Teenagers develop chat-bot to manage shopping queues in Covid-19 times
A group of teenagers in the national capital have come up with a technological solution to avoid crowding at neighbourhood stores as social distancing has emerged as the buzzword in battling the Covid-19 pandemic.
The group of six high school students hope to change the way Indians shop during the pandemic by tying up with neighbourhood stores using a WhatsApp chat-bot by helping them manage queues and allotting time slots for customers to pick their orders.
The chat-bot - WhyQ - developed by Jai Relan, Jasraaj Puri, Tejas Mehta, Sara Kothari, Aditi Agarwal and Prithvi Oak - is currently operational in a couple of south Delhi localities, helping several neighbourhood shops and milk parlours manage queues.
'Through WhyQ, users can place orders for groceries from their nearby stores and receive a particular time to visit the store, eliminating the need to stand in a queue or in a crowded market,' Relan, a Class 10 student and Chief Executive Officer of WhyQ told DH.
Relan said that the beta test of the chat-bot is underway in the Green Park area of the national capital with around 100 customers. They also have plans to extend services gradually to more areas depending on the response.
Customers can use the chat-bot to place orders and select a time slot for picking the same from a list of shops enrolled with the company. Payments can be made to the respective shop using e-wallets or cash at the time of delivery.
Relan said the company also has plans to help shopkeepers digitise their inventory which could help ease the shopping experience.
The company is in talks with Resident Welfare Associations to increase their footprint.
The chat-bot is being mentored by the Delhi chapter of The IndUS Entrepreneurs under the initiative to support start-ups.