IFC hails PickMe for paramount role in delivering essential items during crisis

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 during the COVID-19 crisis. 
PickMe was one of the first to step forward to deliver essentials to many during this time. 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 Covid-19 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 mobilised 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 mobilised their resources and took measures to raise proper awareness amongst driver partners, passengers, merchants and customers. 

“Health and well-being 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 COVID-19 threat first appeared in Sri Lanka. We rallied our entire organisation 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,” 
elaborate Jiffry.

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