Case study: Food Panda

The emergence of collaborative consumption, which has given rise to the sharing economy,
is just one example of a new way companies are being challenged to rethink their strategy.
Over recent years, platforms like Airbnb and Uber have harnessed digital technology to
revolutionize their industries, and now food delivery services have joined in the movement.

Former CEMS student Iacopo Rovere (29) graduated from the University of Sydney in 2013
and is now CEO of the home delivery company foodpanda in the Philippines. Rovere began his career with foodpanda’s parent company, Rocket Internet, in Berlin before joining the new business spin out two years ago. “We see emerging markets like the Philippines as our niche. We operate in a city of 12 million people in a country where GDP is growing above 6 per cent per annum,” says Rovere. The company employs 500 people, most of them full-time, who carry out all of the in-house functions including logistics and transporting cooked meals.

The market for internet based home delivery is a young upwardly mobile demographic who enjoy the convenience of eating restaurant quality food at home. foodpanda’s platform enables local restaurants to expand beyond their immediate locality. Rather than being restricted by the number of available seats, foodpanda can deliver a restaurant’s meals to a much larger clientele within a 3-4 km radius.

“Digitisation is the focus of our strategy,” says Rovere. “We scan menus and provide restaurants with feedback on customer behaviour and preferences. Our system provides restaurants with a clear profile of their customers – the ones who return regularly with repeat orders. This provides a quick way for restaurants to expand their market, to benchmark themselves against the competition and to improve their offer.”

foodpanda’s business model may be disruptive in the short term but in the long term
it will need to stick to its vision while responding to changes in the marketplace. As with all
successful companies, vision and agile project management are the key.