Francisco De Sousa, talabat’s managing director.

talabat Qatar has been a strong supporter of the ‘Made in Qatar’ trademark. Not only is the company active in the local distribution of National Products but also in the regional markets.
In an interview with Gulf Times, Francisco De Sousa, the company’s managing director, gives a brief rundown of talabat Qatar’s plans in the pipeline – pre- and post-FIFA World Cup 2022, as well as its recent achievements, including the ‘Great Place to Work in Qatar’ 2022 certification.

Gulf Times: Kindly elaborate on talabat Qatar’s initiatives that help promote national products in both the local and international markets?

De Sousa: Made in Qatar products have considerably increased. We have witnessed this tremendous growth and we have been following this trend very closely.
In 2021, we were able to export ‘Made in Qatar’ products to talabat in Kuwait. These products included major brands such as Batato’s, Doha Dates, QFM flour, and Qatar Pafki, among others. This initiative, which took around nine months to complete, led to an interest in Qatari products from importers in Kuwait. At least 30% of Qatari companies started to do business with their counterparts in Kuwait after the launch of this initiative.

What are the company’s recent achievements?

As the only tech organisation to be awarded the certification of ‘Great Place to Work in Qatar’ in 2022, talabat has been an active contributor to the Qatari economy and beyond through many different initiatives.
We’re really proud to be the first tech organisation in Qatar to receive this prestigious certification and to be rated in the top 5 rank of the Best Places to work in Qatar in 2022. And what’s more important is that to receive it, talabat’s own employees need to rate the organisation, and as any business owner knows, their employees are often their harshest critics. We are very lucky to have a committed tight-knit team that works together and works hard to put our entire ecosystem – our riders, vendors, customers, and community – at the heart of everything we do.
It is also a testament to our culture – that while we grew immensely when everyone was working from home, our values and our collaborative spirit remained strong. We’re a youthful and energetic team with a ‘make-it-happen’ mindset, bringing innovative solutions to benefit our stakeholders.
For us, a key to success has always been our ‘talabatys’. We are a team of over 200 talabat employees here in Qatar, from logistics to sales, to marketing, communications, tech support, and people operations…our team works relentlessly to serve our community.

What about customers and the wider community, how important are they for talabat?

Experience is paramount for us. Whether it be customer, vendor, or rider experience, we strive to have the best experience possible for all three parties. We’re proud to be the flag bearers for experience in Qatar.
We’re also so thankful to have such a generous, amazing society in Qatar. Last year, our customers and the wider community contributed over QR2mn worth of donations to Qatar Charity, and region-wide, contributing QR1.93mn to support humanitarian efforts in Palestine. It is truly humbling to live in this society and to be able to impact the community and have a positive influence for change. I’d also like to thank our Qatari customers for riders’ tips. Since we launched cashless tipping in May 2021, Qatari customers per capita have been by far the most generous in the whole region. When choosing to tip, Qatari customers tip on average QR8 per order.

Talking about contributions to the Qatari society, how is talabat contributing to the growth of the country?

When it comes to our contributions in Qatar, we are equally serious about our commercial growth and our community impact. During the pandemic, our contribution to the diversification of the economy was extremely important. Our platform provided a consistent revenue source in a time of uncertainty, which helped to keep tens of thousands of people at work across the country, especially in the F&B industry.
In many cases, revenue from talabat makes up a significant portion of a vendor’s balance sheet and it is our responsibility to make sure that we are helping them to grow sustainably.
We take commercial growth very seriously, but also the growth of the community impact. For example, before and during the pandemic, our contribution to the diversification of the economy was tremendous, mostly with our restaurants, shops, and hotel partners. talabat has also set several partnerships with universities, corporates, and public institutions to impact the community as an agent of change. More than an asset, it is a duty for us to serve the country as best as possible.

talabat is a Mena brand, but it offers different features that are not available in other countries, such as T-dine. Kindly explain why.

At talabat, we use different markets to launch different products, and Qatar is seen as a great market for many new products. talabat dine is a made-in-Qatar feature and is crucial to the ecosystem as it is helping connect vendors and customers through dine-in, which is a vital aspect of the success and profitability of restaurants.
While we are a tech company that focuses primarily on delivery, we are pragmatic enough to understand that for our business to be successful, we need restaurants to be successful in all of their sales avenues and we create products that will accordingly protect and advance our ecosystem.

talabat was confirmed as one of the major sponsors of the Qatar Football Association. Tell us a bit more about this.

At talabat, we love football! Currently, we are sponsoring the National Football and e-Sport Team of Qatar with QFA, as well as the Amir Cup. We understand that just as sharing a meal has the ability to bring people together, football also has the ability to bring people together through teamwork, camaraderie, and a shared goal.
We’re proud to be sponsoring the Qatar National Team as they make their maiden appearance at the FIFA World Cup, after having had some outstanding results in recent years. For Qatari fans, we cannot wait to bring you some outstanding creative campaigns and activations for you to enjoy.

What are talabat’s plans after the 2022 FIFA World Cup?

Our vision is aligned with Qatar National Vision 2030 and we follow this consistently. Along the way, we want to continue the initiatives that we have implemented on environmental, social, human, and economic diversification.
What we anticipate post-FIFA 2022 is the same as our vision. We strongly believe in the Qatari market and are confident that we will continue driving this change and positively impact the local market, through innovation, and our commitment to the ecosystem in Qatar


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