Delivery Services

Locate’s CEOs Interview: The Outcome of Merging Shukah and Maeda Apps

In an interview with the CEO of the Locate App, Mr. Mustafa Eid, and the Co-CEO, Mr. Hussam Alyahya, the details of the merger journey between the Maeda App and Shukah App in the Eastern region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia were discussed, as one of the pioneering applications that have been merged in the Arab world. The interview includes a discussion about the genesis of the application, the story behind its new name, the stages of merging the two applications, the fate of the Maeda and Shukah applications after the merger, and the impact of the merger on the application’s trajectory and future plans.

  • What is the Locate App?

Hussam Alyahya: Locate is the result of merging Maeda app, which serves the Sehat area and parts of Dammam, with Shukah app, which serves the Al Qatif region and its outskirts. Its inception came during the COVID-19 pandemic, where communication led to the idea of merging instead of competing. Locate is an application or electronic platform that showcases stores, allowing users to browse participating stores, view their products and prices, and easily place orders through the app, benefiting from its multiple services.

  • Was the merger idea proposed before the COVID-19 pandemic, or did it arise as a result of the circumstances imposed by the pandemic?

Hussam Alyahya: The idea of the merger was proposed before the pandemic, but the circumstances imposed by the pandemic strengthened this idea. The general lockdown and movement restrictions led to an increased demand for delivery services, which spurred the merger of two leading market apps, Maeda and Shukah. The pandemic helped accelerate the merger process, as we realized the importance of collaboration to provide a better and more efficient service to users.

  • Was the Maeda or Shukah app funded before the merger?

Alyahya: Each app’s team exerted efforts to build, develop, and operate the app using their own resources to minimize costs and reduce the need for funding or financial support as much as possible.

Eid pointed out that both apps operated at the same pace until they reached a stage of self-reliance in running the service and transitioning to a more advanced stage to achieve the company’s competitive goals.

  • Why was the name “Locate” chosen?

Mustafa Eid: The name “Locate” was chosen to be suitable for any future e-commerce that could be added, not just specifically for food delivery. The aim of the name is to be comprehensive and flexible to accommodate the application’s future expansion plans. Currently, the app serves the restaurant, supermarket, florist and gift, and pharmacy sectors.

  • What are the stages after the merger of the two apps?

Eid: The merger of the two apps went through 4 main stages:

  • Legal Integration: This stage involved completing the necessary legal procedures to merge the two companies.
  • Financial Integration: Financial consulting companies were enlisted to merge the financial data and accounts of the two companies.
  • Administrative Integration: This stage involved integrating the employees of the two apps while maintaining a new identity separate from competition among employees.
  • Technical Integration: This stage was the most challenging, as it involved integrating the systems of the two apps without affecting the store, customer, or delivery driver experience. This was led by Ali Khatem, the CTO of the Locate app.
Ali Khatem - CTO of the Locate App
Ali Khatem – CTO of the Locate App
  • What were the challenges you faced during the merger process?

Alyahya: The merger process faced some logistical and technical challenges, such as integrating different data systems. There were some differences in the administrative cultures of the two companies, but these were overcome through communication and dialogue. Some employees faced difficulties adapting to the new work environment, but necessary support was provided to them. The merger led to some changes in the organizational structure, necessitating the redistribution of responsibilities and authorities.

  • How do you assess the impact of the merger on the employees of the two apps?

Eid: Effective communication is of paramount importance with employees during the merger process. Orientation sessions, team-building outings, and workshops were organized to build trust and enhance teamwork. Management made sure to listen to employees’ feedback and needs. The CEOs believe that the merger has led to the creation of a more diverse and collaborative work environment, replacing the competition that existed between them in the past five years.

  • What is the fate of the Shukah and Maeda apps after the merger?

Eid: The Shukah and Maeda apps are still operational to this day, but customers are encouraged to download the new Locate app through offers and advertisements. Locate offers a smoother user experience and has more advantages than the previous two apps.

  • What is the impact of the merger on the competitive environment in the delivery service market?

Alyahya: The merger will enhance Locate’s position in the market and make it a key player in this sector. The merger is not aimed at monopolizing the market, but rather at providing a better and more efficient service to users. Locate will focus on differentiation by offering unique features and a more personalized user experience.

  • How do you evaluate the customer experience on the Locate app?

Eid: Locate places great emphasis on customer experience, focusing on ease of use, speed of ordering, and tracking. Efforts are made to ensure the quality of service provided through the app. Locate continuously looks forward to enhancing the customer experience by adding new features and advancing its technologies.

  • What is your message to new users of the Locate app?

Eid: Locate offers a comprehensive food delivery experience through an easy-to-use interface and fast ordering and delivery. The app provides exclusive offers and discounts for new users. We invite new users to experience the app and discover the benefits it offers.

  • What if the merger between the two apps didn’t happen?

The CEOs believe that if the merger between the two apps didn’t happen, it would have resulted in continued competition between them, leading to wasted efforts and duplicated services. The merger helped streamline these efforts and shifted the focus towards expansion rather than competition.

  • What are your future plans for the Locate app?

Eid: We plan to expand to the rest of the Kingdom’s regions and add new services to the app. We will focus on providing a more personalized user experience and meeting customer needs. Locate will work on strengthening its partnerships with stores and delivery drivers to ensure service quality and expand coverage.

  • What advice do you have for young people who want to start their own projects?

Alyahya: The most important factor for success is believing in the idea and persevering in the work. A comprehensive market study is essential to identify customer needs. Focus on building a strong, dedicated team to serve the project. Don’t fear failure, but rather learn from mistakes and continue to evolve.

The #Listen_From_Them Podcast Comes to You in Collaboration with Inc. Arabia

Click here to watch the interview.

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