Business & Innovation- August 5, 2022
A day in the life of a CPO: Yi-Wei Ang, talabat
Yi-Wei Ang is on a mission to build product-led organizations. He is currently the Chief Product Officer at talabat, the largest Food Delivery company in the MENA region and one of Delivery Hero’s local entities. We caught up with the CPO to understand what a “typical day” in his life looks like, and how we can do more with product.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
What I love about working in product is that no two days are ever the same. As a product leader, my job is to enable business operations, scale new businesses with high growth potential, and frame and envision what we want to create or develop next. This could include looking at how we can continuously improve the consumer experience or how to best leverage the tech from within the Delivery Hero group to enhance our product offering.
I am always looking for “10xers” – things that will really make a difference. For example, what is our design vision and direction for the next five years? How do we want to bring even more delight to our customers? When I’m not thinking about our product vision, I could be in a meeting discussing how we want to structure our team now and in the next few years as we continue to scale and grow. Or perhaps I’m solving a particular problem for a specific market.
So, in a nutshell – my days are always super varied. I love that there is no “typical day” in the line of work that I do.
How do you make sure that your daily tasks fit within the broader scope of your strategy, mission, and vision?
I believe in the concept of the quantified self. This refers to the habit of tracking yourself and your habits to understand where you spend your time, and prioritize the things that really matter. For me, this has previously even meant putting a report together on where and how I spent my working hours, to make sure that my time was split proportionally between the topics that were most important to me. Looking at the data can help you to see each month as a whole, rather than getting stuck in day-to-day tasks.
I’m also a big believer in deep work. Once a month, I block out a day in my calendar for thinking. Usually, I go to a coworking space, so I’m neither at home nor at work and use the time to reorient myself. Sometimes I bring other people along, to act as a sparring partners or to help me rethink the big, open questions currently challenging us. Taking this time every month is a really useful way to make sure you’re focusing on the big topics, rather than using up all your time on solving smaller problems.
How do you collaborate and keep in touch with colleagues across the world? What are the challenges and opportunities of working on global projects?
I’ve previously spoken about the unconventional setup of Delivery Hero’s global teams, and I believe that having local teams in each of our key regions is our secret sauce to building great products. It enables us to win in local markets, whilst also taking advantage of economies of scale. We are able to share the challenges and opportunities we’re going through and learn from each other very quickly.
I’ve been in this role now for two and a half years, and I believe I’m still just beginning to tap into the potential and beauty of our global setup. For example, if we are testing one new product at talabat and another in PedidosYa. we can then leverage these learnings globally much more quickly. This, to me, is super exciting for the future.
What’s something that you’re excited to be working on right now ?
When I joined talabat, we were purely a food delivery company. Now, we are doing more than ever before, building our quick commerce verticals and exploring new opportunities. This manifests in two ways: the first is expanding into more verticals. We started our quick commerce story with groceries, and are now looking at potential areas like pharmaceuticals, or our coffee business. We have an opportunity to find new ways to serve our customers better. Customers looking for food might also be interested in grabbing a coffee, or need to order their monthly prescription. We can build on our existing infrastructure and customer base, which is a really powerful starting point.
The second area we are exploring is actually going deeper into the stack. talabat used to be just a marketplace, and now we do our own deliveries. Having direct contact with our customers means we can find new, innovative ways to give them a special, different experience. I get excited when I think about how we could do more, try new things that haven’t yet occurred to us. For example, at EXPO 2020 we set up a food court powered by talabat, with a focus on automation and even introducing our robots – talabots – for the first time. It was a brand new experience for customers, and we can implement those learnings into the app for a broader base of users.
I’m also excited by brand new areas of the business. At the moment, for example, we’re exploring opportunities in FinTech and figuring out what that might mean for our restaurants or our riders. A company of our scale can truly impact the lives of the people that we come into contact with at a huge scale – and that is very exciting.