KUALA LUMPUR: Express food delivery service provider foodpanda Malaysia, saw its best performance last year, hitting a 100 per cent growth growth in orders generated.
The company measures orders generated as the key performance index rather than number of sales.
Managing director Sayantan Das is not surprised over the stellar growth, given the fact that Malaysia have all the right 'ingredients' to run a successful food delivery business.
"We typically see a growth rate of between 60 to 70 per cent since we established here in 2012, but 2017 was the first year that we hit the 100 per cent growth.
"We believe this achievement was possible over the fact that we hold the pole position in food delivery market share at an indicative 92 per cent, here in Malaysia," he said in an interview with NST Business recently.
"On top of that, the country itself have all the right ingredients in terms of high internet penetration rate, a huge middle class with disposable income capabilities and a healthy appetite for good food as well as convenience."
Data provided by the Department of Statistics Malaysia showed the country’s internet penetration in 2017 risen to 85.7 per cent from just 70 per cent in 2015.
Smartphone usage for internet access also increased to 97.7 per cent, within the same time period.
These data bodes well as foodpanda sees higher number of orders from mobile application (app) rather than from its website.
A quick check showed foodpanda Malaysia app has been downloaded over 10 million times on the Google Play Store.
Das said the support from the government towards tech start-ups have also been very beneficial to foodpanda.
“Malaysia is quite high up in terms of business friendliness. We haven't run into any challenges in operating as a tech company, even in the early days here.
"The tech ecosystem in Malaysia is still growing and we are pleased to be part of it as Malaysia marches further into this digital entrepreneurship age,” he said.
Das was somewhat reluctant to reveal the total numbers of the firm’s partners currently, but said that it is always looking for 'key partners' to bring onto the platform.
Previous media reports have noted that foodpanda has some 1,500 partner restaurants across the Klang Valley, Johor Bahru and Penang that are being serviced by some 1,800 freelance riders.
“Going forward, we are always looking to have more key partners on the platform. These key partners would be a mix of those major food and beverages (F&B) brands who have an established customer base, reach and presence and local home grown brands like Nasi Lemak Saleha,” said Das.
“These local brands might be physically smaller than established F&B brands, but in terms of popularity, value and brand awareness- they stand on par with the big boys. This is something that we are very keen on, in bringing local brands to the forefront and making it available beyond their locality.”
Das stressed that as of now, foodpanda will only be concentrating in major cities and will be rolling out its services to several new cities this year.
“As you know, we are already in Klang Valley, Johor and Penang. We are looking to launch in Ipoh, Perak, Melaka and also our first venture in Borneo, when we launch in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah later this year,” he said.
Food delivery behemoth Delivery Hero had in 2016 acquired foodpanda from German-based Rocket Internet.
According to Bloomberg data, Delivery Hero’s market capitalisation was €6 billion as of 31 December 2017.
It also reported a profit of €345.9 million on the back of €543.7 million revenue, also within the same period.
Das was not able able to share foodpanda’s profit or revenue last year but data from Delivery Hero showed that as of first quarter ended 31 March 2018, Asia Pacific is still third in its regional ranking towards the group, behind Europe, Middle East and Africa and ahead of the Americas.
“The acquisition is a very positive move for us. Our potential for growth is significantly better given Delivery Hero’s existing ecosystem and investment backing,” he said.