Viral horse-riding ‘food delivery driver’ tracked down by Swiggy

·2-min read

Food delivery platform Swiggy has finally tracked down the rider seen carrying one of its bags on horseback through the rainy streets in India’s financial capital Mumbai.

The video, first uploaded on 2 July, showed what appeared to be a “Swiggy delivery on horse” as monsoon rains lashed down in the metropolis.

It had subsequently gone viral on social media and led to Swiggy announcing a Rs 5,000 (£50) reward for anyone who could help them identify what the company termed the “swiggyman on horse”.

The delivery platform, which earlier released a statement seeking to “address the horse in the room”, revealed the identity of the “swiggyman” on Saturday – and said it turns out it was not one of their delivery executives.

“Okay enough horsin’ around,” said the company in a statement, identifying the horse rider as 17-year-old Sushant who had “borrowed” and later “forgotten” to return the delivery bag he was seen with in the video.

The teen is a horse couturier at a stable in the city, where he dresses horses for wedding processions.

The delivery bag seen in the clip was filled not with takeaway food, but with embroidered drapes and accessories to be used on the horse in question to prepare it for a procession, the company said.

The teenager and the horse – named Shiva – were returning to the stable from a wedding ceremony.

The video was shot by a person named Avi, who along with his friends, claimed the Rs 5,000 “bounty”, said the company.

The teen, oblivious about his growing popularity on social media due to having a broken phone, received a new smartphone from Swiggy.

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“While Sushant and Shiva are happy with the adoration that we've showered upon them and have very sportingly posed for a photo as well, they’ve requested us to leave them alone hereafter. And we intend to do just that,” the company's statement read.

Capitalising on the situation, the company briefly changed the vehicle map icon on its app, indicating a delivery executive, with that of a horse.

The company was founded in 2014 and reportedly operates with over 270,000 delivery executives across the country.

Gig workers in India associated with delivery services, however, have often staged protests demanding hikes in pay and better safety measures.

Restaurant aggregator and food delivery company Zomato, Swiggy’s rival, had faced a backlash earlier in March this year for its plans to roll out a 10-minute food service that critics said would risk the safety of the delivery executive.

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