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Month: October 2023

What Turkey can do. (Getir)

What Turkey can do. (Getir)

I thought the brand name ‘Getir’ was a clever play on the idea of “Get ‘ere fast” to go with their proposition of delivering to your door in 10 minutes. I was, as I often am, wrong.

It turns out that Getir is a Turkish brand, and that Getir means “bring/get” in the Turkish language and its Turkish-ness is a vitally important part of the brand and its culture.

The origin of the brand is an idea that Nazim Salur had while at BiTaksi, the ride-hailing app he had already founded in Istanbul. One of the first people he shared the idea with was Serkan Borancili, who had been one of the first investors at BiTaksi.

Like lots of good new ideas, it could be summed up succinctly and uses an existing reference point to describe and ground an innovation. In this case, it positioned itself off BiTaksi, and Salur posed it as a question;  “We deliver cabs in 3 minutes anywhere in the city, why not do the same with groceries in 10 minutes?” Borancili could see potential immediately.

A week later Salur bumped into Tuncay Tutek, someone he knew through his wife who had been a work colleague of Tutek’s. Salur pitched the idea to him. He too could see potential but also recognised it wouldn’t be easy so he replied, “it’s a great idea but very difficult, good luck to you,” but added “Let me know if I can be of help with anything.”

Salur obviously thought Tutek could help because a few days later he got in contact again and this time directly asked Tutek if he wanted to join the start-up. Tutek, who had been wanting to start his own business after having worked in the corporate world for many years, decided to take a chance.

The start-up team of five co-founders was completed with the addition of Dogancan Dalyan who also worked at BiTaksi and finally, keeping it in the family, Mert Salur who was Nazim Salur’s son. Mert Salur actually didn’t join the team immediately but finished his studies in the US first and then started at Getir.

One thing that binds the band of founders together is that they are all proud patriots. They share a love of their country and want to show the world what Turkey can deliver. They all want to create a truly global Turkish brand, to become the Turkish company on “which the sun never sets” As Tutek said in a recent interview; “We have great appreciation and respect for the people of this country. It is a source of importance for us to take this platform, built by Turkish software engineers, global”

Tutek went on to explain that the founders occasionally have differences of opinion but it is this joint vision; “our north star… the purpose of making Getir a global brand” that always brings them back together.

They started work in October 2014, initially renting space in other people’s offices, and launched in 2015.

Many people thought it would never work and that Getir wouldn’t succeed. They said the Turkish market wasn’t ready. It’s easy to see why.

In 2014, Turkish customers weren’t used to ordering groceries online.

Smartphone penetration was only between 60-70 percent in 2015 and credit card penetration wasn’t particularly high either.

The average time for grocery delivery was at that time between a day and a week, so detractors couldn’t see the point of delivering in 10 minutes. ‘Why not reduce it to just a few hours or maybe even 30 minutes?’

The team however stuck to their guns, for them 10 minutes was going to be crucial. It was what really made them different. They had seen that some digital supermarkets were already delivering during given slots on the same day or the day after, but they felt the concept of delivering within 10 minutes would be truly different and prove to be their key discriminator and potential competitive advantage. It would also act as a high bar for anyone else to reach.

The team argued that customers would feel like they were getting their groceries “right here, right now” which in a world where customers increasingly want it all and want it now was completely on trend.

So, with that as their goal the team worked backwards from there to architect the software infrastructure and operations to deliver…in just 10 minutes.

The first two years were tough and not a run-away success story.

The detractors weren’t slow to point this out.

The team never lost faith. They saw what for them was a crucial indicator, not only was there a group of early adopters using the service, but they were really appreciative of it too. Getir were banking on the fact that this group of people would grow and grow as word and experience spread and they backed their belief by invested heavily in trial-driving marketing. Based on what they had seen with the early adopters the team were certain that once people have experienced 10-minute delivery they would become converts and advocates.

Their hunch paid off.

They now have around 400 warehouses in Turkey and operate in many cities across the country from Adana to Zonguldak

They became one of Turkey’s first ‘unicorn brands’

They have become the sector ‘generic’ with competitors saying things like “they will do it like Getir”.

And, as of November 2022, they operate in France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal. UK and the USA

In short, they are well on their way to becoming a truly global Turkish brand.

And the moral of the story is that its ok to be ahead of the curve as long as you’re sure the curve is going your way. What idea do you have that’s ahead of your market but is rooted in doing something better than has ever been done before?

Up from the ashes, grow the roses of success! – Mumsnet

Up from the ashes, grow the roses of success! – Mumsnet

Credit ; Zoe Savitz

Justine Roberts is a former economist and sports correspondent, a Liverpool supporter, and a mother of ‘five’, her four children and one internet sensation.

A year after the birth of her first children, her twins, she felt in need of some R’n’R – a holiday but  “Sadly we chose the wrong destination, in the wrong time zone, at the wrong resort with, frankly, the wrong children.” She recalls.

The holiday to Florida in 1999 was “a disaster … we hadn’t thought through the time differences or journey. The kids spent the whole plane journey vomiting, and when we arrived, they woke up at 2 a.m. every day. There were supposed to be childcare facilities in the hotel, but the staff didn’t have any training or interest in children. So all of the parents were sitting around the pool bemoaning their choice.”

However rather than just moaning Roberts used it as inspiration. “At the time, everyone was having an internet idea,…” So she had one too about “a website for parents to swap advice, support and, of course, holiday recommendations.”

Roberts had met Carrie Longton, at the time a TV producer, in 1998 at antenatal classes and, following the birth of their children, the group continued to meet up. Roberts now persuaded her to join her.

Neither had any tech skills so Justine asked an old university friend Steven Cassidy  to build the site (who completed the trio of founders).

The original idea had been to grow the business quickly and then sell it but that was to prove to be just a pipedream. The reality was the dotcom crash happened and plans had to change.

“We just hunkered down and we built the community. And actually what we realised is there was a need for it. With any business, there’s got to be a need for it,” recalls Longton “We didn’t earn any money.”

Roberts is equally honest about those times; “The business plan I’d cooked up wasn’t worth the paper it was written on and for the first eight years of our existence, Mumsnet Towers consisted of a back room shared with a washer and dryer. Salaries were remembered fondly from previous careers.”

At times they even posted comments under multiple names to create the illusion of activity,

But slowly and steadily at first then more rapidly Mumsnet began to grow and grow. It became a generally supportive, often hilarious community of mostly women who supported each other through conception, birth, teenage years and beyond.

As Mumsnet grew, so did its muscle and it wasn’t scared to flex its muscle. It mounted a ‘Let Girls Be Girls’ campaign aimed at getting retailers to agree to stop selling products that projected an adult sexuality on to young children, This was followed by a ‘This Is My Child’ campaign to raise awareness of the challenges of raising kids with special needs and even more provocative ones like  “We Believe You” aimed to bust rape myths and Better Miscarriage Care calling for improvement for the care of women who miscarry.

Politicians and even Prime Minsters started queueing up to appear on live webchats.

At its 10th birthday party Prime Minister Gordon Brown referred to Mumsnet as a “great British institution”.

In May 2011, Roberts founded Gransnet, a sister site to Mumsnet for users over 50.

Roberts was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours, for services to the economy.

While Roberts has learnt lots about being a CEO, her key insights from her time at Mumsnet are not surprisingly about mums and include “there is no standard template for an A-grade mother” and that every mum shouldn’t lose sight of herself as a person “a mother is just one of the many things a woman is.”

She does have thoughts on why Mumsnet has been so successful and one of those is “With Mumsnet, there’s a sense of audience. Facebook is too generalised.”

And the moral of the story as Carrie Longton put it “With any business, there’s got to be a need for it.”