FoodPanda: First Look
The food delivery service business has really skyrocketed in Pakistan in the last three years.
Of course it has got more to do with the new ‘Had-Haram’ generation. In addition to instant gratification, their next addiction is instant appearance of food, without having to move an inch. They don’t even want to eat out if that means having to move their asses from one place to another.
Of course I carry the same germs but being an outdated model I don’t have it to such epic proportions that the new models have.
What it does to the overall well-being of the country is another thing, it does wonders to the food delivery service space in Pakistan, and anyone venturing into this industry.
I’m not sure if people know this or not, but FoodPanda is actually not a Pakistani venture. I know, the brand name sounds so lame that you are easily led to believe it to be Pakistani, but actually it’s German. It’s good to know we have something in common with the ultra-intelligent Germans: lack of creativity to come up with a sensible name.
Actually, it’s not even German. It was launched in Singapore back in 2012 and since then it has acquired by the German company Rocket Internet.
But wait, there’s another twist in the tale. FoodPanda was acquired by the German company Delivery Hero headquartered in Berlin. And so FoodPanda got a taste of its own medicine since it has been on an acquisition spree ever since it came into being, gobbling up food-delivery businesses, its competitors, across 47 countries which includes our every EatOye as well.
EatOye was the biggest food ordering portal in Pakistan back in 2013-14 with a database of 1000 restaurants. But when FoodPanda devoured EatOye, it has become the biggest in the business.
Not that you need to feel sorry for EatOye and its CEO Nauman Sikander Mirza. While the deal was kept confidential, word on the street has it that it was somewhere in the range of $3Million, which makes Mr. Nauman a very rich man.
I’m sure he has retired to the Bahamas since then.
Wait again, another twist in the tale. Rocket Internet already owns 24% stake in Delivery Hero. What this means is that FoodPanda hasn’t really gone anywhere.
Delivery Hero is one of the largest online food ordering network, if not THE largest, with over 300,000 global restaurant partners in 53 countries. And to think that this start-up was only launched in 2011.
It’s not a Cinderella story, however, with Deliver Hero using aggressive tactics to gain the upper hand which are not just confined to Acquisitions but extend to using DOS attacks against its competitors and stealing data from other data services with its offices in Berlin being raided by police.
So expect a Hollywood blockbuster chronicling the short life of this company very soon. Microsoft was shred to pieces in the movie AntiTrust, Google in the recently released Tom Hanks starrer The Circle.
So what can Delivery Hero based movie be called? Digital Anti-Hero, perhaps?
Coming back to FoodPanda, the Pakistani version of its portal is very much in the hands of the locals with not a single Gora in sight.
While FoodPanda definitely needs to iron out some of the clinks in its armor, it looks like it is here to stay for a long time.
Being the biggest player in the Rs.15 billion food delivery business in Pakistan doesn’t mean it will have a walk in the park.
Other services vying for a piece of the pie include Telefood, Khao Piyo, Supermeal, and Food Genie.
Then there are a plethora of generic service providers that are essentially all-purpose errand runners which include Delivery Walay, Delivery Chacha and Road Runner.
While the quantum of transactions for all these services is not known, FoodPanda has been able to attain a staggering 60,000 transactions per month with a customer retention rate of above 50%. Not a bad going at all.
Let’s see if the equation changes drastically, at least during my 30 Day Challenge.