Thanks to this Lucknow start-up, your favourite food could be delivered via drones soon!

OnlineKaka started with two delivery boys, a basic website, working in a small room. The turn over for the first year was just Rs 20 lakhs which has now increased to 5 Crores
OnlineKaka, a food delivery service in Lucknow has plans to deliver food via drones
OnlineKaka, a food delivery service in Lucknow has plans to deliver food via drones

Lucknow's lip-smacking kebabs, incomparable biryani, and other flavourful Mughlai dishes could reach you within minutes even if it means wading through heavy traffic, thanks to what the company OnlineKaka has been planning. Bringing these dishes to the customers promptly is what OnlineKaka has already been doing. Now, if Online Kaka gets the permissions they have applied for, it might be able to bring about a revolution in the food-delivery startup space!

This ambitious company, started by Ahad Arshad, Mohd Bilal and Mohd Salman from Lucknow decided to tackle the traffic problem by flying right over it to make sure that your food reaches you hot and fresh. 

"After the starting of the metro construction in Lucknow, the traffic went from bad to worse, our orders were getting delayed. We were thinking of ways to cut down the delay, so we thought of using drones to deliver food, at first we all laughed but then we actually realized that it is possible. We ordered a drone from China, customized it ourself - increasing the lighting capacity, battery power, flight time," says Ahad.

Ahad says that currently, the traffic conditions in Lucknow are not really suitable for fast food delivery, thus resulting in angry customers. And so they think drone delivery could be more viable in the given situation.

"The lower airspace is not being used by any machines as of now, so the drones will never face any issues in flying, the flight time will be one-third of the driving time via roads. Also, there is no human involvement, so there are a very few chances of error," says Ahad.

Drones to the rescue: How about getting hot & fresh food delivered via drones?

The step by step plan

There are two ways in which the company has been thinking of delivering food via drones:

Process 1-

They have four logistics hubs in the city and mainly the restaurants are available in that area. So as soon as an order is received, the restaurant will start preparing the order. Once the order is ready, the nearest delivery agent will reach the restaurant. After picking the order from the restaurant the agent will drop it at the nearest hub, from where the drone will take the package to the hub which is nearest to the customers' location and from there a delivery boy will pick the package and deliver to the customer at his doorstep. Ahad says this method is possible in every area)

Process 2-

The only change in process 2 will be that an agent will pick the package from the restaurant, drop it at the hub nearest to the restaurant, from where the drone will directly fly to the customers' address. However, this won't be possible in Cantonment, VVIP Areas, Heritage Sites, Airport, Airforce station, interior areas and forest areas.

Process 3-

The Drone will pick up the package from the restaurant and directly take it to the customers' address, it will be guided by google maps, it will have an inbuilt GPS & Camera.  

Flying your food: OnlineKaka worked with Tech Eagle to manufacture drones

Delivery Charge?

"We would be charging a delivery fee but the charges are not clear as of now because we still need to find how the drone pilots will work, we also will have to see if the government charges anything extra on the usage of airspace," says Ahad.

Ahad added that they are waiting for the guidelines from DGCA & Civil Aviation Ministry. "We are positive about it, hopefully, the government will agree to it as it is the future of deliveries," he says.

First last mile delivery: OnlineKaka was started in 2016 by three B.Tech students

Amazon has been conducting trials for delivering food via drones in the United States, however, it is not available for all. Online Kaka will be the first one, if their service gets approved, to deliver a beverage that is Chai via drones, for which they have brought a special packaging from Gurugram.

The OnlineKaka team has been working with Tech Eagle, a drone manufacturer, to develop the drones that will be used for food deliveries. Tech Eagle was founded in 2015 by Vikram Singh, an alumnus of IIT-Kanpur and his four friends, and the team has developed the flying device, which is equipped with GPS tracking providing effectiveness. Tech Eagle makes their own drones and organises summer training classes with students of schools and colleges, training them about the functionalities of drones.

"The trial was done by Vikram and his team in Lucknow, as they have the permissions to do so.  It is just a concept and we will have to wait till there are guidelines given by DGCA & Civil Aviation Ministry," adds Ahad.

OnlineKaka was started in 2016 by Ahad Arshad, Mohd Bilal Arshad, and Mohd.Salman. All three of them were in the 3rd year of their B.Tech and started the first last mile delivery system in Lucknow with just five restaurants on the panel.

Now, there are around 150 restaurants on the panel and 500 pending tie-up requests and an army of around 150 delivery boys in the city, with the numbers increasing with each passing day.

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