This week I met Talha Ansari and Ahsan Mateen, the MD’s of Foodpanda, the #1 food ordering portal in the country. I was curious as to how the business operated, its challenges and why, despite the rumors of a cut throat culture, the average employee tenure & loyalty was so high. Here’s the summary of the responses:
According to Talha Ansari, the MD for HR, Ops, Finance and Offline Marketing said that “there’s a call every Wednesday with the global MD’s wherein they share how they are achieving the targets being set. The information is detailed and applicable to the letter, and the insights on why something is working are very educational. It’s not something your average under-30 gets to hear and that too from a community of super geniuses.” Okay, I’m floored.
Merit Based Culture
The MD’s value talent that are interested in pushing the limits. So when was the last time you met a department head, who was a call center agent the year before? Gone are the days where your degree mattered and where corporate politics took you places. Ahsan Mateen, the MD for sales, client servicing and online marketing shared the following names of employees, the departments they joined in and their current role & venture:
– Talha Khan, from call center to Junior Product Manager.
– Faizan Fasih Khan, from call center to Procurement & Admin Manager.
– Joshua Albert from call center supervisor to Operations Manager
– Saboor Arshad from call center to Sales Coordinator
– Hamaad Ehtesham, from Business Intelligence to Country manager of Easy Taxi in Kuwait.
– Zoha Sohail, from BD to sales & marketing of Helpling in the UAE.
There were many more examples, but its made me seriously consider joining the BD team at Rocket Internet, the same way the current MD’s started out.
Super Perks & Premium Compensation
Having two under-30 MD’s means that employees
– get complimentary breakfast (incentive to come on time),
– are briefed in detail every morning on ideas, community activities and targets,
– have access and authority to gain idea approval and execute.
– have room for recreational activities and outings.
– know in advance that they are about to acquire their close competitors.
So basically, unlike most companies, when the HR head at a Rocket Internet venture asks you “Where do you see yourself in five years?”, the best answer is “Country Manager” and don’t settle for less like the Type A personality they love.