IFC, the largest global development institution and member of the World Bank Group hailed PickMe’s agility in crises response and its effective, safe and reliable essential item delivery service under lockdown. PickMe was one of the first to step forward to deliver essentials to many under lockdown. The Company worked with local police stations to get the necessary clearance for their drivers and trained drivers on adopting stringent physical distancing and preventive measures to ensure health and safety of all involved.
PickMe used its technology enabled business model to change gear overnight from a rider hailing and food delivery company to essential items delivery service during the ongoing COVID19 crisis. The Company’s services initially started off in the country’s commercial capital, Colombo and soon expanded into other areas across the nation.
During the first week, PickMe mobilized over 1,000 drivers to make more than 7,000 delivery runs—with items ranging from cooking gas cylinders to grocery packs. And by quickly setting up an emergency hotline, PickMe has also been able to meet the needs of medical staff who needed to get to hospitals.
The Company’s CEO, Zulfer Jiffry revealed how quickly they mobilized their resources and took measures to raise proper awareness amongst driver partners, passengers, merchants and customers.
“Health and wellbeing of our driver partners and customers is paramount. Hence, we implemented contactless payment options and provided hand sanitizer and face masks to all drivers as soon as the COVID19 threat first appeared in Sri Lanka. We rallied our entire organization around the theme of #safetyfirst, where we undertook strict adherence to protocols and measures given by authorities in safeguarding our employees, drivers, and customers,” commented Jiffry.
PickMe was in an ideal place to respond to the crisis, given its readily available technology, infrastructure and insights into mobility across the country.
“We knew we could provide the country with a better solution of getting goods to customers as opposed to customers going out. And with the assistance of the government we could ensure essential goods were delivered to customers on a daily basis,” added Jiffry.
Technology is bringing hope to people during the current crisis and helping meet their needs and wants at these difficult times.
“The world may see a new economy emerging, and it is technology and the spirit of humans to survive and push boundaries that will enable a new economy and a new way of life to emerge,” elaborated Jiffry.
“This has been a significant partnership between a government institution and PicKMe. We both worked tirelessly and catered and rose to the challenge despite fear of Covid. As chairman am appreciating both teams for pulling this partnership with two days from concept to execution” commented Nushad Perera, Chairman of Lanka Sathosa, the country’s largest State-run retail chain who partnered with PickMe in distributing everyday essentials.
PickMe is renowned for its exceptional track record of responding effectively and in a rapid manner during crises. During the devastation floods in 2017, PickMe used their technology to assist the military in rescue efforts by mobilizing boats.
First launched in 2015, PickMe grew to become a leading technology-enabled rider hailing services in Sri Lanka and soon branched out to cargo and food delivery. The Company has invested in Data Science to gather insights to connect the online and offline worlds to facilitate reliable and fast-paced services.