Aggressive expansion plan across emerging markets: FETCHR
Brian Cartwright, Client Partner, Supply Chain and Logistics for Pedersen & Partners, and regular contributor to Global Supply Chain, meets exclusively with Hussein Wehbe, CEO, Fetchr to discuss a wide spectrum of issues from the current state of his company’s business, priorities, his vision for the future and how technology is altering and eforming the industry landscape.
Brian Cartwright (BC): What did the existing business look like when you took it over?
Hussein Wehbe (HW): When I joined Fetchr there was a lot that was already done and a lot that was still happening. The transformation team was in place and introducing a lot of positive changes to enhance efficiency, performance and productivity within the organization such as closing non-performing country offices, reducing costs by diversifying revenues and streamlining call centre operations. We brought onboard new leaders who were experts in the field of logistics and transportation and along with the existing team, we worked on an improved customer experience, redesigning all the touch points to ensure a seamless journey.
It is also very important to mention that all of these improvements and developments would not have been possible without the dedication, commitment, and capabilities of the existing Fetchr team of whom we are very proud to have on board on this exciting journey.
BC: What was your first mission, what needed to be addressed first?
HW: First and foremost, I was focused on addressing the internal culture at Fetchr. The employees had all been through times of doubt and uncertainty that had a negative impact on their morale in general and their trust in the organization. My mission was to support and encourage the existing Fetchr team to be able reinstate their confidence in the organization. The team showed incredible resilience and commitment to work, to the extent that even during these unprecedented times with order spikes during the lockdown, they managed to keep the service level unaffected.
BC: Why did you have so much faith in the Fetchr brand when given the opportunity to take the business forward as CEO?
HW: I have been a close follower of the Fetchr story since 2012. I saw in the brand an agile and disruptive player who is coming to change the way the industry functions and operates. When the opportunity to join knocked on my door, I saw major potential not only in the company but in the people and the technologies behind this organization that gave me a clear indication about the endless
possibilities that await a company like Fetchr.
BC: What do you think is missing when it comes to B2B and B2C deliveries?
HW: Today’s market is facing challenges when it comes to optimal customer experiences mainly because of the chaos that was caused by Covid-19 that has, in turn, reshuffled all the cards and affected
the delivery capacities and capabilities of all the players. This naturally reflected negatively on the overall delivery service level in the region. Fetchr is coming to tackle this from all aspects and positioning itself as the efficient customer centric tech enabled delivery partner of choice for the e-commerce and B2C players in Saudi Arabia and UAE to start with.
BC: How has Covid-19 impacted the ecommerce market and Fetchr in particular?
HW: As you know, we are currently going through extraordinary times when most industries are facing incredible challenges to sustain; fortunately for us these times presented our industry with great opportunities. We at Fetchr capitalized on our tech enabled delivery solutions to be able to serve the markets where we operate smartly and in the most efficient way possible. The commitment of the team has given us an advantage over the other players which resulted in an optimized performance in the midst of the pandemic.
BC: What is the new Fetchr strategy going forward? What are the short and long-term plans in the region?
HW: Our short-term plans will focus on bringing back the confidence and trust in our brand and services in the markets, while at the same time accelerating our activities in solving the pressing challenges that are being faced today by ecommerce players and B2C operators. On the other hand, for the long term we are looking at an aggressive expansion plan across emerging markets and introducing
more international services that will complement our existing services and solutions in this region allowing us to start penetrating new markets.
BC: What are the new technologies and innovations the company has adopted or integrated to enhance the customer experience?
HW: We cannot ignore the importance of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in improving our efficiency and optimizing our operations that allowed us to reach adequate customer experience
levels. Through utilizing our AI WhatsApp Bot we managed to reduce, by more than 40%, the need to contact customers personally to schedule deliveries. We have a lot of exciting technologies in the pipeline especially when it comes to predictive technologies that bring efficiency to the end to end delivery process reducing the cost of return and undelivered shipments. Our predictive technologies will help us learn more and understand our huge and diverse customer base in markets where we operate and future markets as well, reflecting positively on the overall ecommerce process and experience in the region.