Get All Access for $5/mo

Rebranding: What Does It Teach an Entrepreneur! Roadrunnr bought TinyOwl, and post the deal Runnr went live with its Food Delivery app in July

By Sneha Banerjee

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Runnr

An acquisition in any business ecosystem garners a lot of attention from media and industry folks. But what happens in the pre and post acquisition/merger phase is something only an entrepreneur and his team can elaborate!

One of the most high-profile mergers/deals this year has to be that between Roadrunnr and TinyOwl. Speculations were rife about the funding situation and operational challenges at both these startups and the foodtech sector was also marred by valuation markdowns and weak funding.

Roadrunnr, post its acquisition of TinyOwl, the company (Carthero Technologies Pvt Ltd), transitioned into a food ordering and delivery platform. In July this year, Runnr went live with its Food Delivery app. The customer facing app allows users to browse nearby restaurants and order the food of their choice & have it reach them in under 45 minutes. The service is available in Bangalore and Mumbai now.

The newly formed entity also raised a new round of funds existing investors Nexus Partners and Blume Ventures. However, Sequoia Capital did not participate in this round of funds.

Entrepreneur India spoke to Mohit Kumar, Co-founder & CEO at the newly formed Runnr, about what it takes to reshape an existing company under a new brand name and the challenges of having to let go of valuable employees at the organization.

"The first thing that happens when an acquisition happens is that both the teams have to work together. If the teams can work together, everything else can be figured out easily, one step at a time," Mohit said.

"We pretty much were doing all the deliveries TinyOwl used to carry out six months before the deal, especially in Bangalore," he said.

Establishing a new brand name

Mohit said that having a new name is definitely a challenge because for the first few months you won't have a brand recall. One can still carry forward some of your old brand value, but you need to re-build 80 percent of it, he adds.

Talking about the good side of re-branding Mohit said, "When you are starting out with a clean slate, you are approaching the user with a fresh proposition. The perception has to be clear in the user's mind."

Letting people go!

Several media reports have speculated several job reductions at the combined entity. Without giving us any numbers, Mohit said that there layoffs have taken place and it was tough for a first time entrepreneur like him to tackle this situation. "It's tough because when you have a lean team, it becomes really hard to justify an employee as to why are we letting him/her go. We justified it internally saying it's good for the employee as well because he/she wouldn't be able to see a strong role in the company in the future as well, it's better to align him a new path. ...Obviously some of these discussions were emotional. What we did on our part was to get these employees hired using our network or even recruitment agencies," he said, adding that most of the employees were successful in getting a job within the 10-15 days.

Building afresh!

Mohit said that post the deal, the company has emphasized on putting together a supremely efficient senior management team who can help the company scale effectively. Runnr has picked executives from Nxtradata, Uber, Facebook and others.

Learning while re-building Runnr

On being asked about his learning from this experience, Mohit said that one of the most important things he understood from this phase was that as a leader, one must learn to communicate well internally. It is extremely important to keep everyone in the team aware about key company decisions and keep communication smooth within the organization, especially in a small team. The company is also working towards making the company asset light, putting together a business oriented sales structure and hire only based on the requirement.

With the strong promise of delivering quality food quickly, the Runnr has been scaling up quickly. Additionally, the startup will focus on solving office lunch problem through its curated meals section. Runnr is working on solving problems like Nutrition Information of food, Packaging for consumption at work place which have not been addressed by anyone in the industry so far.

Sneha Banerjee

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Staff, Entrepreneur India

She used to write for Entrepreneur India from Bangalore and other cities in South India. 

Entrepreneurs

Academic Excellence Is Not Necessary for Success in Life: Hear from the Founder of this Exciting New Digital Education Platform.

Many educational platforms are emerging these days to help people qualify for various types of entrance examinations. But what about the students who don't want to take the traditional path, the ones who don't rank among the top 10 in the classroom yet still aim high in life?

Growing a Business

3 Branding Strategies That Will Make Any Brand Stand Out

Here's how to differentiate your brand in three essential steps — understanding your unique selling proposition, leveraging storytelling, and valuing feedback.

Growing a Business

The Top 5 AI Tools That Can Revolutionize Your Workflow and Boost Productivity

Discover the top 5 AI tools for marketing and content creation that every marketer needs to know.

Franchise

Four Takeaways for the Franchise Industry From My Time at the Republican National Convention

Matt Haller, President and CEO of the IFA, says the stakes are high for franchisors and franchisees in the upcoming presidential election.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Science & Technology

No More ChatGPT? Here's Why Small Language Models Are Stealing the AI Spotlight

Entrepreneurs can leverage this growing tech to create innovative, efficient and targeted AI solutions.