After letting go of 500 employees in the last six months, Foodpanda intends to further automate processes at the back end so as to make its operations more efficient, CEO Saurabh Kochhar told FE. In the process, the Rocket Internet-supported food ordering service also hopes to reduce its losses.
Pisces eServices, which houses the Foodpanda’s business, reported a loss of Rs 36 crore on revenues of Rs 4.8 crore in 2014-15.
Kochhar said the company is operationally profitable and will turn PAT positive in the next two to three years. Globally, Foodpanda reported an Ebitda (earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation) loss of 13 million euros in Q12016 (January-March) compared with a loss of 18.7 million euros a year earlier.
Given that the company has achieved over 98% automation in the area of processing orders, Kochhar said it would go slow on hiring for the core team. “The layoff happened mainly because we automated our operations across all business segments — sales, marketing, vendor services, customer delight, business intelligence, in-house call centre in Gurgaon,” he explained.
The company employs more than 2,000 people currently and may look to hire more people at a later stage mainly for deliveries. “The reorganisation of the business was done across every aspect from technology to processes to customer service,” he added.
Saurabh Kochhar confirmed there had been some instances where restaurants had closed down but the menus remained on the Foodpanda site. “Sometimes owners are stressed after shutting down their business and don’t inform us,” he said, adding that the problem was being addressed.
The company has started a new service by which it delivers within 45 minutes. “We have already started delivery in 45 minutes in Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad, and will start soon in Bangalore and Mumbai,” Kochhar said.
Foodpanda at present has tie-ups with 12,000 restaurants in India, expected to go up to 15,000 by 2016. The company, which has a presence in 200 cities across India, will focus on expanding in existing markets. Foodpanda is one of the world’s largest online food ordering marketplaces, present across India, Brazil, Russia, Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe. It has raised almost $310 million since its launch in March 2012 from the Samwer brothers of Rocket Internet and Goldman Sachs, a global bank.