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A tough ride? Ola denies shutting down Foodpanda’s delivery operations

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.

, ET Online|
Updated: May 22, 2019, 03.26 PM IST
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This was Ola’s second brush with food delivery. In 2015, the company had launched Ola Cafe, which only lasted for a year.
Ride hailing giant Ola has vehemently denied shutting down Foodpanda India’s delivery operations, laying off 40 employees and ending the contracts of majority of its 1,500 food delivery executives, as previously reported by Livemint. As per industry sources, 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 curated 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 indicate 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 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.

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Incidentally the Ola app doesn’t have the Foodpanda logo on its interface as opposed to earlier. A quick search on the app for a busy marketplace like Connaught Place in central Delhi showed no results of the restaurants which would deliver. (Screenshot attached)

This was Ola’s second brush with food delivery. In 2015, the company had launched Ola Cafe, which only lasted for a year.
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