Cheetay, Pakistan’s local NOW-Commerce platform, is changing the way people shop. With the introduction of new verticals like Grocery and Pharma, the fastest growing startup has become a one-stop-shop for all your needs.
We sat down with the startup’s young and dynamic Chief Operating Officer, Mohsin Qureshi, to discuss how this Pakistani company is challenging bigger international players to become the market leader.
Tell us about yourself.
I have been in the eCommerce industry for the past twenty years. I was a founding member of EatOye! and later worked at foodpanda as the Commercial Director. I am a workaholic which is a common complaint of my 18-month-old daughter.
Why did you leave foodpanda to join Cheetay?
I wanted to be part of something exciting. Cheetay is a homegrown company that will soon be Pakistan’s first unicorn. We have the right technology, local footprint, and logistical capabilities to make that happen. Cheetay is the only employer in Pakistan that offers stock options so each and every employee is an owner of the company. We are all one big family.
What are some of the newly launched cities?
Cheetay has expanded to more than 10 cities across Pakistan. Headquartered in Lahore, we have operations in Karachi, Peshawar, Bahawalpur, Faisalabad, Multan, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Gujrat, and Sialkot.
How has the business evolved around customer preferences?
Consumer behavior is changing and we are happy to grow our offerings with our customers. Cheetay brings goods instantly to customers whatever it might be, whenever and wherever they need them. We deliver essentials to customers’ doors within half an hour. Food has always been our strength and fast delivery of groceries, medicines are a natural extension for our business.
We also launched XOOM, a loyalty-based model whereby customers can get discounts and free deliveries for the duration of their subscription. It has been a huge success amongst our customers.
How are your relations with vendors like restaurants and grocery stores?
Our core philosophy is that we can only grow if we have the support and confidence of our vendors. Be it a restaurant, grocery store, or pharmacy. If our partners win, we win. We adjusted our commission rates during the pandemic to facilitate vendors and helped them move online to increase their customer base and sales. We continue to cater to their needs to help foster a stronger and more prosperous relationship.
How do you ensure the well being and safety of your riders?
Our riders also known as Cheetahs are the backbone of our business. The health and safety of our Cheetahs is our top priority. They undergo temperature checks before each shift which is reflected in real-time on the app and sent to our customers when an order is placed. We also fully equipped them with masks, sanitizers, and gloves and ensured deliveries were made following strict safety and social distancing rules.
We have provided generous financial insurance, hospitalization coverage, and funds to our riders to encourage them to stay home if they feel unwell. Cheetay, along with partners like Rizq, recently distributed Qurbani meat for Eid and rations to the riders.
How has Cheetay been a trendsetter for digital payments?
Since the pandemic, we have seen a rise in demand for contactless and digital payment methods. Cheetay was the first to introduce QR code payments in Pakistan.
We are currently offering nine different payment options on our app including Cash on Delivery, Credit or Debit cards, Cheetay Cash, Mastercard QR, Easypaisa, SimSim, Alfalah, and Jazz Cash Wallet and accounts. We have recently introduced our very own Wallet called Cheetay Cash, through which a customer can pay, top-up, or share credit with friends or family.
How is Cheetay giving back to the community?
Cheetay along with notable partners including PITB and ProPakistani has worked on the largest and most needed social impact program to help reopen Pakistan. CoCare, Pakistan’s first contact tracing app helps track, treat, and trace the spread of COVID-19. With the opening of schools, offices, factories, and other businesses after prolonged, closures we need to be careful about the spread of the virus. Associations like IRA and APRA are working with us to safely reopen restaurants that have been affected by prolonged closures.
CoCare creates awareness about the virus and its symptoms and helps keep a digital diary of people met and places visited through Bluetooth and QR code scanning. The app is completely private and if someone tests positive his or her status is anonymously uploaded and a warning message to get tested or self-quarantine is sent to those the infected person has recently come in contact with.
What’s in store for the future?
I see Cheetay evolving into a Super App or the only app that anyone would need on their mobiles to fulfill all their needs. E-commerce got the much-needed push due to the pandemic and its effects are here to stay.