Mete Alp Oğuzer
Former Chief Technology and Project Officer at Getir
Mete is a Former Chief Technology Officer and Chief Project Officer at Getir, the Turkish-born on-demand delivery unicorn. He was responsible for building out the technology that runs Getir and he was involved in designing and organising the dark stores. As Chief Project Officer, he was responsible for rolling out the food delivery business that competed with Delivery Hero in Turkey.Read moreView Profile Page
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Mete, can you provide a short introduction to your previous role and responsibilities at Getir?
During Getir's scale up period I was their chief technology officer for 13 months, responsible for technology operations and the stakeholders who rely on that technology. The biggest thing I accomplished in that period was deploying Getir's distribution centers. After that I became their chief project officer where I was responsible for all business projects related to technology. I helped them deploy the Getir Food business into the field.
When you joined in 2017, what was the size of the business? How many business lines, employees and revenue did they have back then?
The press release at the end of 2018 showed a revenue of $50 million, the employee count was between 150 and 200 and the customer base was about one million, as far as I can remember.
Was this all in Turkey at that point?
Yes, this was all in Istanbul in 2017.
What was the original strategy in Istanbul?
Actually, it was an epiphany. Getir was founded by the owner of BiTaksi, the taxi hailing app in Istanbul. He was looking at the maps of BiTaksi and realized they could provide an available car within three minutes. He wondered if they could also deliver commodities to consumers within 10 minutes. After considerable research, they could not find any competitors or anyone who could validate the business model, so they chose to begin an exciting journey.
Their strategy was to serve business districts such as Maslak or Ataşehir, and cater to working consumers in the office who were craving snacks and beverages. Their first tactic in acquiring consumers was to target the business districts of the city.
Did they target employees of companies in offices?
Yes. In Istanbul one of the high-density business districts is called Maslak, and it has huge skyscrapers containing workers on a 9 to 6 time scale. The companies include multi-nationals and large local ones, with a predominantly white-collar demographic. Ataşehir is an area with a mixture of income power in the residential area, but it is also a business district. Ataşehir is on the Anatolian or Asian side and Maslak is on the European side.
What was the typical location and size of dark store?
Dark stores are strategically located within the service area and are 100m² to 200m². It is challenging to find these kinds of stores but it also has some advantages. On the larger side, competitors for office or storage space are traditional grocery chains and bank branches. On the smaller side, competitors are mom-and-pop convenience stores, barbers and bakeries.
In my time they had 700 to 800 SKUs; now it is 1,100 to 1,500 in each dark store. Within that space, it is simple to store and replenish goods and keep stock aging levels low. Using historical data, Getir determines a small gravitational center of the orders in that region, and will choose a store location within a 50 meter radius within that region.
Do you need a minimum order count and a certain limited radius to make the economics work?
Regions with smaller population densities have a radius of five to six kilometers. If they do not have rush hours, it is feasible for one dark store to serve a larger area, but they tend to achieve a certain number of orders per month for each dark store.
If the dark store achieves that number, they split the region into two dark stores. Obviously, order counts will be healthy with marketing promotions and hyper local targeting, they will try to increase the order density, similar to mitosis.
How many monthly orders do they have to achieve as a target?
Back in my time, it was 3,000 orders per dark store.