YEREVAN, MAY 27, ARMENPRESS. The key to the success of Glovo, one of the leading online delivery companies, is excellent service. Glovo will shop, pick up and deliver food, pharmacy, even a forgotten key ordered through its mobile app within 30 minutes.
Glovo co-founder Sacha Michaud gave an interview to ARMENPRESS, talking about the company’s services, benefits and how they work in Armenia.
-M. Michaud, it will be interesting to hear Glovo’s story from you. When and where did the company’s story begin?
– So it started at the beginning of 2015, so only seven years ago, in Barcelona, Spain, which is our headquarters where we founded the company. They are two founders – Oscar and myself. We launched the first version of the application in Barcelona in March 2015. Since then, we have grown very quickly, we have expanded inside Europe, so in Italy, in Portugal. More recently we have moved into Eastern Europe with Poland, the Balkan regions and of course this region, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and more recently Armenia which we launched there six months. We are today in 25 countries in the world, including Africa, 7 countries in Africa we are developing, we are in 1500 cities, we have 3500 employees, we have 75000 active couriers who deliver each month, and we have 150000 partners. These are shops and restaurants, retailers, shops and street restaurants that sell on our platform and we have 8 million active customers. These are people who buy from these online stores. So we grew very quickly and in a short time and we are also very happy to be here in Armenia.
– As your company is present in 25 countries, do you also plan to improve this year? If so, which countries?
-So at the moment we don’t have any countries to identify, we are looking in the region both here and in Africa which are the two regions where we are expanding to look for possible future countries. We do this by expanding our footprints in the countries where we operate. So a good example would be today, we are in two cities in Georgia and Armenia. But the idea is to expand and launch new towns here. So we usually expand the cities where we are in a country to have more customers, more restaurants and more stores.
-Glovo is not just a food delivery company. What additional services do you offer consumers?
-We have been multi-category since day one, which differentiates us from our competitors. Well, our competition would focus on restaurant food, and restaurant food only, but from day one, so this is March 2015, we’ve always been multi-category. Restaurants are our largest category, but grocery stores are the second largest category. We have worked with supermarkets, large and small, large chains, but also specialized supermarkets with products, to think of many stores, wine shops, cheese shops, and also electronics is developing very quickly, and also the pharmacy, we’ve worked with pharmacies, local pharmacies, and then obviously any retail business. Also fashion, clothes are becoming more and more important on the app. Typically the way our customers use it is they know they want it and we can pick it up in town and then they’d rather we pick it up and they drive across town, get in a car, get put in a traffic, park, we will do it in 30 minutes for about the same cost as you will do it yourself. That’s the key, I think.
-How long has Glovo been working in Armenia and what does it offer consumers?
-We’ve been a little over six months, we launched in September last year. I think we provide a very good quality of service. So it was very funny but when we started in Armenia, we had customers ordering their lunch at 10:00 in the morning. And of course we arrived in 30 minutes with a shawarma or lunch, and they said “it’s too early” because they were used to delivery times of two or three hours. I think the first thing to think about is a very good service, to give him what you order, and also our customers can see at all times where the delivery is, so when they place the order, they know when the courier picks up the goods in the store, they can see it, and they can see in Google Maps that it goes through the city, and when exactly it will be delivered. And I think that’s very important because you do things, you want to know exactly when it’s going to happen. The quality of service is therefore our priority. And second, I think, having great content. Content for us is having your favorite restaurant, not just a big chain, but a cool restaurant that you really like or having the right stores, supermarkets, stores that you want. So I think the best partners and excellent service are the key to our success.
-M. Michaud, we believe that every successful person, every successful business has their own secret to success. What do you think is your secret to success?
-I think being in so many countries, very different countries, very different cultures, very different languages, is being very local. So when you settle down, you start a business, a country, sorry, you settle down, you have a local team to run the business. It is no different in Armenia. We have almost 15 people here ready in the team. We are expanding this team. They understand the local towns, they understand the needs. We were a very urban company in the fact that we were part of the mobility ecosystem in order to know the dynamics of the city, of traffic. So I think that was the key to our success. The local team runs the business. Our activity here in Armenia is very different from other countries because the team is identified. And I think that’s our key to success.
-What is the main difference between Glovo and other delivery services?
-I think I am multi-category. I think I’ll bring whatever you want to town. Our vision is to give everyone easy access to everything in your city. I think our main focus is multi-category, in fact, I think it’s great to order food and have it delivered, there’s a lot of opportunities to order. But I think it’s amazing when you know you have an emergency, it’s 11:00 p.m. at night, and your baby is crying, and you don’t have diapers, you can pick up Glovo and we’ll pick you up diapers from 30 minutes there is a wow moment, or you forgot your keys, and many people forget their keys, you will be surprised how many keys we move around the city, you go home, but you left the keys at work, then we will pick up the keys and bring them or children who come home from school and receive the keys while their parents are working. And they can quickly order Glovo. So we’re also an emergency savior for needs, which I think is amazing and it gives us an emotional connection to our client. We’re not just a food delivery app that brings you a nice hot pizza, that’s cool, that’s not wow, what’s wow, that’s the rest.
-Glovo is available in Yerevan and Gyumri. Interesting to know what parameters your expansion strategy is based on? Do you have expansion plans and in which cities?
-Normally, and Armenia is no exception, we start in the biggest cosmopolitan city because the clientele is very digital, there are great restaurants and shops, so it generally sticks, and then we expand to the more major cities based on geography. We like college towns with young people who are usually very digital. So we are in two cities now, we are expanding to other cities in Armenia. I don’t have the definitive list of cities right now, but generally we’ll start with the largest populations first.
– Is there something, a subject that you would like to talk about but that I did not ask you?
-No, as I mentioned, we like to be part of the cities and that means a lot of things, but most of all it means, you know we already have more than 300 active couriers on the platform in Armenia, that’s 300 people who work on the platform, have access to income, many of our couriers have different access to normal jobs, this will go into the thousands by next year, so they are having an impact there. We already have over 400 partners selling on the platform, 90% of which are small businesses, so that’s also important. We work with local communities, with public administration, we try to be part of the ecosystem, we set up local businesses, we have several local teams. So basically we’re trying to be as much a part of the Armenian cities that we operate as possible, and it’s not just a tech business, I think that’s key for us. We have courier safety training, which is very important. You know they’re on motorcycles and bicycles, and I think that’s a very important part. So we are just getting started. We have good examples in neighboring countries where we have massive companies. We started in Georgia four years ago, and it’s ten times the size of the company. So Armenia is going to have a huge growth, and we see that the team is amazing, the home team is outstanding, so I’m really excited. I’m here three days but will be back very soon.