By Chinenye Anuforo, [email protected]


Mauricio Gomez is the chief strategy officer of Glovo. He joined Glovo in 2018, bringing a wealth of experienc in international business and strategy to the company. He has extensive experience in management and business planning in the tech industry, strategic consulting and banking. In this exclusive interview with Daily Sun, Gomez speaks on Glovo’s operations and plans for the Nigerian market.


What does strategy mean and how is it an asset for businesses like Glovo?

Strategy in my mind is starting by thinking, three, four steps ahead of what’s going to happen, right? So you think, Okay, this happens then that happens. This other thing happens. Once you have a view of what you think is going to happen based on your actions and other players’ actions, prepare for it, build a plan and execute the plan. So, I think it is an asset for a company as much as it’s an asset for an individual or any other entity, in the sense that what determines how well you do, right, and how good your ability to prepare for reaction and to prepare for the future. So, it’s an asset because we do it well, we’ll be able to recap what happened, more others to capture opportunities, things will become before others do. And that’s about it for a company like Glovo.

What is your assessment of the quick commerce industry in Africa, specifically Nigeria?

Before we talk of quick commerce business in Africa, I would like to talk about it globally. Twenty years ago, we started being able to order  books, right? We select our choice and get it delivered in two weeks. And then those two weeks moved to one week and then it was not only books but anything else and then it moved to the next day delivery. What the q-commerce did is the ability to offer and get it in an hour or minutes, right? And this is something that, going back to your question, strategy, we as Glovo realize that we probably have the best, most efficient last mile delivery of the city where we operate it. So if we can deliver food in  half an hour, we should be able to deliver anything else, half an hour. And so, the perspective is that it’s a very nascent, not only in Africa, but globally. It’s a new thing. So, we were used to food being delivered in half an hour but it’s going towards getting anything else delivered in half an hour. And that’s something that is just taking off and it’s still a new thing. It’s still a new business but has all the room in the world to grow in front of it.

What is the core issue Glovo aims to address and what sets it apart from the other players in the market?

The core issue Glovo is addressing is giving people time back. So, people in the cities where we operate and all cities in the world spend a lot of time getting what they need. And so what Glovo is offering is getting their customers’ order to them in half an hour while they do what they enjoy doing the most so they don’t have to be stuck in traffic. They don’t want to be disappointed by what’s available in a store and what’s not. They can just find what they need on the app, order it and get it delivered in less than an hour right. So, the thing I think that sets us apart from other companies is that the proposition of anything delivered is in our core, it’s a part of our team and how we started as Glovo. The belief is that companies that deliver in less than an hour are companies that are focused on food, and have built multiple positions around food. Well, we started food but food is one of the things that people want. And our hypothesis and is proving to be true and going back to your question of strategy was that people would want to receive not only food in less than an hour, but everything else. Maybe it’s food,  maybe it’s their medicine or clothing. Because people have been wanting to receive things faster and faster. You know, again, 20 years ago, we took two weeks to get a book. Now, you can get in a couple of days or the next day in the most developed markets. What we are proposing is, you will want it in an hour. And if you if you can have it in an hour, it’s better than if you can have it the next day. Right. And so, that is what distinguishes is the fact that food is part of our business, but it’s not the whole thing. And if you go into our app, you will see that it is not only food, it is also groceries and if you go to our most developed markets, for example, in Spain, you will see that it’s far beyond food, you can get clothing delivered in less than an hour and we think that this is something that people want and that they will need and that will give them the time back to do the things that they enjoy most.

What have been your greatest challenges doing quick commerce business globally? What are the challenges unique to the Nigerian market?

Related News

We face challenges of delivering over-the-counter medicines in some countries. This is a challenge, for example, in Nigeria we don’t face, you can order over-the-counter medicine through the app and you will get it in half an hour. So, some of the challenges that we’re facing globally, especially in Europe around regulation, don’t exist in Nigeria. But on the other hand, for Nigeria, it is a very exciting market because it is at the very beginning, and it has everything in front of it to grow and develop. I think what we need to overcome all the challenges that we have here is to gain the trust of the customers. Such that, when they order something, for example, over the counter medicine, they trust that it will be get to them in less than an hour and that we have to do because they trust us to put their credit cards on the platform to pay with.

Building that trust I think is the most crucial challenge that we have right now and that, we are working hard on developing and through food, people are starting to realize that Glovo is the company that you can trust to bring your food when when you order it and then moving to other segments of the market, we just need to build that trust to show that it not only food but everything else that you can order, affordable groceries, medicines and everything.

What specifically are you doing to build the trust you spoke about?

The best thing we can do to gain the trust of Nigerians is to deliver on the promise that people are expecting from us. So, if you order  from the app,  you can get the order. Operational excellence is something that we strive at the highest level, so delivering our customers their propositions and having a great customer experience is the way we build trust because if people see that we deliver on our promise, they will trust us. And on the other hand, if people see that we don’t deliver on our promise, they won’t trust us. So it’s critical for us to deliver on that promise. And of course, mistakes happen because this is a very complex business. But, when mistakes happen, we need to address those mistakes also effectively and ensure to customers we care and we are here to build value because we believe in the growth of the Nigerian market, perhaps more than any other international company.

What innovations should we expect from leading q-commerce players like Glovo in the coming years?

This is very exciting. For example, right now, in our headquarters country, which is Spain, you can order a T-shirt from any store out of dozens or even hundreds of stores and get it delivered in half an hour. This is something that I think, in Nigeria, the value proposition is even greater, because of the nature of traffic in Lagos compared to traffic in a city like Barcelona. Traffic here takes a lot of people’s time away. And so, if you can, as a platform or an app, get people what they need, instantly, that’s just a huge value proposition and if that can be something like clothing, groceries or medicines, then these innovations are making a huge difference in people’s lives.

So basically,  we are working on people ordering different portfolio of things from Glovo that’s one and the second one that I think is important, specifically for markets like the Nigerian market is to digitize people, mall, e-commerce, moms and shops ….. And so, being a one-stop shop for social media and the customers all over the city, it’s something that we’re very excited about that we’re starting to look at. That is an innovation that would be born in places like Lagos that we don’t have in place like Barcelona or Milan and something that would be tailored to this market and would be an innovation that adds further value to the to the proposition that we have for our customers here.

How secure is the platform?

Our platform is as secure as best standard cutting edge in the most developed market. So, we don’t we don’t store users credit cards in our platform. That is something that there are companies completely specialized on this and are the best in the world to do this. And we trust this company and we leave it to the specialists. So, Glovo will not be hacked, but if it gets hacked because of some reason, credit cards will not be compromised because we don’t store that, we leave that to the specialists and just focus on what we do best which is connecting customers with the goods they want and get them delivered quickly.

So, in markets like the European market, for example, the Asian markets, the East Asian markets, people have been buying with credit cards for decades and they trust us more because they have seen it work. I think this is a bit more recent in places like Nigeria and we need to gain the trust of our users so that they can comfortably put their credit card in our platform and know they are safe. We’re working very closely locally with the credit card providers and with the banks to ensure that this is done at the best global standards that European companies, American companies, Asian companies trust and bringing that same level of trust to Africa, because  it’s a key step to develop that trust that we need to build.