seven months, pounding the pavement for six-hour shifts seven days a week. “I did it because I wanted to understand exactly what the interaction was between the restaurant, the delivery guy and the customer,” he says. At the beginning of last year, Deliveroo began expanding across cities in the UK, launching internationally soon afterward. Initially self-financed, the businesses has now attracted more than $100 million in investment. Shu says he was never nervous and cites the firm’s consistent growth of 25 per cent per month for the past 36 months. “You have to be prepared to take risks, to jump straight in,” he says. Today the business operates in 36 cities in the UK and another 29 worldwide with markets outside Europe including Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai. The fleet of more than 5,000 delivery people are dubbed “Roowomen” and “Roomen”. However, Orlowski bowed out of the business in February this year for what Shu describes as “personal reasons”. “We grew up together so of course I am
sad,” says Shu. “The company would not exist without him.” Shu puts the company’s success down to being “in the right place at the right time”. He says: “What is very clear is that around the world there is a global demand for better delivery services. It is the same message in every market.” When expanding, the main considerations are population density, the quality of restaurants in the area and, as Shu puts it, a “certain level of affluence”. He plans to focus on customer interaction and sustaining existing markets rather than increasing exponentially. Shu describes his offering as a lifestyle concept revolutionising the way we eat. “You can use Deliveroo three times a day,” he says. “It has been very interesting to see how people's lives can change so quickly. For me, it is really about a personal story. The reason we started is because I was unhappy about getting not-great food. It is not just a passion for food but for convenience – and technology is a way to solve that problem.”
“It is not just a passion for food but for convenience – and technology is a way to solve that problem”
Deliveroo is available in more than 65 cities globally through its app
2016 MAY / JUNE
Published on May 1, 2016
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