Let me start by saying that I would be very happy if I never had to walk into a physical store to buy something I need ever again. Yep, I’m one of those guys.

Back when I was living in the US, I bought just about everything I could online. I’ve bought hundreds of things on Amazon.

When I moved back to India, I was really happy to find that the e-commerce industry was burgeoning and growing rapidly. So for the most part, I kept with my habit of buying as much stuff as possible online.

However, there is (at least) one major issue that is specific to the Indian market, that makes the e-commerce experience incredibly frustrating, and it has to do with delivery.

Of the hundreds of items I bought on Amazon.com in the US, not once was I called by the delivery guy and asked “Sir, can you please tell me how to get to your house?”. They would either find my apartment and leave the item at my door, at the building reception, or leave a note saying they couldn’t leave it there, and would try to deliver again the next day.

In India, however, the majority of deliveries I receive involve answering a phone call from some delivery guy (who somehow always assumes I speak Hindi — which I don’t, even though we are in Bangalore, where the local language is Kannada) who asks “Sir, how do I get to your house?”. Now I’d (sort of) understand if he was 200 meters away and was lost. But no, these guys call from kilometers away because they’re too damn lazy (or incompetent) to look up the address on a map. Calling me should be a last resort, not the default action.

I hate receiving phone calls (and I know I’m not the only one). They’re a massive intrusion. When I’m working (which is what I do on a weekday at 11.30 AM), I don’t want to be called and interrupted. Worse, if I’m in a meeting, and decline the call, these knuckle heads call back 4–5 times in the next 2 minutes.

One of the major advantages of buying stuff online is that I don’t have to disrupt my work day to get what I need. If that’s no longer the case, I start wonder — is it really worth it?

The solution here is really quite simple. Use Google Maps! It works really, really well in Bangalore. I use it every day. So please, fergodssakes, delivery companies: do it!

Gopal Sharma

gps gopalkri