services of the company's food items,” Khanal said.
Sastodeal will deliver all grocery products, induction stoves and sanitisers sold by Food Management and Trading Company at the subsidised prices fixed by the government. The minimum order is Rs2,000, he said.
Amun Thapa, founder and CEO of Sastodeal, said they had approached the government company to handle its delivery services right after the lockdown began two and a half months ago. The company worked on operational things for two months, he said.
Thapa said Sastodeal would be providing delivery services inside the valley in the first phase, and expand to other parts of the country if the trial phase goes well.
Sastodeal will be working as a marketplace for Food Management and Trading Company, he said. He expects that private sector expertise in online business will help to expand the services of the state-owned company to reach more people.
In the second phase, online orders sent to the corporation's website address nepalfood.gov.np will also be shipped by Sastodeal, Thapa added. The company has a return policy for damaged products , he said.
Food Management and Trading Company launched its online delivery system after the virus lockdown was imposed.
Demand for home delivery services increased sharply during the lockdown with people preferring to order online instead of making a trip to the grocery store due to infection fears and restrictions on movement.
Demand is expected to swell in the coming days, said Thapa. The government has partially relaxed lockdown measures for firms delivering goods to customers.
The government is also readying a draft of new regulations to monitor the rapidly growing e-commerce sector. It will cover issues such as registration procedure, agreement of e-commerce firms with other companies, renewal, damage and compensation, and returns and refunds, among others.