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Follow the Leader: Carlos Eduardo Moyses, CEO, iFood

Follow the Leader: Carlos Eduardo Moyses, CEO, iFood iFood is a leading mobile technology company in Latin America that enables hungry customers to find, order and receive meals from restaurants. We caught up with CEO Carlos Moyses to discuss how the company is expanding into new markets and helping restaurants in LATAM diversify and grow their businesses through technology.
 
Naspers’ Follow the Leader series profiles entrepreneurs making waves in high growth tech markets around the world.
 
How did you start your career and what were the key turning points that got you to where you are today?
I started my career as a Financial Analyst in a Brazilian bank and undertook a number of similar roles for several years. A key turning point came in 2001 when I decided the corporate world wasn’t for me and founded my own company which outsourced mains power to the entertainment industry.
 
After five years I decided to change tack again and had stints running executive flight and group discount companies before joining RestauranteWeb in 2012 as CFO, and then CEO, of its Just Eat business in Brazil.
 
A second key turning point for me was in 2014 when we decided to merge with iFood, which had already received investment from Naspers and was the biggest player in the market at the time. There followed a large number of M&As (twenty-two in two years to be precise!) to incorporate the cities where we did not have a presence. The majority of our management team today are a product of this M&A activity.
 
In its simplest form how would you describe the iFood proposition and business?
Together with restaurant partners, iFood is here to make food delivery a more practical and happy experience. You should love the delivery experience.

How would you describe Brazilian cuisine and dining and why does the food delivery model work so well in your market?
I would say there are three main points. Firstly, there are a lot of independent restaurants compared to other markets where large chains dominate. Secondly, in Brazil we have a really strong delivery culture, people love to order food into their houses. Traditionally pizza was the delivery of choice, but today, with the help of iFood, people can order anything. And thirdly we have a lot of immigrants in Brazil, for example Japanese, Chinese and Arabians, so there is a lot of cultural diversity and therefore variety of food.
 
You talk about building a food ‘community’. How does iFood support members of the community (restaurant owners, delivery team, customers)?
Technology plays a significant part. We empower restaurants with technology that optimises their processes so they don’t need staff manning the phones and there is less opportunity for order error. We can also offer restaurant owners insights they never previously had, from the ordering habits and preferences of their customers to the popularity of their dishes and seasonal trends. This type of insight ultimately helps them grow their business and their revenues.
 
For consumers, our technology makes their lives more practical, ultimately giving them choice of what they eat and who they purchase from. Again, it’s all about giving them a really good delivery experience.
 
How would you describe the company culture at iFood? What’s the iFood
difference?
We have four values that we hold ourselves accountable to at iFood. The first is entrepreneurship and empowering people to do more. Our team are all business owners and can make decisions, which is really important to us. The second is we are results driven, we really challenge the team with big targets to help the company grow and them within it. Third is simplicity, it’s crucial that we don’t overcomplicate things in order to keep moving at pace. And the fourth and final value is clients, be they internal employees or external restaurants or consumers, we must have empathy with them.
 
You operate in a very competitive environment; how do you stay one step ahead of the competition?
First and foremost we have a really strong relationship with our restaurant partners. We also have aggressive marketing, investment and M&A strategies which enable us to move quickly and stay ahead of the competition.
 
In your opinion, what is the most important thing about a mobile experience?
I think iFood’s success is really down to solving a problem for people, we make their lives easier by giving them access to restaurants, competitive prices and ultimately choice. The mobile experience is crucial to this: From the outset we have been a mobile company and today 90% of our orders come through our mobile app, which reflects the shift in how consumers want to order food today.
 
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt so far at iFood and what top tip for success would you give to other aspiring leaders and founders? 
Taking quick decisions and moving fast has been the biggest lesson that I’ve learned – our M&A strategy is a great example of this. As a top tip, I would say dream big, challenge the people you work with, empower your teams and take them on a journey with you – that’s what makes people passionate and successful. 

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