HappyFresh thinks the terrible Manila traffic is a pain point worth solving, and hopes the economic growth will support the business
For awhile now, HappyFresh has made it no secret it was imminently planning on expanding into the Philippines. However, nothing had been official until today, when the grocery delivery officially announced its move into the island nation.
As part of the maneuver, HappyFresh will open a regional office sometime in Q2 2016 and it announced the hiring of Isabel ‘Pao’ Barientos as Managing Director of HappyFresh Philippines.
“The Philippines is an exciting market because the population’s wealth is expanding and consumer spending growth will accelerate through to 2030,” said HappyFresh CEO and Co-founder Markus Bihler in an official statement.
Last month, in an interview with e27, Bihler explained when HappyFresh moves into a new market it uses the same strategy across the region — a two-tiered system with personal shoppers and drivers, both full-time employees.
The company cited a population of over 96 million people as well as a projected GDP growth rate of six to seven per cent as reason why the Philippines move is a sound strategy. HappyFresh also cited a rapidly growing workforce.
The move means HappyFresh will have operations in five countries — Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan and the Philippines.
As for Pao, before her move to HappyFresh, she was the COO at theshop.ph (an e-commerce platform operating under LBC Express that was shut down in December).
Pao had previously worked at Ensogo and the Lazada Group.
“I am humbled by the opportunity to be part of HappyFresh. Having the support of the team is of key importance on this exciting new journey. I hope to leverage on the team’s experience to expand the HappyFresh legacy into the Philippines. At the same time, I will want to develop leaders at every level and support their efforts to grow and change,” she said.
The main customer demographic for HappyFresh is working women with children. Metro Manila already is notorious for terrible traffic but as the economy improves, and more people can afford cars, the situation is only expected to get worse.
“That can make every trip to a supermarket a half day journey. We expect working mothers to be our main customers. HappyFresh will allow them to make a smart choice, having us doing their grocery shopping, allowing them to spend their spare free time with their family instead of in a supermarket,” said Pao.
Last year, HappyFresh landed a US$12 million Series A round from Vertex Ventures and Sinar Mas Digital Ventures.
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