Former Careem Growth Team Experiences

Customer Growth and Digital Marketing team back in 2019 forming sub departments of Acquisition, Engagement, Martech, Growth Operations, Performance Marketing, CRM and Analytics
  • We have and they were mostly related with increasing retention rate.
  • The second topic is we needed engineering and product support to launch our ideas such as focusing on High Value Customers and giving them an amazing service. This was a silver bullet over our competition with Uber.
  • Educate the team with deep technical skills
  • Make them pure full stack growth hackers whom can do multiple things at the same time (forecasting, budgeting, hacking, A/B testing, building bits of triers automation and understanding customer’s journey end to end)
  • Build the resilient growth mindset and spread this to the countries they work
  • Work literally 2–3X :)
  • Building/selecting or leveraging new or existing marketing automation or tools to drive automated long-term growth
  • Coding Events/triggers and following users’ journey by full automation to do re marketing/churn prevention and predicting
  • Implement connection between CRM Tools, Paid Performance Marketing, SMS/Email Notifications with Data Science Models
  • Build Lifetime Value of the Customer based on strong Data science & Experimentation
  • Keep the High Valued customers aka commuters inside our platform via subscription or promos that offer multiple ride discounts
  • Grow with amazing on ground, driver, payment, registration and on boarding experiences as well as in care by collaborating with other teams
  • Efficient spending and not spend to customers who would intentionally abuse your promos (use promo and leave)
  • Increase the overall lifetime value of the customer in all segments and breakeven profitability
  • Engaging customers at a sustainable cost. (CPAU: Cost Per Additional Usage) Calculating the incremental cost difference to change user behavior
  • Retaining Customers by amazing experiences and offers (Retention Rate, Churn Rate)
  • Building Mechanisms for locking and increasing usage (Loyalty) (# of loyalty Customers/Total Customer base)
Former Careem Martech Lead Baris, took the best blurred picture of the team, during my surprise birthday party. He is the VP of Growth in SWVL (They dont care of course how quality photographer you are but more how strong you are at growth :) )
Sercan in Kuwait …
  • Responsible for the Acquisition of right customers through paid and organic channels at optimal cost. (CPA/Cost per first usage)
  • Properly building the best on boarding experience and flow
  • Activating users with compelling offers or differentiated experiences (Activation Rate, DAU/MAU)
  • Increasing GMV, number of usage, & net revenue of new users
Team even met after work to have fun showed their analytical skills in the card and board games :)
  • We organized the same logic of Country Servant mentality to digital performance teams. If a person was helping a specific country to organize their paid ads, they teamed up with a Growth Hacker and Growth Operations Lead.
  • This lead seamless Digital Marketing, organic uplift and hassle free operations happening 7/24 365 days.
  • Growth Ops teams also worked to coordinate with countries any needs on analytical reporting and CRM coordination if they needed to send any marketing campaigns through SMS, Push and Email channels apart from their automated daily campaigns.
  • SEO/ASO handled centrally along with Adnetworks, CRM tool relations, API connections , attribution, re-targetting efforts and channel provider relationships as well as Supply team driver (captain) digital acquisition efforts.
Typical Customer Funnel view that we were applying and following the KPIs and metrics for over 100 cities in an automated way. %90 of the campaigns to pick these drop-offs were done automatically by the Growth engine
Work Hard Play Hard… We obviously thought it could be too easy to go nearby so picked up end of Deira to commute to reach a Bowling tournament :)
  • Acquisition and Activation. This squad hold the front for the first 30 days of the customer from sign up, registration, and till first ride.
  • Engagement and Retention. After 30 days all things related with increasing revenue, loyalty, retention of the user as well as cross sell to food and add payment methods were here. Decreasing cash usage increase wallet usage was also important
  • Growth Operations, Digital Marketing and Martech teams were supportive on these squads. Product marketing ran by Shahrukh
  • Payment related topics, care related areas from customer’s app were coordinated with separate teams. We had great time working with colleagues from Product, Design and Engineering teams such as Asma, Sven, Yasser, Luke and many to list down would be long…
  • All Team Members carry the Team OKRs together %100
  • All Team Members have min 15% of Personal Development and Learning OKR on Growth related topics aka attending the Growth Academy
  • All Squads have their stand-up meetings (Preferably min 3 times a week)
  • Weekly meetings on Sunday/Monday mornings for learning from past, planning the current and vision for future
  • Catch up Meetings Weekly (All)
  • Monthly Presentation of progress to Leadership as well in Company All Hands/Town Hall
  • Monthly OKR Review Meetings with the accountable teams (countries, interior departments such as finance, people team etc. )
The morning where the team is preparing to launch necessary comms about Uber buying Careem for 3.1B $, the highest acquisition MENATP saw till that time. Left to right; Furkan, Asma, Aditi, Sven, Wisam, Aurora, Simon and me.
  • Growth Academy. Everyone in the organization attended this. People learnt SQL to Python, Digital performance advertising to Business intelligence. It was a set of trainings with coffee and pizzas at nights after work. This led the team to harmonize the knowledge levels.
  • Best Practice sharing. Every Growth lead and hacker had extensive tests conducted for over 100 cities. every week these are shared and applied to other countries. No body worked in silos.
  • Meeting frequently outside work. Dinners, Lunch, bowling, cricket, football, American football, cooking together, celebrating birthdays in small and large groups was fun and made everyone have fun.
We even went to a restaurant, cooked for 40 people from scratch a 3–4 meal course :) Including a desert and hand made Gnocci :)
  • Country owners traveling to countries. We made sure the budget is allocated quarterly so people can go and meet with their counterparts. This made difference in country teams aka mountain peak and HQ coordination.
  • Hiring Tests and Cases. We had our own unique set of tests, cases and the way of hiring. All squads had also asked to see the people even they are joining to other squads.
  • Hackathons. We had 2–3 in 3 years. People had the chance present infront of founders or VPs. Careem Whatsapp Booking was launched during this hackathon as MVP and in less than a month was live.
  • Diversity. Customer domain was formed with 30 different nationalities of 80 colleagues. The diversity span was one of the best in MENATP region. We had the Flags of everyone on the floor making them remembering their countries all the time. Male/Female ratio at some point was 40% women again a good ratio for MENATP.
A Customer Growth 24 hr Hackathon in 2019 spring that cost us 50 pizza boxes :) The team ate like Gremlins… Customer domain was formed with 30 different nationalities of 80 colleagues. The diversity span was one of the best in MENATP region
  • Culture of A / B testing
  • Strategic experimentation framework/guideline
  • Accept the risk of experimentation. Ok with failing if it’s a learning
  • Growth is a process, a marathon not a sprint
  • Deep understanding of customer’s pains and desires is essential
  • Move not fast but super fast
  • Flexibility to change as you learn
  • Cross-functional teams; multiple eyes are always better
Growth is building like a Cathedral.
  • Blitz scaling Growth
  • People Engineering
  • Building hi performance growth teams



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emre tok

emre tok

Product. Growth. Marketing. Mobile. Former VP Growth Careem. xMicrosoft. Investor:, abwaab