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INTERVIEW

“For food ordering & delivery, India market with tremendous potential”
Monday, 01 October, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru

Swiggy is India’s largest food delivery platform, with over 40,000 restaurant partners spread across 27 cities. The company was set up in 2014 and adopts an innovative technology platform to provide a hassle-free, fast and reliable delivery experience.

Every order delivered by Swiggy’s fleet, the largest in India, ensures a host of customer-centric features like lightning fast delivery, no minimum order value, live order tracking and 24/7 customer support.

Our advantage lies in the deep understanding of Indian food preferences, customers, restaurants and logistics, Vishal Bhatia, chief executive officer-new supply, Swiggy, tells Nandita Vijay.

Excerpts:
How is the company faring going by the competition in the food delivery space?
When it comes to food ordering and delivery, India is a market with tremendous potential. As more players enter the space, it will bring opportunities and innovation that will benefit the entire ecosystem.

Today, online food ordering and delivery has become an integral part of the food experience of Indians, and Swiggy has been instrumental in this change.

Our intense focus on delivering the best possible experience to our consumers is what keeps us on our feet constantly.

What are the key factors that have led to Swiggy become the largest food ordering and delivery platform in the country?
Our advantage lies in the deep understanding of Indian food preferences, customers, restaurants and logistics.

Today, consumers trust Swiggy not just for its lightning fast and reliable service, but also because of benefits like no restriction on minimum order, multiple payment options, new products and services that add value and continuous customer support among other things.

Using our innovative technology and reliable delivery service, we have been able to make online food ordering and delivery not just a matter of convenience, but also a wonderful experience for the consumer.

More recently, we have expanded our product offering to include Swiggy Scheduled, where in customers can pre-plan their meals up to two days in advance, Swiggy POP offers consumers a curated menu of single-serve meals from popular restaurants in the neighbourhood in the price range of Rs 99 and Rs 200, and launched Swiggy Super to reward loyal customers of Swiggy.

We are constantly looking for new ways to delight our consumers and these offerings are created keeping them in mind.

How has Swiggy Access accelerated the growth of the company?
Swiggy has consistently been at the forefront of expanding the food delivery market in the country through great food options and delightful user experiences.

With the rapidly increasing usage of food delivery amongst users, there is a deficit in supply vis-à-vis demand in the country.

With Access, Swiggy will facilitate greater food choices by enabling existing restaurants to expand to more locations through delivery-only kitchens.

In the long run, Swiggy intends to deliver as much as 20-25 per cent of its orders in from these delivery-only Access kitchens.

How many ready-to-occupy kitchens do you have and how is this concept faring?

We currently have kitchens running in Bengaluru, Delhi, Kolkata and Hyderabad. Additionally, we will be launching more kitchens in the existing cities and expanding to newer cities, as well with Mumbai being the next one.

We currently have over 35 partner restaurants live across four cities, with numerous quick service restaurant (QSR) chains, national brands and local favorites also coming on board.

Access has been a resounding success, with both the restaurant partners and customers benefiting from it.

In fact, 70 per cent of our partner restaurants are looking to work with us in more than one Access. Take the example of Truffles, 25 per cent of its kitchens in Bengaluru are run out of a Swiggy Access.

In your view are there any cuisine gaps and how could Swiggy Access help to meet the customer demands?

Our vision is to give our customers the greatest food choices, wherever they are. Keeping that in mind, Swiggy we want to work with our restaurant partners on meet current and future gaps in restaurant supply.

These gaps could range from poor supply of restaurants in certain areas, to solving for specific use cases.

We are addressing these gaps proactively and efficiently with Access. With Access, restaurant partners are able to set up a delivery arm without worrying about infrastructure and other overhead costs.

We also want to encourage expansion for quality food brands and create more success stories in the restaurant industry.

The consumers, consequently have access to cuisines and dishes, that were previously unavailable in the area.

There is a major brand integration on the Swiggy plate offering. How are you able to streamline the entire operations of food delivery?
We have end-to-end control through our delivery service, which helps us achieve the fastest food delivery service in the country. Apart from this, we have been investing heavily in building a strong technological backbone.

This has helped us bring hyper-local food ordering and delivery to the masses and enabled scaling up to thousands of users with more efficiency and speed.

Our restaurant partners also leverage Swiggy technology and insights to improve their food quality through consistent customer feedback, and optimise their kitchens for factors like stocks planning, demand forecasting, preparation time and order edits.

What is the current adoption rate of Swiggy Packaging Assist’ Program for restaurant partners and what is the kind of fee levied on this offering?

Packaging assist is our partner-focused initiative, wherein Swiggy has set up a marketplace for restaurant partners to access a variety of packing solutions that suit their menu needs at the right price points.

So far, over 300 restaurants have made purchases on the platform. Our aim here is to enable its restaurant partners to be aware of eco-friendly options, have seamless access, and hence, no additional fee is levied. Restaurant partners transact with vendors directly.

How receptive are venture capitalists and private equity players to fund such business models?
As the best-funded Indian food delivery platform, Swiggy’s position is driven by its world-class consumer experience and technology platform, leading to industry-best repeat orders and a threefold increase in revenues in the last financial year.

Continual trust from globally-reputed investors strengthen our core objective of enriching the lives of our consumers and partners by making our services more convenient and hassle-free.

Globally how are such food ordering models faring?
According to a RedSeer report, the global food delivery market is pegged at $15 billion, with factors like changing consumer lifestyles, a young population and increasing disposable incomes contributing to the rising demand.

The Indian market has great potential, with rising digital penetration and a rapidly-evolving palette. The new discerning Indian consumers wants convenience, better quality and a variety of choice when it comes to food.

Swiggy has been instrumental in bringing about this change, and we will continue to come up with more innovations that will bring great choice, affordability and convenience to food ordering.

How would you describe the current scene for food technology and online ordering?

Technology is playing a major role in food delivery. Swiggy has built a superior technology that not just ensures a seamless ordering for consumers, but also enables delightful features such as live order-tracking and industry-best delivery time made possible through complex routing algorithms.

While technology has made food ordering and delivery more reliable and convenient for users, it has also helped delivery executives and restaurant partners optimise their time and efficiency.

Furthermore, aided by machine learning, the Swiggy app personalises the list of restaurants that users can view, based on their past orders, searches and interactions, helping customers choose their favorite food in a jiffy.

Faster discovery of restaurants is powered by algorithms which make thousands of calculations like your food preferences, the live snapshot of delivery partners in one’s area, restaurants across price points and cuisines.

Our technological prowess, combined with the logistical strength aided by the largest delivery fleet, has helped us achieve the industry best delivery time of 32 minutes.

What are the visible trends in online food delivery?
Over the past few years, there has been an increase in the food choices demanded by consumers and their usage of food delivery.

Simultaneously, on the restaurant side they are slowly but surely moving to delivery-only kitchens due to benefits like ease of set-up and efficiency.

We believe that delivery-only kitchens will be the future of the food industry.

What are the challenges and how easy is to get the right workforce to work for this business model?
Our aim is to expand Access to include hundreds of restaurant partners, across 30-40 cities, wherein we can solve for the local geographical cuisine gaps.

Our focus is on working with the right partners, focus on quality and bring great food to our consumers, right at their doorstep with a fleet of over 70,000 delivery executives, the largest in the industry.
 
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