Race for faster Delivery


A food delivery company rolls out an instant delivery plan. You have craving for a particular food; with a touch on the mobile screen you place the order, within 10 minutes food will be delivered at your doorstep. Isn’t it crazy? It takes more time to cook a packet of much touted 2- minute noodles if you take into account all the preparation time. But here, you don’t even have to plan your meal in advance and wait for it; the dish of your choice is in front of you within minutes. I am left gaping.

Ten-minute food delivery may sound great but at what cost? Just imagine the amount of pressure on the poor delivery personnel. There they are, speeding recklessly on roads riddled with potholes risking their lives and that of others. As it is, Indian roads are overcrowded, and to add to unruly traffic are delivery persons rushing on their bikes in every plausible trajectory to meet the deadline. Faster the delivery schedule, greater the risk.

But, is all this risk necessary? To me it belies all logic. What is the emergency? It is not a house on fire that fire brigade needs to be rushed immediately. Food can wait! We would much rather have police and ambulance instantly than food.

But the fact is a number of ‘quick commerce’ grocery startups have come up and their market is expanding rapidly in India. These companies are shortening their delivery time to meet instant shopping needs of the customers, especially the youngsters among whom fast delivery service is already a rage. It is a separate question how sustainable and viable the quick delivery model is, given numerous logistic challenges for the companies.

From fast to faster delivery, the aim is to shrink the time between desire, action and gratification to almost zero. But, quite frankly, an old timer like me doesn’t understand the need for instant delivery of food and grocery. When we were kids; home delivery was unheard of.  Instant gratification was something unknown to us. Patience was considered to be a virtue, rather a necessity. Nothing came easy. In the absence of household gadgets, everything was time-consuming. Not that our mothers were less obliging in catering to our food cravings, but food had to be pre-planned and cooking was a lengthy process. We had no option but to wait patiently for the food to be ready.

As opposed to my generation that learnt the art of deferred gratification which supposedly builds self-control and self-discipline, Generation Z is getting accustomed to expecting instant gratification. But, where is this obsession with immediate fulfillment leading the millennials to?   Is it good for their emotional and physical wellbeing? Are they not becoming more and more impatient and restless? Do they really value and cherish what they get instantly?

While the delivery companies work out the logistics of faster delivery, I leave with  these questions to  ponder over the impact of instant gratification.

(Published in the Tribune as MIDDLE 20 April 2022)

18 Replies to “Race for faster Delivery”

  1. Your article is an eye opener for new generation who don’t understand the pressure they have these days. Very well written Rma.

  2. Generation Z is becoming accustomed to instant gratification. They are becoming impatient & restless They have forgotten the age old hallmark of ‘’Patience ‘’ in life. You always take up social problem in a very interesting manner reminding us of benefits of slow cooking & taste of this food of our mothers still lingers in our mouths

    1. Thanks Mrs Chopra for reading and giving your insight.I don’t know how patient we are,but definitely young generation is becoming more and more impatient and restlessness.

  3. Wonderful Rama. It started with instant tea, instant coffee, instant noodles and now instant delivery and instant gratification. I think this has created many a psychological and social issues. Youngsters are never happy and they never even know what they want . This topic raised is so appropriate. Parents give instant gratification and then put the youngsters in self help courses or take them to psychologist to learn patience. What an irony.

  4. You are absolutely right,madam.I also feel pity on young boys delivering items , taking risks and working hard to reach theirs targets.Life is not so easy for many. Theirs talent are not properly utilised.But at least,this work provides them employment, though earnings limited hand to mouth.Sad!

    1. From employment perspective, yes Garima, these delivery companies have provided job opportunity to so many unemployed youth.

  5. Rama your article brings back to memory the often repeated proverb Sahaj pake so meetha Hoi in the context of millennial
    instant gratification syndrome. This unhealthy attitude is making them restless and sick emotionally and physically. I believe the rapid technological and digital advancement has completely wiped off patience and perseverance from their lives…very sad indeed ! Earnestly wish the message reaches the affected generation…well done….keep it up.

    1. Thank you so much Mrs Dhawan. Always look forward to reading your insightful, thoughtful comments.Needless to say, your feedback means a lot to me.
      Yes, a mad race but I feel somewhere, we, the older generation has failed, not been able to inculcate right values in the next generation.

  6. Dear Rama what a sensitive portrayal of the pathetic condition of the poor food delivery boys who seem to be caught in the terrible tangles of a rat race to be the No 1 quick food delivery brand.As you have rightly pointed out …at what cost.The hedonistic and eccentric immediate gratification mindset of our young generation is playing havoc in the lives of their parents and society at large.My heart goes out to guards and cleaners of toilets in Malls.They look so sleep deprived and depressed which is in sharp contrast to the customers in the Mall who want to have a good time come what may.It is about timethat we pay some attention to the underdogs like the food delivery boys mentioned by you and many others like them.Your article touched my heart dear Rama.

    1. Madhu, what a sensitive soul you are ! You have drawn attention not only to the plight of the poor delivery boys but all other menial workers in the society. Absolutely, we need to be compassionate and humane.But Madhu, the saddest part is that these guards and cleaners are better off than millions in the country who are aspiring to be in their shoes .
      Thanks Madhu for reading and giving your valuable feedback.

  7. Rama Kashyap deeply touché Most of the time we feel lost somewhere .
    Food was and is real blessings in our time
    All positive vibrations plays a meaningful roll .
    Feelings of positive process of food is lost somewhere .
    Jaisa khana vasa maan true story of the day fast food💐

    1. So apt , ‘Jaisa khana ,vaisa maan!’ Thanks Simran for reading my posts and leaving your valuable comments.A big encouragement for me.

  8. Salutes to your wisdom, observation, maturity of thought and writing skills.
    Life is indeed fast becoming a needless, heedless, blind race, especially for younger generation.
    Speed, no doubt, is admirable and essential but not always and for every thing.
    Impatient desire for instant gratification, not just for fastest delivery of fast food, but for other needs, too, can have alarming ramifications.
    I think it is one major reason behind unwarranted stress and frustration among growing numbers, even in midst of all comforts and luxuries of modern times.
    Patience is a virtue not to be frowned upon.
    With due respect to usefulness of pressure cookers, no instant ‘saag’ can match the taste of that cooked by our mothers and grandmothers in earthern handies over slow fires!!
    Joke aside, you really desrve our gratitude for highlighting, so very appropriately and skillfully, a very severe malady.

    1. Ma’am, no words to thank you .. You have always been my motivation and support.
      And ma’am , for your take and inputs on the topic , all I can do is to bow before you…I continue to be your humble student.

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