World wide workplace: one office, 80 nationalities, a multitude of stories – part I 15 Dec 2018

by Robin Nierynck

World wide workplace: one office, 80 nationalities, a multitude of stories – part I


It’s not always easy to uproot your whole life and move to a different country, but it can be an enriching experience that stays with you for life. With over 80 nationalities in our Berlin HQ alone, our international workplace is a great strength when it comes to developing products and solutions that work for everyone.

But work aside, with such a vibrant mix of cultures and countries, there are bound to be some good stories. We caught up with Heroes from all corners of the world, and asked about their backgrounds, experiences and observations. Some of their answers might surprise you!

Haukur Kristjánsson‎

Haukur is Head of SEM Tech. The team aims to revolutionize the way we do search engine marketing. After getting his first taste of food delivery at foodpanda, he joined Delivery Hero in 2017.

Where are you from?
I’m from Reykjavik, Iceland.

When did you move to Berlin?
December 28th, 2015. My first day at the office was December 29th, 2015 which has been dubbed by some as the weirdest starting day ever. For good reason, I guess.

Haukur Delivery Hero

What languages do you speak?
I speak Icelandic and English.

What’s your favorite food from back home?
Smoked lamb with potatoes in white gravy, red cabbage and green beans.

What’s your favorite German food?
I’d say my favourite dish is Wildgulasch.

What do you love about Berlin?
The cultural fusion found across it, especially in the East.

…and what don’t you love?
The S-bahn…

How would you describe the company culture at Delivery Hero?
Open minded and multicultural with a very result-driven mindset.

Do you feel like you can bring your own culture to Delivery Hero?
That’s a bit hard since there aren’t that many of us in the company (I think there’s two of us that speak Icelandic at the office), which makes it hard to spread our culture. Maybe for the better!

What’s a custom from your country or origin that your co-workers don’t get?
My love for fermented shark.

Adégòkè Ọbasá

Adégòkè moved to Berlin in August 2018 and started as a Senior Software Engineer at Delivery Hero. Adégòkè and his team build solutions to create amazing takeaway experiences for customers across foodora, foodpanda and OnlinePizza in Europe, Canada and Asia.

Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Ìbàdàn (the largest city in West Africa by territory) in south-west Nigeria. But I am originally from Ifè.

Adegoke Delivery Hero

Why did you move to Berlin?
I wanted a new challenge to take my career to the next level. My prayers were answered by way of Delivery Hero and my experience so far has been fantastic. Some ex-colleagues and friends who already lived in Berlin provided me with a good support network during the settling-in phase.

What languages do you speak?
I speak English, the lingua franca in Nigeria, and my indigenous language Yorùbá; it’s a really interesting language because one word can have many different meanings. For example, Ìgbà means time, Igbá means calabash, Igba means the number 200 and Ìgbá means Eggplant; the accents on the words are used to differentiate the tones.
I also speak Pidgin English, a common creole language spoken in the community, a little French, and finally I’m also learning German.

What’s your favorite food from back home?
I love Igbo and Efik delicacies (Igbo and Efik are tribes in Nigeria). Edikang Ikong soup (made from pumpkin leaves and water leaves with dry fish, beef, periwinkle and crayfish), and Ofe Owerri soup (made from fluted pumpkin leaves, uziza leaves, assorted meat which is different parts of cow meat, snails, dried fish and stock fish). Either of these soups combined with pounded yam will make my day!

What’s your favorite German food?
Schnitzel with potatoes or salad.

What do you love about Berlin?
The public transportation system is great. I also love how green the city is and the art (graffiti, paintings etc.) that can be found all around it.

What’s the biggest difference compared to where you grew up?
The stable power supply. In Nigeria power outages are common and you need multiple backup power supplies. That’s not an issue in Berlin.

How would you describe the company culture at Delivery Hero?
The culture is people-driven and innovative. Team events, parties, meetings, Friday drinks and pizzas, and the various social events help to forge the team into one single unit moving together in rhythm, with this rhythm, innovation flows.

Do you feel like you can bring your own culture to Delivery Hero?
Yes, because my co-workers are genuinely interested in my experiences.

What’s a custom from your country or origin that your co-workers don’t get?
Free lunch. Nigerians are very social and part of our culture is hosting people for lunch, dinner, parties and ceremonies. During these events, the host usually pays the bill for everyone invited. So for example, on my birthday if I were to take my colleagues out for lunch in Nigeria, I am expected to pay for everyone because this is the norm. And yes, I have done this a number of times!

Mariana Kuiken Mendoza

As a Paid Social Marketing Manager, Mariana joined Delivery Hero in 2016 and since evolved through several roles into performance marketing.

Where are you from?
I’m originally from Mexico, but my dad is from the Netherlands. I grew up in Mexico until I was 18 and then I moved to Utrecht. You could say I’m Mexican with some benefits of being Dutch!

What languages do you speak?
English, Spanish and Dutch. I also speak some Mandarin and Korean, and I’m learning German.

Mariana Delivery Hero

What’s your favorite food from back home?
Tlayuda. It’s like an open quesadilla but thinner and with more fillings. I haven’t found any in Berlin yet.

What’s your favorite German food?
Flammkuchen and Glühwein.

What do you love about Berlin?
The constant change. You might think you know the city but it constantly surprises you. I’ve seen Berlin change a lot over the past years. English is becoming far more widespread, as is paying with card!

…and what don’t you love?
The amount of craziness you sometimes encounter. Things can get a bit extreme sometimes, but then again – it’s Berlin – and I also love that there is that freedom. However, the Berlin winter and grey skies, not so much…

How would you describe the company culture at Delivery Hero?
Friendly, ambitious, and everyone’s very excited about food! It’s truly international because of the way the company is structured. We have employees from all our markets, not just Europe.

What’s a custom from your country or origin that your co-workers don’t get?
On New Year’s Eve we eat 12 grapes as a symbol of prosperity, one with every bell toll at midnight. For every grape you can make a wish. I do share that tradition with my friends here in Berlin.

Share this...
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn