The National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) wants the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) to clarify whether or not restaurant aggregators such as Zomato and Swiggy are e-commerce companies. “After Press Note 2 [by DIPP] was released, there was a section [of the industry] that said that they are only logistics company. We want a clarificatory note on that,” NRAI President Anurag Katriar told MediaNama.

DPIIT held a meeting on e-commerce guidelines last month and invited NRAI, Zomato and Swiggy for their comments. For Katriar, this suggests that the government is thinking of restaurant aggregators as e-commerce entities. We have reached out to DPIIT, Zomato and Swiggy for comment.

“We know that they are [e-commerce companies] but we want a clarification from the government about their status,” Katriar said. He said that as per the definitions in Press Note 2, they are a marketplace, not just a logistics platform as “people are listing there”. According to the definitions in Press Note 2, a marketplace based model of e-commerce provides “an information technology platform … on a digital & electronic network to act as a facilitator between buyer and seller”.

Katriar also said that media reports about a February 26 meeting with DPIIT asking for classification of food aggregators as e-commerce platforms were misleading. “We met Zomato on Tuesday [February 26] to discuss the aftermath Logout Movement,” he said. Discussing Zomato’s classification as an e-commerce company was not a part of the agenda, he clarified. NRAI is meeting Swiggy next week.