August 24, 2016, by Elizabeth Smith

HungryPanda: The new kids on the block

In The Ingenuity Lab, no day is the same and every member has a different story and requirements.  As a group, we support each other, collaborate and ensure we have as much fun along the day; creating a melting pot of ideas!  Each week, we will introduce one of our exemplary members and their business to you!

We recently welcomed Kelu Liu into The Ingenuity Lab community, who is taking the food delivery industry by storm…

Age: 20

Nationality: Chinese

Company name: HungryPanda

www.hungrypanda.co

What did you study at the University of Nottingham?

Computer Science and Business Management

What made you want to be an entrepreneur?

Booking takeaway food online is a big market. There are several huge companies in the UK, such as Deliveroo and Just-Eat. They have different core customer and business operating models, but none I have come across so far cater for the Chinese market. More than 500,000 Chinese live in the UK because of studying or economic reasons. Many have a lot of disposable income, and there is a demand for Chinese food and products from the Chinese community, as well as others.

I actually had a very good job offer after I graduated, and some friends and family tried to persuade me to take the job and leave my business plan. However, I chose HungryPanda in the end and went from there.

I focused in Computer Science and Management at University, and believe the evolution of technology will empower all of us in exciting new ways. It makes sense to put my skills to good use, make my ideas come true and try my best to give the easy life to more people.

What is your business concept?

I want the business to promote the cooking culture and goods of China out into the world. Not only will this give people an easier and healthier life, but it will also fill the gap that current food delivery companies are not filling.

From left to right: Wantao Tang (Chief Operating Officer); Xin Wang (Marketing Manager in Leicester); Xiaoju Liu (Chief Financial Officer); Kelu Liu (Founder); Ting Qiao (Developer)

What stage are you currently at in setting up your company/business?

I’ve got a great team established at HungryPanda, many of whom were also students at The University of Nottingham.

The platform has recently been completed and the testing of the software is currently being conducted. The initial business model and promotional plans for HungryPanda have been developed, and trial operation will be happening from now until September 2016.

During the trial operation, we will correct the software errors and make appropriate adjustments to the business model based on feedback.

From September 2016, our team will start conducting large-scale promotion of the platform to increase the number of users and attract more merchants to join HungryPanda.

What challenges have you faced during the process?

Managing the logistics of delivering the food and products itself is a difficult task. Our delivery team are more than qualified to do a fantastic job, but we need to develop our delivery timetable further to ensure that we have enough staff for when orders spike. We have received some help from an experienced delivery manager already in order to do so.

How has being an Ingenuity Lab member helped you?

The Ingenuity Lab has helped me to make some new friends, many of whom are also managing their own start-ups. We all learn from one another, which is great, especially as everyone has experience and expertise is different areas. The Ingenuity Lab is the perfect space to work and have formal meetings, as well as accessing a range of mentors who advise us on business essentials from contracts and patents, to sales and marketing.

What are your goals for this year?

Because our core customers at the moment are Chinese, we will focus on promoting HungryPanda to Chinese markets.

However, by the end of 2016, the English platform should be built and from there we can promote to a more local customer base. We’re looking to promote HungryPanda across six different UK cities, increase the number of users and business merchants once we begin that process. Our target is to have 1,500 business merchants by the middle of 2017 and to be able to promote HungryPanda to more than 80,000 users. So watch this space!

If you would like to find out a bit more about HungryPanda and how to download their app, make sure you visit their website!

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