Post its recent acquisition and simultaneous venture into the food delivery business, Ola is restructuring Foodpanda to focus on building its own portfolio and curate food brands through a network of kitchens and offline stores.
The food delivery firm has already established over 50 kitchens across five cities, including Delhi, Bengaluru and Pune, and is working on expanding its network. The operation plan comes post Ola’s suspension of the company’s food delivery business, while still operating its cloud kitchens and in-house brands. With that in line, the firm is also exploring setting up offline stores that could potentially sell products under its in-house brands, they said.
When contacted, a Foodpanda spokesperson said: “As part of our ongoing business repurposing initiatives, we are focused on building a portfolio of own food brands and curated food offerings through our fast expanding network of kitchens”.
“Many of these offerings are already available in all major cities through the Ola and Foodpanda apps. We continue to invest in expanding our facilities and kitchens, as well as our portfolio of food offerings for customers,” the spokesperson said but declined to offer further details.
One of the persons said Ola is investing in its own network of kitchens as it allows tighter controls and clock higher margins. The operational change offers new insight into the company’s plan to rehash and enter its food-delivery/kitchen market – after Ola’s debacle with Ola Café. The change further highlights the company’s efforts to compete with Swiggy and Zomato, who’ve already made in-roads when it comes to customer preferences.
The in-house brands that FoodPanda is working on include The Khichdi Experiment, Flrt, Lovemade and Grandma’s Kitchen – primarily operating on an urban-esque take on food.
In 2017, Ola had acquired Foodpanda’s India business from Germany-based Delivery Hero Group in exchange of its stock and had committed investment of $200 million as it looked to take on rival Uber’s food delivery offering as well as Swiggy and Zomato. This was Ola’s second attempt at the food delivery business.
In 2014, Ola had forayed into the food delivery business with Ola Cafe and had expanded the offering to cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. However, Ola Cafe was later shut down.