Talabat aims to be the largest and most advanced tech hub in the MENA region

Monday 6 Dec 2021

Meet Yi-Wei Ang, Chief Product Officer – Talabat

Yi-Wei Ang, Chief Product Officer at Talabat

During his participation in Rise Up 202, Spoke to us Yi-Wei Ang the chief product officer at Talabat:

1- Tell us what a Chief Product Officer is and how different is it from the Chief technology officer?

  • CPO and CTO work very closely together - while the CPO works primarily on what to build, the CTO finds possibilities of new technologies to enable that vision.
  • Practically, there is a lot of overlap between the two roles - and that is a good thing. Product and Technology enable each other and are very hard to separate.
  • Very few situations will be in a conversation and the CTO is not there, and vice versa.
  • The CPO has a thorough understanding of customer desires and behaviors because they spend a lot of time with them and the people internally who serve them. They represent the customer internally, communicating, and learning through research and analysis, sharing insights with internal partners such as marketing and sales leaders, and encouraging the product team to talk directly with customers. The CTO must understand the customer too — although they often rely on the CPO’s research and learnings. The CTO must also apply their technical know-how to ensure technology applications reflect the way customers want to interact with the product.

2- Given your impressive profile and expertise, what do you think is the most important thing you bring to the team and operations of a large tech company like Talabat?

  • Team Culture. We want to consistently have a high bar for the people we hire, and focus on hiring builders who are passionate about solving problems for real people.

3- What is the vision of the product function in Talabat and what do you aim to achieve as you build the "product"?

  • We aim to continue to find new ways to serve our customers - whether that is in food, groceries, coffee.

4- What made Talabat as a product the number one app in the Middle East?

  • Obsession over our customers and making sure that they always have a 10/10 experience. We’re customer-obsessed and always strive to offer a seamless experience.

5- What are the new technologies or macro shifts in the industry that are very exciting for them as a CPO?

  • Q-Commerce continues to be a massive trend in the industry, and we are very happy that we are leading this space.
  • Cloud kitchens also produce higher quality food with shorter preparation times, and significantly decreases costs for restaurant operators.

6- What are the goals of Talabat as a product during the coming years?

  • As I said, we aim to continue to find new ways to serve our customers.
  • We also aim to be the largest and most advanced tech hub in the MENA region. We hope to champion our user-obsessed culture and demonstrate to the tech scene here that this is the recipe for highly scalable and successful tech companies.

7- Why do you think it's important to participate in conferences like Rise Up? What was your talk about? and what is your advice to young entrepreneurs building tech products?

  • RiseUp is the most interesting Tech and Entrepreneurship conference in MENA where the brightest Product, Tech, and Entrepreneurial minds converge. I think it is very important that we continue sharing our learnings, and also continuously be inspired by the work that other leaders are doing in the region.
  • Focus less on the tech, and a lot more about what problem you are solving. The technology is less important than making sure that there is truly a demand for what you are planning on building. Technology is the enabler, it is not the end in itself.
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