POSist poised for growth in Middle East
Mita Srinivasan
10X People

POSist poised for growth in Middle East

SME10x caught up with Ajay Singh, recently appointed CGO who shared POSist’s ambitious expansion plans for the region as they embark on reaching out towards the F&B and QSR community as it slowly recovers.

Ajay Singh has just been appointed Chief Growth Officer for POSist, a cloud-based restaurant technology platform. In this role, Ajay will head POSist’s global expansion and oversee the development of international teams. In this newly created role, Ajay will be responsible for driving a collaborative approach to digitising large restaurant chains and the Quick Service Restaurant businesses globally.

“Today nearly 60 percent of our (POSist) customers are global, and as countries open up, we are seeing greater interest from restaurant operators for a scalable tech platform to help them improve their bottom line. We expect our international customer base to double by the end of the year,” pointed out Singh.

Singh’s role in DAMAC properties as their Senior Vice President for its go-to-market strategy and was responsible for the brand’s growth in Europe, UK, the US, and Africa. With this expertise in scaling businesses, he would focus on creating differentiated solutions and capabilities for POSist, as well as gain and retain competitive advantage and market leadership across the sub-continental India, Middle East (where it has been present for a little over a year), Americas, and the UK.

In 2020, POSist ventured into four new markets: Columbia, UK, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Overall, the company added around 1200 new restaurants, taking its total customer base to 9,000 restaurant outlets in 30 countries. Some of its marquee clients include Taco Bell, Carl’s Jr, Jamie's Italian, Sbarro, and Millie’s Cookies, among others.

Singh pointed out, “We have seen a V-shaped recovery of our business in just about 10 months from March to December 2020. The positive indicators that we saw during the pandemic were that there was zero churns among our customers. As of today, we have recovered our business at 100 percent of the pre-covid level. The recovery has come on the back of our agility to respond to the needs of the market and focused on making restaurants’ bottom line efficient. We were among the first movers to build a full-stack solution for cloud kitchens, which has emerged as a business model that restaurants are now increasingly exploring. Our rate of growth in cloud kitchen technology for new as well as existing customers is much better than pre-COVID times.”

Some of the key trends that POSist has seen and adapted to during the pandemic include cloud kitchens, digital ordering and technology. And the company predicts that these trends will continue.

Cloud kitchens

Though revenues in restaurants are returning, online delivery still continues to be a major part of the revenue for operators. Restaurants are exploring ways to control their operating expenses such as rentals, electricity, and manpower costs. In such times, cloud kitchens or delivery only outlets are viable options for restaurants. POSist has seen a high demand for its cloud kitchen management software from large fine-dining operators who are now building a hybrid business model of delivery and dine-in.

This sector in the Middle East has come into focus front and centre with several operators like Sweetheart Kitchen, and Kitch getting funded recently. The global cloud kitchen market, worth $43.1bn in 2019, is estimated to reach $71.4bn by 2027 according to a report by Allied Market Research.

Digital Ordering

Contactless dining tools such as QR codes, touchless payment options, and digital receipts help restaurants maintain basic hygiene as well as optimize their resources. QR code technology has remained an underrated technology to connect and transact in markets like India or even the Middle East. POSist expects 80 percent of restaurants to adopt QR codes and online ordering technology by end of 2021.

Technology enabling expansion

As technology, delivery, and backend logistics capabilities become stronger, POSist feels that restaurants, cloud kitchens, and virtual restaurants will be looking to extend their geographic reach by 2022.

As it expands its presence in the Middle East, POSist has teamed with Dubai Restaurant Group (DRG) to launch a survey to assess the sentiments of the restaurant community in the UAE. POSist released a report from a similar survey they carried out in India at the end of 2020 for the restaurant sector in the sub-continent that showed that 40 percent of dine-in restaurants started delivery services post-covid-19. The Middle East has seen a similar trend at the beginning of the lockdown in 2020 and POSist hopes to shed light on how the sector is faring through its joint survey as it works with organisations like DRG to reach out to the restaurant owners to better understand the needs of the sector here.