Foodpanda leads the world in food delivery-no easy feat for the Singapore-based online market that only started in 2012. With countless restaurant partnerships across 40 countries, the service is so convenient that no matter where you are, a simple order placement through its mobile app gets your order to you faster than you could ever imagine.
Online food delivery is unsurprisingly not new to the world. Increasingly, many traditional services of the past are being digitalized in the hope of cutting out all the administrative fat in the world. But how has foodpanda risen to the top so quickly?
We sat down with Chinmay Malaviya, one of foodpanda’s founders, to unravel some secrets behind the success of the delivery giant:
Foodpanda group is the leading global online food delivery marketplace, active in 40 countries over five continents. In some continents, it also goes by hellofood.
For consumers, foodpanda or hellofood offers the online convenience to order food from the widest gastronomic range. Not only does the constantly evolving mobile and web platform allow consumers to choose their favourite meals, but it also gives restaurants additional online visibility that can create opportunities for added revenue.
The idea actually started in Singapore. We realized that even though food delivery had existed for many, it was run very traditionally as a whole without any innovation. Nearly 95% of all food delivery orders were happening on the phone.
We thought that if we combined the various services and transferred it online, consumers would experience greater convenience and be able to make more informed choices through a user review platform.
Seeing the rise of similar services in the US and UK, we saw great potential in the growing middle class in the Southeast Asia market that was just beginning to embrace the Internet, smartphones, and technology. There was clear opportunity for exponential growth. We are really proud to say that many of our customers made their first mobile transactions on foodpanda using their first smartphones. It is fascinating to witness the transition phase.
A big obstacle initially was getting restaurants on board. Many were apprehensive of the digital transition from the traditional marketing ways. Another was whether it would pay off to invest in an efficient delivery system, what we call the last mile delivery. Eventually, we saw no way to track our deliveries if we simply relied on each restaurant to handle their respective orders.
The great thing about the digital market is that it is continuously evolving. What is novel today becomes obvious tomorrow. This pushes companies on a “survival of the fittest” path, where only those that continuously innovate will be here to stay.
For example, when we started out we were just a PC platform. But when we realized the impact of smartphones on our customers, we quickly adopted a mobile-first strategy and invested heavily in the mobile experience. Looking at the way things are developing, we even plan to be mobile only sometime next year.
The thing I dislike is that every new technological innovation needs to always be aligned with existing customer needs. This sometimes denies great innovative products a successful market entry if they are a little ahead of their time, an example being augmented reality shopping.
I think for many years the goal of technology has been to solve problems or make life better and easier. With the growing smartphone penetration and the fast-paced lives of the growing middle-class, services such as foodpanda that directly add value by helping in key aspects of daily life are here to stay. Be it food and grocery delivery or taxi bookings, businesses that touch some key elements are the ones that are forming an ecosystem around e-commerce and increasingly towards m-commerce.
I believe a decade later when such companies mature, these services will be so deeply entrenched in our lives that people will think that they have always existed, just as how we perceive electricity and air travel today.
I view it as an initiative to empower entrepreneurs to pursue their ideas that change the world for the better. It also helps in creating a community of like-minded individuals who are here to make a difference and share their expertise.
We firmly believe that the core team plays a super important role in building any company. More than experience or caliber, for us, the alignment on vision is very important—all of us as ambitious entrepreneurs wanted to revolutionize this space of food ordering across geographical boundaries. To stay relevant, it is important that we always keep the customer’s interest as our top priority.
Its fast, efficient, over 3 years has never malfunctioned, and has been continuously aiding us in all our printing needs from restaurants contracts and marketing proposals to employment letters sent to all the great people we have hired. For us at foodpanda, just as customer service and experience stand paramount, we can happily say we were never let down by Canon’s products and remain proud customers.