‘Pizza Hut believes in sales overnight and brand overtime’

At Screenage 2021, Vipul Chawla, President, Pizza Hut International (Yum Brands), shares his thoughts about improving the mobile app experience by putting the customer at the heart of the product

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Oct 26, 2021 8:57 AM
inmobi

The exchange4media group hosted Screenage 2021 last Friday on the theme ‘The next wave of mobile growth’. With mobile marketing taking centre stage in the post-pandemic world, the importance of a seamless and user-friendly mobile app experience has grown exponentially. Along similar lines, the conference witnessed a fireside chat on “Improve your mobile app experiences by putting the customers at the heart of the product” where Vipul Chawla - President - Pizza Hut International (Yum Brands) shared insights with session chair Nawal Ahuja, Co-founder & Director, exchange4media Group. 

Opening the session, Ahuja quizzed Chawla about the key changes that technology brought about at Pizza Hut and Yum Brands. Said Chawla: “The pandemic has in many ways been devastating obviously for everyone including our frontline staff, but it has also validated many many trends that we already saw coming, one of them being the use of digital in the way consumers interact with our brands. In January last year, Pizza Hut International had about 20% of its business online, as of last month 55% of our business is online. We have seen a tremendous shift. We were able to emerge stronger out of it and the reason behind it was that we start with our people, we look after our people and customers and business takes care of itself.”

According to Chawla, Covid-19 and all the circumstances have given leaders across the globe the mind space to think far more liberally about the ways in which they approach work. Further sharing the major takeaways as a leader, Chawla added, “Just the way in which we worked has changed quite significantly and some of these changes are lasting. This has taught all of us in leadership roles a sheer level of flexibility in the way we look at conventional models of working. The future of work, the concept of hybrid working is now permanent. The level of empathy and understanding that we can work in a different tone and manner. We have also assumed that we have to be in the same space to collaborate, but now that can be done remotely and that holds more inclusive benefits.” 

While the pandemic has in many ways shaken up the way organizations function and interact with the consumers, ideally, the fundamentals like brand purpose should be held on to. Sharing insights on what happens to the brand purpose in events like these, Chawla shared “What we are doing at Pizza Hut is that we are saying ‘We love Pizza and we want to share it with the world’. Whatever we do, we do for the love of Pizza. In the last few months, we have seen various instances of inequality be it in terms of incidents or in terms of access to resources. Therefore, we at Pizza Hut asked ourselves what could our purpose be, so the simplest articulation of our purpose is that we will serve an equal slice to everyone. The articulation and expression of that are that in the UK, we are giving underprivileged franchises of colour the resources to enter our brand. In Sri Lanka, we have stores where the staff is differently-abled and those stores are the ones with best-operating metrics. We have similar stores in Delhi now. So ‘an equal slice for everyone’ is spreading globally.” 

Pizza Hut and Yum Brands believe in SOBO - Sales Overnight and Brand Overtime where sales overnight are based on operating metrics while brand overtime is built on purpose according to Vipul Chawla. 

Commenting on the unlearning and relearning journey towards a food-tech brand, Chawla explained “For years, brand builders and marketers have believed that we have to make the experience better. What we have learnt in the last five to ten years is that consumers across the world with the emergence of technology favour ease over better, therefore, easy beats better. The reason behind this pivot towards digital for us is the fact that our largest store is this mobile phone in my hand and it’s our most democratic and federal store. The reason is that it provides ease and that’s the biggest seismic shift that has happened.”

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