Delivery Business in Mexico
From Food Delivery to Covid-19 Tests: Rappi Care’s New Feature in Mexico City
“Latin America is home to over 600 million people. Nearly half of them are unbanked. Getting a credit card or even a debit card is difficult. Many consumers are unable to participate in the progress and advantages of the digital economy. The founders of Rappi believed that there was a way to change that and power a true digital transformation across Latin America. They created an app that delivers financial inclusion to the entire ecosystem that uses Rappi, ”–Visa Corporation.
Since its inception, executives at Rappi have been working towards delivering affordable and efficient essential services. At first, it was solely for convenience of their users, but once the pandemic triggered shut downs, the company and their services became essential. Demand turned Rappi into a super-app delivering a wide variety of services, from food, to cash, to medical goods in the nine countries they currently operate in.
The delivery application, Rappi, has more than five years in the Mexican market and in 2021 it has expanded its offerings to include e-commerce, travel services and pharmacy products. Rappi is transforming medical care by making it available to be delivered to customer’s homes.
Rappi recently announced the launch of Rappi Care which allows citizens in Mexico City to receive a Covid-19 test delivered to their home. Customers have the option between a PCR or rapid test and can schedule their test in as little as 14 hours in advance.
Rappi Care also has the option to send a general doctor to a customer’s house, and they can be requested in as little as 2 hours in advance. Customers can also pre-schedule appointments for the same time every week, similarly to if they were visiting a doctor’s office in person.
Rappi does not offer the Covid-19 vaccine to be delivered currently, but executives at the company have said they are interested in offering vaccine delivery through their app. The General Director of Rappi Mexico, Alejandro Solis, states “we believe that the response to the pandemic will be achieved when more than 70% of the population is vaccinated at least and if we can do our bit and help people get vaccinated faster we would be more than willing to do it.” They hope to include vaccine delivery in their Rappi Care services in the near future. For now, they will continue to offer Covid-19 test delivery as well as at home doctor visits.
In response to the pandemic, Rappi has curated a telehealth feature within their application. Besides having a doctor come to the customers house, users can video chat and call doctors through the Rappi application. Rappi has been committed to helping their customers during the pandemic by offering Covid-19 tests and other medical services delivered to their homes.
Further, they have aided the restaurants on their apps by lowering commissions to 0% for 5000 smaller restaurants on their app and froze interest payments on loans they offered. This allowed many individual restaurants featured on the app to stay open during the pandemic.
“At Rappi we are very proud to continue offering products and services with a high added value for all users in Mexico in a safe and efficient way, especially in these complicated moments of health emergency in which we must stay at home,” Alejandro Solis (General Director of Rappi Mexico).
Rappi has majorly impacted society within Latin America through their services. During the pandemic they adapted their services to offer more delivery options to satisfy the needs of citizens throughout Latin America.
Their unconventional rise during the pandemic has led to extraordinary changes benefiting the lives of Latin American citizens everywhere. Without the creation of Rappi, Latin America would be drastically different today.
Rappi Care allows citizens in Mexico City to safely quarantine at home and receive a Covid-19 test through Rappi’s delivery service. Their new service can potentially reduce transmission rates of the virus, and allow more people to get tested in a safe manner.
Alejandro Solis states that the company plans to distribute vaccines, “not necessarily for this virus, but some others that you can schedule at your home so that a laboratory with specialized doctors can go.” Rappi is transforming medical care by making it available to be delivered to customer’s homes.
Expanding Services to Provide for a Variety of Customer’s Needs
Rappi began as an application where customers could transfer each other money without a credit card. It functioned similarly to the American company Venmo and allowed many citizens to be able to transfer money to family and friends. Many users of Rappi did not own a bank account, so they sent their money through Rappi.
They could store and deposit their money in a Rappi account which allowed them to send other users money if they also had a Rappi account. This introduced them into the e-commerce market where they became a major application in food delivery. Eventually, they began helping users apply for credit cards and since then, they have become a delivery service for all essential needs.
Rappi has transformed the use of technology within Latin America. They constantly provide essential services to citizens’ changing needs. At their inception, there was a need to transfer money without a bank account throughout Latin America which led Rappi to create their service RappiPay to solve this issue. Currently there is a need for medical services such as doctor visits and Covid-19 tests to be delivered to citizens homes in which Rappi curated RappiCare to solve this problem.
Without Rappi, the lives of Latin American citizens would be very different. In a few short years they have delivered financial inclusion for Latin American citizens. In March of 2021, they launched the Rappi credit card and in only two months they already had 650,000 applicants.
The services Rappi provides used to only be offered to citizens in developed countries, but Rappi has bridged the technological gap by offering the exact same services such as food and medical delivery to Latin America. Their ingenuity and creativity has shaped Latin American society to what it is today. Throughout Latin America their impact is clearly visible, with Rappi’s delivery drivers flooding the streets of major Latin American cities.
“We deliver everything from groceries, even cash. We started the company around five to six years ago. The idea was, how can we use technology to move things faster, how can we use technology to make the delivery of convenience store items in 15 minutes? And that is how we started.”
-Juan Pablo Ortega (Co-Founder of Rappi)
Rappi also has expanded into offering the services of plumbers, locksmiths, and electricians. They constantly seek new ways to utilize technology to offer at home services to their customers. Delivering at home Covid-19 tests is the latest example of Rappi adapting to serve their customers in current conditions. The CEO of Rappi, Simón Borrero, believes “entrepreneurs and their work teams must have the ability to reinvent themselves and advance at the pace of social changes.”
At the end of 2020, Rappi was operating in 30 cities throughout Mexico, and in 2021 they expanded into Tampico and Ensenada. Although they operate in many cities throughout Mexico, Alejandro Solis believes “expansion is not just a new city, once you arrive it is expanding your coverage, even in Mexico City we continue to open more kilometers to reach more people.”
The executives at Rappi want their application to provide anything a citizen needs in their daily life. They believe they can utilize technology to provide any service someone may ever need. The Covid-19 pandemic took a toll on the world. But it affected Rappi positively. The company and its app saw increased demand. Co-founder, Juan Pablo Ortega explains,
“Rappi was seen as an application that helped make your life easier. But after many countries in the region were completely shut down, the only people that were allowed in the streets were couriers, and we became more of a necessity. We became the only way or one of the few ways where people were able to get their groceries…so it changed how users saw the app.It also helped us to get traction in financial services.”
Sometimes we take for granted the benefits of technology in our society. Rappi’s growth as a company has been incredible in bridging the technological gap between the developed and undeveloped world. As they continue to grow as a company, Latin American society will grow with them as well, making citizens’ lives easier and aiding the millions of users that benefit from Rappi’s platform every single day.
Michael Davis is a current undergraduate student at Tulane University studying Finance and International Relations through the Altman program in International Studies and Business. His interest in Latin America began when he took his first Spanish class in 6th grade. Since then, Michael has traveled throughout Latin America learning about entrepreneurship, policy, and globalization. He is interested in sharing the stories of young entrepreneurs who work to expand development within Latin America. He believes their stories can inspire others and reshape the narratives of Latin America. In Latina Republic, he is excited to highlight these voices in his stories to deepen his own understanding of Latin America as well as his readers. He looks forward to inspiring innovation with his stories through Latina Republic!