From Istanbul to Berlin: building a global career at Delivery Hero

13 Feb 2019 |

Robin Nierynck

Oksana Lukyanenko joined the Berlin central team in 2015, when she moved to Delivery Hero after having been at our brand Yemeksepeti in Istanbul for over 5 years. With an international focus, her role has taken her across teams, countries, and brands.
We talked to Oksana about her Delivery Hero journey from Istanbul to Berlin, what motivates her, and what the future holds for food delivery.

Hi Oksana, you’re Vice President, International Markets. What does that entail?

Hi there. That’s a great question: I essentially work as a bridge between our central teams and our local brands. We have fantastic teams working around the globe in various markets, and it’s my job to ensure they have access to the right tools, know-how, funding and so on to improve their service every day.

I also support local strategy development to align our local brands under one vision: providing an amazing takeaway experience. This also means helping them to build the best teams possible, looking into the numbers, driving insights and offering central support where needed. Currently I mainly focus on the Americas and Turkey, which seems like an odd combination, but once you know that I have worked in Turkey it all starts to make sense.

You previously worked at Yemeksepeti in Turkey. What was it like to see the brand become the biggest food delivery company in the country?

I won’t be modest on Yemeksepeti’s behalf and instead say that Yemeksepeti actually grew into one of the biggest online food delivery platforms in the world. Being a part of that journey was and continues to be a great privilege. It also taught me that dedication to providing the best service possible for your customer should always remain your guiding principle, how investing in teams and employee development helps you to build a brand that is loved by young and old.

How did you end up working in Berlin?

While working at Yemeksepeti I was mainly responsible for our international markets, which included Greece, Eastern Europe, and some countries in Middle East. This was mainly early stage startups, so I had a chance to actually see every step of the process, from digital marketing & SEO, up to product management and development, P&L planning and accounting, hiring and training – you name it.

“Every now and then you get to thinking: the way ahead is clear. And then in the glimpse of an eye it is not!”

When Yemeksepeti was acquired by Delivery Hero and the integration of those businesses into the Delivery Hero family started, Pieter-Jan (our Chief Operating Officer) invited me to join for 6 months to support the process. It was a great opportunity and I was excited to be a part of that. After 6 months the journey seemed more fascinating still – and I met plenty of smart, diverse, hard working people which made it all the more exciting.

What was the biggest challenge for you when changing roles?

I have to admit, it wasn’t an easy step for me. I loved my colleagues at Yemeksepeti and what we were building together, I also loved the city, however my new colleagues and teams around the world were also incredible. I was learning something new every day. Having said that, even though I had already had an experience of working with very different cultures, adding more to it wasn’t always the smoothest.

One gets to learn and respect how other cultures operate even though it might not seem “right” in your coordinate system.
A great example would be that in Latin America people tend to be very optimistic, sometimes even overly optimistic, say when planning or budgeting, while in Europe people are more realistic or conservative in their assumptions. However all those cultural peculiarities are not so much a challenge but an exciting learning opportunity. The weather in Berlin continues to be a challenge though…

Oksana: "All the cultural differences were less challenges than exciting learning opportunities."

What’s happening in the markets? What are you most excited about in the coming year?

Every year brings so many new things that we couldn’t even imagine before. It might sound strange, but I’m quite excited about competition. I think healthy competition makes you grow faster, provide the best service to your customer, look for more ways to be the place to go for people when they think about food and more… And I guess this “more” is interesting to talk about. Historically we were a company that was all about takeaway, however already in 2018 we started going down other roads, listening to the needs of our customers – from groceries delivery to pet food delivery trials and even creating our own brands.

“Historically we were a company that was all about takeaway, but already in 2018 we started going down other roads, listening to the needs of our customers”

The Americas are one of the most interesting and dynamic spaces for this multi-vertical approach within Delivery Hero in my opinion, and our teams there will continue to experiment with and perfect more and more of those avenues.

What motivates you?

Improvement! Seeing our service become smarter and more intuitive, seeing that our teams grow stronger, witnessing the growth.

What does the future of Delivery Hero hold?

I have been working in this industry for a while now and every now and then you get to thinking: Ok, it’s quite a stable industry now and the way ahead is clear. And then in the glimpse of an eye it is not! Things move so fast and opportunities are so vast that it’s really hard to say where it will go next. At the same time, as our company and industry grows bigger we inherit a larger responsibility of making this industry more sustainable and giving back more to the societies and countries we operate in.

Any plans for where your Hero Journey will go next?

Personally I’m looking forward to being able to create more solutions that are beneficial for all our brands, and will avoid reinventing the wheel individually. We have so many fascinating developments happening in individual countries that making them visible, scalable and easily replicable for other countries would be my biggest dream to achieve. In the meantime, I am determined to nail the German language too!

To find out more about current openings and what it’s like to work at Delivery Hero, head over to our career page.