B2B e-commerce company Udaan on Wednesday said it witnessed a 5X surge in demand for items like protective masks, face shields and PPE suits, and nearly 15 million such items were sold via the platform during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
These items catered to over 23,000 orders from over 400 sellers across 5,000 pin codes, Udaan said in a statement.
The second wave saw a huge demand of over 11 million protective masks, making it the largest item sold on the platform.
"During the period, the platform also shipped over 1,00,000 face shields, oximeters, PPE suits and kits, infrared thermometers, and oxygen concentrators among other essential items across more than 750 cities and towns," it added.
From March till mid-May (when the cases started declining), a total of six million COVID safety essentials were shipped to Assam, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, and Bihar. These states accounted for more than 50 per cent of the overall orders for COVID essentials on the Udaan platform.
Some of the tier II and III towns like Tezpur, Sivasagar, Dhubri, North Lakhimpur (Assam) and Balurghat, Cooch Behar (West Bengal) witnessed high demand for oximeters and face masks.
Most of the orders for face shields on the platform came from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Assam. The highest sales of infrared thermometers were received from Andhra Pradesh, followed by Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, the Bengaluru-based company said.
States leading the demand for PPE suits and kits were Andhra Pradesh, followed by West Bengal, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, and Orissa, respectively, it added.
Udaan Head of Lifestyle, Electronics and General Merchandise (Non-food business) Uday Bhaskar said the supply-chain and distribution ecosystem of retailers were disrupted as a result of restrictions imposed during the second wave of COVID-19.
"During these challenging times, we ensured regular, uninterrupted, and timely delivery of COVID safety essentials at best prices to the buyers on our platform.
"This ensured that the end customer was continuously served by our retailer partners, while the economic activity also continued which was extremely important to keep the wheels of the economy moving during this period," he added.
Udaan fulfilled these orders through its supply-chain and logistics network covering more than 900 cities and 12,000 pin codes.
The platform has over three million users, 1.7 million retailers and 30,000 sellers on the platform across the country.