Taking food delivery to another cyber level

CyberFood staff member Kesaia Sailada. Picture: ABISHEK CHAN

Online food delivery company CyberFood is set to launch a portal that will engage micro, small and medium-sized food-based businesses to take advantage of their services and access a wider market range.

According to managing director Majid Shahzad, they also wanted to focus more on women-led MSME to get on the platform.

He said they were planning to have a soft launch on Wednesday as their platform was ready to go online.

Mr Shahzad said this was possible through the support of UNCDF, especially in regards to the internet payment gateway.

“As soon as the new website is launched, any home-bakers, small businesses, women who were running their businesses from home, any food-related business, can come on to the platform.

“We will make them their profile on the portal.”

He said it was costly for MSMEs to get on to an e-commerce platform, however, this would not be the case for when they came on to the CyberFood portal.

The start-up package would be free of cost, however, only 10 per cent commission would be charged on sales made.

“There is no subscription and we just want to encourage them to come onboard.

“Not only will these businesses have access to local customers but they would also get to capitalise on international customers as well.”

Mr Shahzad said a lot of their orders came from tourists who were either in isolation or quarantine.

He said for some of their international customers, payment options were very limited which would be addressed with the launch of their new website.

The new website would have the existing businesses and restaurant chains as the new portal would add MSMEs to the platform for customers to easily choose from.

“All the restaurants which we have added, their information has been managed by us, however, with this new portal, we will give these small businesses a space to showcase their products, control their prices.

“This portal will allow them to have full rights to inform customers what products they have, what products they were selling, opening and close of business as well payment options.”

Mr Shahzad said they did not have a proper internet payment gateway which was troublesome for international customers.

“Right now, whoever comes on to our platform, our investment will be of benefit to them,” he said.

CyberFood users have grown to more than 6000 and have more than 16,000 followings on Facebook alone.

Mr Shahzad said businesses could benefit from the exposure through their platform.

“Most importantly, these home-bakers can now approach a bigger market because they most likely cannot afford internet banking, getting on to an e-commerce website and maybe they are not able to approach delivery services.

“So these facilities will be provided by us to support small business.”

He said they were looking to target women-led businesses specifically and get at least 50 per cent of them on their platform.

Once the website was launched, businesses could access the portal and apply as they would have to provide their business registration certificates.

Mr Shahzad said this was important for them as they wanted to confirm the company was formally registered.

“If, for example, someone was running a small business from home, then we will see if they were legitimate.”

He said they had approached roadside barbecue stalls and these business owners were interested in coming onboard.

According to Mr Shahzad, most of these roadside food businesses operated for a few hours through the day or week, however, they still could come on to the platform.

CyberFood had recorded an increase in overseas customers since international borders opened.

The managing director said around 90 per cent of orders from the Western Division were from tourists or international customers.

He said COVID-19 had changed the mindsets of many users on how to fully use online food delivery services.

“People have fully used this service, not only for food but to deliver groceries as well.

“Our system was not that upgraded at that time, our focus was to reach the international standard.

“We had achieved the basic task and that was to create awareness, after which our main aim was to run the business at that standard that you would find in a developed country.”

He said most of the restaurants reported more delivery orders than dine-ins.

“Restaurants even recommend us to their customers who query about the delivery services.”

Around nine MSME businesses had requested to come on to the portal, which Mr Shahzad had been facilitating.

After the soft launch of the portal and new website, the company looked to launch its own app soon.

More Stories