“If Governance, Risk and Compliance was a burger, we create the super deluxe edition”
10 questions with Babak Mohtachemi, Senior Director GRC, PMO & PMI
- Babak, there are a lot of abbreviations in your job title – what do they stand for?
That’s true! I’m Senior Director GRC, PMO & PMI, which stands for Governance, Risk Management and Compliance, Project Management Office and Post Merger Integration. That’s a lot of topics to cover (and we do that globally, that means for more than 40 countries!), but we’re an amazing team of 20 people here in our Berlin HQ, plus we have our global GRC community to support us in the respective markets. Our team is part of the Finance and Legal department at Delivery Hero.
- How would you describe your team’s mission in a nutshell?
We like to see ourselves as in-house consultants who maintain the balance between adopting the right GRC practices (which help and enable Delivery Hero to achieve its business objectives) and increasing overall business efficiency. In other words: We are true Heroes that protect the company! We do that, among other things, by making processes and controls more robust, by highlighting and mitigating risks, by ensuring compliance among our business and by managing global projects in a professional and standardized way.
- Let’s start with the first pillar then: GRC. What role does GRC play for Delivery Hero’s success?
GRC makes sure that the company can be successful in all markets while being in line with regulations and aware of risks. With governance we establish an internal control system for decisions and processes in order to make them as reliable and efficient as possible. Risk management is all about identifying and assessing risks (that for example come with hypergrowth and exploring new business verticals), and creating action steps together with the business to mitigate these risks. Eventually, compliance provides policies and procedures to guarantee that our operations meet regulatory requirements – be it food labelling or data protection.
- How do PMO and PMI tie into this?
I established the central Project Management Office (PMO) one year ago to ensure there’s a standardized way of executing large critical projects within the company. When our GRC experts identify risks, their mitigation usually results in complex projects. In our PMO we have skilled colleagues that lead these projects. PMI stands for Post Merger Integration, which supports the successful planning and execution of the integration, merger and separation process of companies. For example, when a new company joins Delivery Hero, we have to integrate it into our processes and IT landscapes.
- What did you do before you joined Delivery Hero, and what brought you here?
I studied international business management and industrial engineering with a focus on IT in Berlin and Berkeley, California. I started my career as an In-house Consultant and Controller at Mercedes-Benz in Tokyo, and then moved to a big consulting company where I specialized in Risk and IT Governance. Afterwards I worked for a global manufacturing company where I built the Compliance and Internal Controls department and led the IT Project Management Office team.
My twin brother referred me for a job at Delivery Hero. The company was about to go public at the German stock exchange, and they were looking for a professional to build up and lead their GRC team. I knew that this would be an exciting time, a challenge and an opportunity to learn new things – and, of course, I had to take this chance! This was three years ago, and from there I built up the team from scratch. Seeing how everything has evolved up until today makes me very proud.
- Looking back on those three years, what are your key takeaways?
I always say that all the things you learn at Delivery Hero within one year would take three years in other companies. The pace of the business is extremely fast and dynamic, and learning curves are steep. My key takeaway during this time is that a high performing and motivated team is the holy grail for modern companies like ours to succeed. Providing permanent support to my team is crucial for the growth of our business. When a team member succeeds, it will reflect on the whole team. For me, my team will always be number one priority.
- How is working at Delivery Hero different from other companies?
As I said, the business is fast. So, people who work here need to be fast as well. You can’t just sit at your desk and wait for things to come. You need to be proactive, be curious, be innovative and really deliver solutions. Delivery Hero definitely is the most dynamic and diverse company I ever worked at. We have a truly international mindset, and that is reflected both in the local markets and in our central teams: People who work here are open and bring in different perspectives. And we’re a global company that is built upon local entrepreneurship. We as the central team empower and support our local leaders – and you can see that we create something really amazing with that.
- A central team that works with around 40 markets – what does that look like on a daily basis?
We’re in constant exchange and travel a lot to the markets, be it South Korea, Turkey, Greece or Uruguay, to build closer relationships and really understand the local needs. As part of the central team, we collect best practices and expertise, and then share it globally. Imagine that GRC was a burger, and all our markets cook really fantastic cheeseburgers. Our central team then takes the best bits of every cheeseburger and creates a super deluxe edition – and then gives this edition back to all local teams. This is what makes Delivery Hero so successful: sharing knowledge globally, learning from each other, and building something that’s larger than the sum of its parts.
- What motivates you?
My team! I value the people I work with a lot. And it motivates me that together we make the business better and enable it to grow. I honestly think that I have the best job in the world – although, I used to be an American football player, so becoming coach of a football team would be even cooler.
- What does the future hold for your team?
Two words: growth & innovation. Delivery Hero will continue to grow and scale their business tremendously, invest in innovation, seize new opportunities and expand services – and with all of that comes the need to standardize and harmonize processes, optimize and automate controls, stay compliant and mitigate risks. The work our team does is fundamental for further growth and success of the business. For us this means we need to keep up with this pace, always be up to date, and be able to adjust. The business is running. We need to be fast, and run as well.