May 14

SHIFT Initiative: Quench


Our first case study for our SHIFT initiative is Quench.  SHIFT serves to showcase business that has pivoted from a place of purpose and met the challenges presented by Covid with resiliency, determination, and a passion to make it work for themselves, customers and employees.

On-demand drinks delivery business Quench has expanded its service to include groceries. We spoke with Quench co-founder and MD Liam McCreedy on how the start-up re-engineered its app from an alcohol to a grocery delivery service. 

When did you decide to pivot the business and what inspired the change?
We have been working on the grocery delivery arm of the business for the last five months and I was inspired in creating a full integrated, all-in-one delivery solution. Given the current circumstances of the national lockdown, myself and the team thought there was no better way than to pivot the business to make an impact and help South African community during these uncertain times by offering the solution of getting their groceries delivered to their homes. The vision of an all-in-one app, doesn’t stop here – we are cooking up a storm at the Quench HQ.

As a start-up, what was the operational impact and what did it require from yourself and the team? 
On the operation side it required Quench to scale up significantly both on staffing in the form of our new ‘picker programme’, drivers on the road as well as management and allocation of tech resources.

What measures have been put in place to ensure employees can carry out orders from clients?
Quench software offers a seamless, fully automated ordering process, very little human intervention needs to take place. We do however have an amazing, fully equipped support staff unit who play a pivotal role in guiding and managing our picking unit and overseeing our interaction between the driver and the quench driver app.

Were the relationships in place that allowed Quench to venture into offering groceries as a service? 
We worked around the clock solidifying a good relationship with our grocery partner.

What do you think will come of the South African e-commerce landscape going forward?
I think there will be a radical change in the South African e-commerce space moving forward and I am certain that the current landscape has taught the South African consumer to become more tech savvy, which in turn will lead in an increasing trend of online shopping.

What advice would you give to businesses considering making a shift during these times?
– Establish your game plan
– Ensure you have resources to execute
– Don’t walk away from negative people, RUN.
– Stop at nothing to follow your dream.

What type of narrative would you like to see more of in our economic landscape? Have you come across anything you feel should get more airtime?
I think local businesses don’t necessarily have the resources available to grow as they would like to, in order to gain traction. I think too much credit is given to international companies in South Africa, thus making it the norm for South Africans to lean towards what is being perceived as a more superior market offering. My point is local business is not given the opportunity to prove itself against International giants, based in South Africa. Support local.

Watch this space for our weekly coverage of South African businesses rising to the challenge.

Get in touch if you need a partner in navigating the market.

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Download the Quench App here.

“Innovation is not about changing your product, it’s about changing your mindset. It’s not about doing something new, it’s about stopping doing something old.”