foodpanda announced today (July 19) the official opening of its regional headquarters (HQ) in Singapore.
Located at 63 Robinson Road, the new HQ houses 1,200 employees from its regional and local operational teams, plus the company’s global tech hub.
A decade of deliveries
foodpanda was first founded in 2012 to make food delivery convenient and accessible for customers.
As foodpanda marks its 10 years of operations in Asia, foodpanda CEO Jakob Angele recounted its early days as a “scrappy startup” and the company’s milestones for the past decade.
Back in 2012, foodpanda was the first platform to launch a food delivery app in Singapore. Today, its services and footprint has grown from a small food delivery marketplace to the largest food and grocery delivery platform in Asia, outside of China.
It currently operates in more than 400 cities across 11 markets — Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.
In particular, Singapore has always been a base and test market for innovation and new product development.
Among the features beta-launched in Singapore were foodpanda’s cloud store network ‘pandamart’ and on-demand retail marketplace ‘foodpanda shops’. This led its foray into quick commerce (or q-commerce) as early as 2019, serving as a way for customers to purchase necessities online in a safe and efficient manner, especially at the peak of the pandemic.
Singapore was also the first market to roll out proof-of-concept drone deliveries in partnership with ST Engineering, as well as foodpanda’s Logistics-as-a-Service feature, ‘pandago’ in 2020, offering express doorstep deliveries to customers.
“COVID-19 has shown us how critical it is for businesses to embrace digital. Digitalisation is picking up pace across our economy … and has often made the difference between continuity and closure,” said Senior Minister of State Tan Kiat How, who officiated the event earlier today.
“foodpanda is a good example of a company that has not only leveraged technology to continuously improve its platform and enhance user experience, but also helped other individuals and businesses go digital, by empowering them through [its] platform.”
He pointed out that foodpanda is helping other SMEs embrace digitalisation to thrive in the long-term, through a webinar series comprising panel discussions and masterclasses on how to future-proof their long-term growth plans.
There are also efforts to bridge the “digital divide” as foodpanda helps its hawkers digitalise and go online through partnerships with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and National Environment Agency (NEA).
Additionally, foodpanda, together with its parent company Delivery Hero’s Delivery Hero Ventures, have also invested more than S$120 million in Singapore-based regional tech start-ups including Toku, Flash Coffee and Omnistream.
Last year, foodpanda dedicated more than S$50 million to support its community across Asia and is dedicated to continued investments in growing the region’s digital economy in the years to come.
Strengthening Asia’s tech ecocystem
Mr Tan further stressed that there’s a need to continually invest in our local workforce to “stay nimble and competitive”. Although the government has rolled out a suite of initiatives to help Singaporeans upskill and reskill, companies also have an important part to play.
To enable the next decade of growth, foodpanda believes that it’s necessary to build up a strong tech core. In line with this ambition, it has rolled out foodpanda PowerUp! Tech Academy.
Unlike a localised R&D facility, the academy will use Delivery Hero’s global knowledge base in Singapore to power the tech and innovation ecosystem.
It comprises programmes and partnerships to essentially grow the local tech talent pool, upskill riders, and help merchants digitalise.
Tech talent — at any career stage — will benefit from multiple training programmes at foodpanda. Young, aspiring talent looking to start their journey in tech can sign up for internship and mentorship programmes, while those looking for a mid-career transition can sign up for upskilling opportunities.
“Polytechnic and university students can tap on internship, work-study and mentorship programmes to cultivate not just technical, but also business development skills,” elaborated Mr Tan.
“For mid-career individuals who are hoping to pivot into tech roles, foodpanda is partnering with Microsoft on the Mid-Career Pathways programme to provide job placement opportunities in areas such as data analytics and software engineering.”
Programmes will be run in partnership with the relevant government authorities and tertiary institutions like Nanyang Technological University (NTU). foodpanda has also signed an MOU with the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) that focuses on tech talent development, research and innovation.
Over the next year, the PowerUp! Tech Academy aims to support at least 250 students and early to mid-career professionals.
foodpanda also provides riders with opportunities to upskill with free or discounted educational courses, in partnership with tertiary institutions. For some courses, riders will also gain certificates upon completion. In a pilot in Singapore last year, more than half of the rider fleet signed up for at least one programme.
Across all 11 markets in Asia, foodpanda runs multiple initiatives to support the digitalisation of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which comprises hawkers, street food vendors, neighbourhood mom-and-pop stores and home-based businesses.
The initiatives to digitalise MSMEs include providing digital tools to boost merchant visibility and grow customer base, and training on using these tools.
“Having a skilled workforce is key for Singapore’s next bound of economic growth. We encourage companies like foodpanda to not just train for yourself, but for the wider ecosystem too, so it’s a win-win for everyone,” summed up Mr Tan.
Featured Image Credit: foodpanda