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HungryNaki Scales Down Operations

HungryNaki Scales Down Operations
Photo Courtesy: Daily Star

HungryNaki, Alibaba’s food delivery affiliate in Bangladesh, has reduced operations by half and laid off most of its employees. The cuts have come about in a little over one year after Alibaba acquired 100 percent of HungryNaki, launched in 2013, from its local owners via Daraz Group, the Pakistan-based e-commerce platform it received in 2018. As a result, it has withdrawn from 15 of the 30 zones it had been operating in. Of the remaining zones, 13 are in Dhaka and two in Chattagram, according to sources. The article is about HungryNaki Scales Down Operations.

Earlier, Uber Technologies closed the operations of its food delivery platform Uber Eats in June 2020, just after one year of entering the market. Last year, Shohoz also closed its online food delivery arm amid shrinking orders. Currently, foodpanda remains the most significant service provider, followed by Pathao food. Daraz initially planned to extend HungryNaki’s network to around 100 cities with investments in infrastructure, technology, and human resources when it acquired the venture at an undisclosed amount.

According to officials of HungryNaki, they were struggling to generate expected revenue as it was facing stiff competition from market leader foodpanda. So, Alibaba significantly reduced its investment plans for the food vertical. In addition, the officials said the online food delivery market in Bangladesh was still small, and customer acquisition was very costly, prompting the Chinese e-commerce giant to focus on selling products and services rather than food. However, no decision has yet been taken on shutting down HungryNaki. 

It is said to have had to change its business priorities several times as Bangladesh was a relatively new and rapidly growing industry. It said that operators must frequently reorganize operations to keep up with technological advancements and ever-changing customer demand. It said that the company had to let go of some employees as some roles and functions were merged.  

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