Srdjan Stanković, Managing Director of Donesi for Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro: Everything you need for everyday life

Customers love Donesi because our brand has always been dedicated to them, and that is the principle we have been consistently implementing for years

Our brand was created almost 15 years ago and at that time was noticed for its “fresh” visual identity and innovative service, that is online food ordering. After more than 10 years in business, we have decided to do a rebranding and the reactions have been really great.

Srdjan Stanković, Managing Director of Donesi

The crisis has seen us all unprepared. How did you cope in the first months of the crisis and what was the biggest challenge?

The first months (of the pandemic) were dynamic, primarily because the restaurants were extremely cautious when it came to doing business in new conditions. We quickly reorganized our team, and the experiences of our colleague from abroad were very useful to us. Since Donesi is a member of the Delivery Hero Group, which operates in over 40 countries on four continents, we were guided by the experiences of colleagues from Europe (Greece, Hungary, the Scandinavian countries) and Asia, and we were ready to implemented the measures introduced by the Government. We even participated in devising the measures by transferring the experiences from other countries in which we operate to our collaborators from the Prime Minister’s cabinet and the Chamber of Commerce and thus contributed to the amortization of the situation. The biggest challenge was to motivate restaurants to continue working, so we tried to support them with both advice and financial relief.

Food and other product delivery services and applications are becoming increasingly popular. The Donesi platform is still the leader in online food ordering. What novelties have you prepared for us?

Customers love Donesi because our brand has always been dedicated to them, and that is the principle we have been consistently implementing for years. In order to personalize the service, we have recently offered billing for delivery in line with the distance between the customer’s address from the restaurant. Our offer is expanding daily, and Donesi has become a comprehensive service which is used by the most popular restaurants, supermarkets and pharmacies which products are just a click away from you. We are preparing many more novelties, such as tracking orders, which we launched a few days ago, but also promotions with our strategic partners.

E-commerce recorded a 48% growth in the first half of this year. How does that affect your sector and are you satisfied with your results?

E-commerce was gaining momentum even before the new normal emerged, while the events in the months behind us were only a catalyst for development and change. The market is increasingly becoming more mature and more people are turning to e-shopping. For most, it will be a point-of-no-return in the sense that they will not rely on the traditional way of buying (and selling) to the same extent as before. These changes bring with them more work for software developers, as well as for people involved in the logistics and delivery process, etc.

How did the company decide to rebrand after more than 10 years in business? What feedback did you get?

As Donesi developed and introduced new options, a need arose for a more dynamic visual identity, which would best highlight all the benefits of our service. Today, we are no longer a food ordering application, but by using Donesi you can order practically everything you need for everyday life – food, products from supermarkets and pharmacies, wine or the best home-brewed beer. All this arrives at your address quickly, thanks to Donesi delivery, and you can track the order before it is delivered. The new look of our brand reflects that diversity, speed, practicality and constant pushing of boundaries. The feedback we got was positive, and our customers accepted the change quite well. This makes us extremely happy since radical changes like this are often met with resistance.

Good and bad news after COVID-19: is there a light at the end of the tunnel in 2020?

The bad news is that the new normal will be a reality for some time to come, which will negatively affect some branches of the economy. Although many hoped that the world would find it easier to stand in the way of the coronavirus, the way everything unfolded shows the opposite and suggests that these are the circumstances in which we will do business until further notice. The good news is that many brands have managed to adapt their business to the new circumstances. This, in most cases, required a change in the way we work or spending resources on information systems, but as it turned out, it was possible to ensure business continuity and do a large number of jobs online and from home.

What makes a team successful in circumstances that are different from the ones we are used to?

I believe that the strength of the brand is reflected in the people who work for it because challenges are much easier to overcome if you have a dedicated and professional team. Team spirit is something we are continuously “practicing”, not only in time of crisis. I am glad that I can say that both my colleagues and I believe in what we do, and we believe in that idea 365 days a year. We have a quote displayed in our office in Belgrade which says: “On this team, we fight for that inch.” This is from the movie ‘Any Given Sunday’ with Al Pacino who says that line when he tries to motivate his team. The whole line goes like this: “Life is just a game of inches, so is football. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They are in every break of the game, every minute, every second! On this team, we fight for that inch.” That proverbial inch is the secret of success.

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