Fabian Wetekamp Head of Prod­uct www.dah­makan.com

Expatriate Lifestyle - - Techxpats -

Food af­fects peo­ple’s emo­tions more than any other prod­uct so we get a lot of love and hon­est crit­i­cism, which mo­ti­vates us to go be­yond our lim­its”

Let’s be­gin with what is the core of dah­makan’s busi­ness – tasty, healthy food de­liv­ered to your doorstep. The premise sounds sim­ple as it’s ba­si­cally food de­liv­ery and this is noth­ing new. Or­der­ing is done on­line or via the app, and there are dif­fer­ent cost-ef­fec­tive pack­ages. So what makes dah­makan stand out in this rapidly sat­u­rated mar­ket? It’s all about the food, ac­ces­si­bil­ity and to a cer­tain ex­tent, the pack­ag­ing (funky colour­coded lunch boxes). Healthy and tasty used to be an oxy­moronic de­scrip­tion but dah­makan has man­aged to find the bal­ance with­out sac­ri­fic­ing on flavour. Think brown rice, fresh lo­cal pro­duce, hav­ing daily veg­e­tar­ian and fish op­tions, and whole­some snacks.

Now, let’s get to the peo­ple be­hind the brand – Fabian Wetekamp to be pre­cise. With a back­ground in com­puter science and busi­ness, and en­thu­si­asm for build­ing things to make peo­ple’s lives bet­ter, Fabian found him­self trav­el­ling through Asia and lov­ing ev­ery­thing about this ex­cit­ing re­gion. So it was for­tu­itous that in 2015, a good friend from his stu­dent days in Mu­nich asked if he wanted to join a food de­liv­ery project in Malaysia, which he had co-founded. As Head of Prod­uct, Fabian’s big­gest in­flu­ence is the cus­tomer and lis­ten­ing to praise and crit­i­cism is what drives the di­rec­tion for the busi­ness. “Food af­fects peo­ple’s emo­tions more than any other prod­uct so we get a lot of love and hon­est crit­i­cism, which mo­ti­vates us to go be­yond our lim­its.”

As with ev­ery busi­ness, there are un­ex­pected chal­lenges and for dah­makan, a kitchen fire due a gas leak was a defin­ing mo­ment.to ren­o­vate the kitchen would’ve taken months and led to los­ing cus­tomers and worst case sce­nario, the busi­ness. Ev­ery­one from the kitchen helper to man­age­ment pulled to­gether to solve the prob­lem, and within three weeks, meals were be­ing de­liv­ered again!

Find­ing team mem­bers who share the same vi­sion is im­per­a­tive for a busi­ness to work, es­pe­cially for a startup. “We’re not just look­ing for em­ploy­ees. We’re look­ing for builders, smart mis­fits who pos­sess the am­bi­tion to build some­thing great and im­pact­ful,” Fabian says with con­vic­tion.to sup­port their be­lief that hav­ing the right team is so im­por­tant, they’ve im­ple­mented an in­ter­est­ing pro­gramme called En­tre­pre­neur in Res­i­dence (EIR) in­stead of in­tern­ships with the aim of en­gag­ing the bright­est minds from top uni­ver­si­ties; and it has been their most ef­fec­tive re­cruit­ment chan­nel.

When asked what it was like for an ex­pat in the lo­cal startup scene, Fabian says, “The scene is small but con­tin­u­ously grow­ing. Star­tups are very well con­nected and there’s con­stant change. Build­ing a busi­ness can be tough so it’s vi­tal to share knowl­edge.” There are ex­cit­ing times ahead for dah­makan and with Fabian’s in­nate pas­sion for the brand and what it rep­re­sents, they may well be­come the go-to healthy food de­liv­ery ser­vice in the re­gion... and it all started in KL.

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