Reports have revealed that e-commerce company Amazon is eyeing to be a player in India's online food delivery industry, which is currently being dominated by local startups.

Working With Local Partner In India

Citing sources who declined to be named, Reuters reported that Amazon is working with local partner Catamaran, founded by Infosys cofounder Narayana Murthy, and has started to hire staff for the new operations.

One of the sources said that the company wants to launch its new service delivering food from restaurants and takeaway food outlets before September, when India's festival season will be in full swing.

Indian daily newspaper Business Standard reported on Monday that Amazon was in talks to buy local unit of Uber Eats.

"Amazon is learnt to be in talks on a possible buyout of the local unit of Uber Eats, the food order and delivery platform hosted by the San Francisco-based travel aggregator," Business Standard reported. "The talks for a buyout are in initial stages and a possible strategic alliance could also be explored."

Catamaran, Amazon, and Uber have declined to comment and respond to the report.

India's Food Delivery Service Industry Dominated By Local Startups

India's rising middle class has driven the growth of the online food delivery service sector. According to research firm RedSeer Consulting, the number of online food orders increased by 176 percent in 2018.

The industry is currently dominated by local startups Swiggy and Zomato. Uber Technology launched a food delivery service in India in 2017, but it was unable to keep up with the local market leaders.

Uber rival Ola, which launched its food delivery service and bought Foodpanda to the country in 2017, has now refocused its business on its own brand of kitchens.

Food Delivery To Attract Customers For Amazon's Other Services

One of the sources said that Amazon's move to get into the food delivery service in India can help the company attract customers for its other services. Amazon launched its Prime services in India in 2016, and now offers video and music streaming, as well as grocery delivery in many Indian cities.

News about the e-commerce company's foray into the food delivery business in India comes just a month after its Amazon Restaurants business stopped operation in the United States.

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