Uber Eats, an opportunity provider for youth | Sunday Observer

Uber Eats, an opportunity provider for youth

20 September, 2020
Ms. Bhavna Dadlani
Ms. Bhavna Dadlani

Uber Eats, an opportunity provider plays a pivotal role in enabling youth achieve financial independence by displaying their skills, said Bhavna Dadlani – Lead of Uber Eats Sri Lanka in an interview with the Sunday Observer Business.


Q. How does Uber Eats employ delivery partners and restaurant partners? What benefits do these partners have?

A. Uber Eats is an opportunity provider. We have thousands of restaurants and tens of thousands of delivery partners who have chosen Uber Eats as their ally to grow and prosper.

The company provides opportunities to restaurants to grow their business, expand their customer base and leverage global technology through powerful data insights, dedicated restaurant marketing tools and more.

Through our efforts, countless new entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka have got that chance they needed to display their talent.

An increasing number of Sri Lankans are choosing to be their own bosses and work for themselves, at their own convenience.

Riding with Uber Eats provides that very opportunity.

Q. Since its inception, how has the platform grown in terms of revenue and reach?

A. Since our launch in 2018, we have seen phenomenal growth as a result of the overwhelming response we’ve received from Sri Lankan eaters, delivery partners and restaurants alike.

It wouldn’t be even a bit of a stretch if we were to say it’s actually the love and support we have received from eaters that keeps us going. We began operations in a small area serving only Colombo 2 to 8. We now serve the entire city of Colombo and its immediate suburbs, along with Negombo, Kandy, Katugastota and Peradeniya.

Q. How does Uber Eats contribute to the economy?

A. We see ourselves as an ally of the Government and the people. We work in close proximity with the government, offering support in every way we can. During the recent lockdown, we worked nights to ensure crucial supply lines were open, and that essential supplies reached the Sri Lankan people.

Offering help to the marginalised, we donated dry rations to thousands of families, many of whom had lost livelihood opportunities.

Through the two years, we are proud to have enabled thousands of flexible earning opportunities for delivery and restaurant partners that were not previously available. All our partners earn at their own pace and are in full control of their working hours. We received positive feedback about this flexibility, allowing partners to spend more time with friends and family - which is highly appreciated and goes a long way in our communities.

Q. Being a global company, how does Uber Eats customise for specific needs of Sri Lanka?

A. While Uber Eats has presence across several countries, our teams in Sri Lanka are all Sri Lankan domain experts with an understanding of the needs of the people. Each member in our Sri Lankan team is as local as the other, and relishes ‘short eats’ as much as all us Sri Lankans do.

The expertise of working with multiple flavours, tastes and dishes across markets around the world, combined with the strength and experience of a Sri Lankan team allows us to deliver the best of both worlds to local eaters. By leveraging our global technology and network, we are able to raise the bar for Sri Lanka through international standards and sharing knowledge of best practices.

Q. What is the Uber Eats DiviyataDiriya campaign?

A. Uber DiviyataDiriya is focused on leveraging the power of our platform to facilitate financial independence for women, marginalised and underserved communities, through flexible economic opportunities that uplift the livelihoods of themselves and others around them.

We are marching towards our aim of providing earning opportunities to 1,000 women through our platform by December.

Q. Who benefits from this campaign?

A. While a number of communities have already benefited from Uber DiviyataDiriya, we have been focusing on providing safe and flexible earning opportunities to hundreds of Sri Lankan women entrepreneurs in an industry which traditionally had limited female representation.

We hope to encourage more Sri Lankan women to join the workforce by delivering financial independence through technology, and positively contributing towards the Sri Lankan economy.

Q. What challenges did Uber Eats Sri Lanka face when Covid-19 hit?

A. Our priority during the curfew was the safety and well-being of our community - this meant enabling access to essential items to the people of the country, as well as earning opportunities for restaurant, vendor and delivery partners to keep our cities moving. We worked nights to ensure we adhered to all safety regulations, and updated our app to help eaters, restaurants and delivery partners stay safe, too.

All of this was done within a matter of days to offer earning opportunities back to our partners, and to keep supply lines open, ensuring people got their essential items delivered at their doorsteps.

Q. What safety precautions did Uber take to protect customers, delivery partners and restaurant partners?

A. We always urge everyone to follow the health and safety guidelines recommended by the WHO and Health Promotion Bureau.

Restaurant partners have been encouraged to ensure all packaging is safely sealed, while Delivery Partners are equipped with sanitisers and face masks, and undergo temperature checks with the assistance of the Colombo Municipal Council. Dedicated safety training sessions are mandatory for all Delivery Partners to ensure all recommended guidelines are followed, including practicing effective social distancing and carrying out contactless deliveries through the ‘Leave At Door’ feature.

Overall, what is Uber Eats’ projection for the future in Sri Lanka, in bouncing back from the pandemic?

We hope to play a key role in helping Sri Lanka bounce back by leveraging our global technology and expertise.

The past few months alone have seen the launch of multiple new features and services, including the delivery of essential items.

These were complemented by various safety additions such as mask detection, supplying personal protective equipment to delivery partners, and even organising training sessions to help them better understand the need to ensure the highest possible safety standards.

The future remains bright, and we hope to continue building on these while introducing even more new features and services for our eaters, restaurants and delivery partners. We continue to operate within the vision of the government of providing earning opportunities to the Sri Lankan people, with tens of thousands of Sri Lankan entrepreneurs gaining financial independence through the platform in our current operational areas and even as we expand further.