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Careem is suspending its food delivery business in Pakistan, as it looks to redirect efforts to its ride-hailing and delivery verticals, announced the company in an exclusive statement to Business Recorder.

The company, which gained popularity as a ride-hailing app before expanding to become a multi-service platform, added that it will “look to restart the service again in the future when the economic condition is more favourable”.

The decision resulted in one lay-off while other employees in the food business were moved within Careem Pakistan, said the company.

However, hundreds of restaurant partners will not have the option to use Careem’s platform to deliver their food from June 3.

The move comes amid economic headwinds in Pakistan impacting all sectors including tech, prompting Careem to refocus its energy on its core business over the food-delivery vertical, where it has been playing catch-up to other players.

“Mobility is essential to simplifying daily life and we know hundreds of thousands of people across Pakistan have come to rely on Careem to move around,” it said in the statement.

“As economic conditions shift, we remain committed to ensuring that our customers have access to safe, affordable and reliable transportation through ride hailing and the ability to order anything using our delivery service.

“We’ve suspended our food service in Pakistan to focus on serving our customers' needs for ride hailing and delivery, and will look to restart the service again in the future when the economic condition is more favorable."

Economic conditions in Pakistan have been less than favourable, especially for expansion plans, with the rupee – a fundamentally important component in cost of production for almost all sectors – undergoing an extremely volatile ride since March this year.

In May alone, the rupee lost over 6% of its value against the US dollar.

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Bilal Memon

Bilal Memon is the Head of Digital Content at Business Recorder. His Twitter handle is @bilalahmadmemon


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Jonathan Jun 05, 2022 12:48am
The USD has generally gone up. I'm not sure USD going up against PKR should be considered especially terrible. Banning certain imports instead of just doing tarrifs and not respecting foreign businesses that have invested in Pakistan may be more iffy... Plus the risk of default. Pakistan's government needs a more long term oriented and engineering centered focus. Mostly Pakistan needs to make it easier for its businesses to expand and to reach more countries. There should be inspiration that can be derived from China for many of those issues.
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