foodpanda managing director and Cambridge Judge Business School alumnus tells of the changing e-commerce market in Asia, and how his Executive MBA helped him to navigate the new territories uncovered in a growing market.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in countless ways. New movies are being released directly online, home workout videos are booming, and many people have caught the home baking bug. As life begins to settle back into its old habits, one change that seems here to stay is the unprecedented growth of food delivery services, placing takeaways of every calibre directly onto people’s front doorsteps, from fried chicken to six course Michelin star meals.
One such service is foodpanda. Owned by the world’s leading local delivery business, DeliveryHero, it’s one of Asia’s fastest growing quick commerce brands.
Jamie O’Mahony (EMBA 2016) graduated from the Cambridge Executive MBA programme in 2017 and is the managing director of foodpanda; having additionally taken on the temporary role of managing director for the Singapore market.
Due to coronavirus restrictions, Jamie and his family were only able to move to Singapore in October 2021, having previously worked remotely on a ‘semi-Euro-Asian timeline’.
“Finally getting out here certainly made a big difference for myself and my family. So far, we are loving it: it’s an incredible city.”
The pandemic presented some unique challenges and opportunities for the e-commerce sector across the globe. Jamie described how in some areas this was felt even more strongly.
“In Singapore, there were very strict restrictions on dining-in, meaning many customers turned to brands like foodpanda for both meals and groceries. This meant having to scale up our operations quickly to cater for a large surge in demand.”
As the world is beginning to open once again, Asia is remaining cautious about its approach towards the pandemic.
“This means that it’s as much my job is to keep us nimble and able to respond to changes as they happen, as it is to continue capturing the promising organic growth in the market.”
The diverse cohort on the Executive MBA has helped Jamie in his career: “the wide range of subject matter experts from different fields including marketing, sales, operations, and even operations, all from different parts of the world, means that, whenever I have faced new challenges, I know I can reach out to someone else who has already been there and done it before”.
Jamie is so convinced of the value of the Cambridge EMBA that his wife, Aytan, is now also enrolled on the programme.