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Ola restructures foodpanda biz; to focus on expanding kitchens

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Ola is restructuring its food delivery platform foodpanda to focus on building a portfolio of its own as well as curated food brands through a network of kitchens and offline stores.

According to sources, foodpanda has already established over 50 kitchens across five cities, including Delhi, Bengaluru and Pune, and is working on expanding the network.

It is also exploring setting up offline stores that could potentially sell products under its in-house brands, they said.

When contacted, a foodpanda spokesperson said: “As part of our ongoing business repurposing initiatives, we are focused on building a portfolio of own food brands and curated food offerings through our fast expanding network of kitchens”.

“Many of these offerings are already available in all major cities through the Ola and foodpanda apps. We continue to invest in expanding our facilities and kitchens, as well as our portfolio of food offerings for customers,” the spokesperson said but declined to offer further details.

One of the persons said Ola is investing in its own network of kitchens as it allows tighter controls and clock higher margins.

The food delivery space in India is witnessing strong competition among players like Swiggy, Zomato and Uber Eats. The in-house brands that foodpanda is working on include The Khichdi Experiment, Flrt, Lovemade and Grandma’s Kitchen.

In 2017, Ola had acquired foodpanda’s India business from Germany-based Delivery Hero Group in exchange of its stock and had committed investment of US$ 200 million as it looked to take on rival Uber’s food delivery offering as well as Swiggy and Zomato. This was Ola’s second attempt at the food delivery business.

In 2014, Ola had forayed into the food delivery business with Ola Cafe and had expanded the offering to cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. However, Ola Cafe was later shut down.

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