Fanny Letcher (Sesamo): “We’ve come to harass consumers’ reactions.”

French expat Fanny Letcher in Italy since 2009 is part of the adventure of Sezamo, an innovative startup newly founded in Italy that rivals major online stores.

Fanny Letcher

What road led you to Italy, staying there to work?
I arrived in Italy in 2009 with my family. I was then following my husband who was working in a luxury house in Padua, where we lived for six years. During this period I had the possibility of suspending my employment contract in France, but after benefiting from Dolce Vita in the region, I wanted to resume an activity. I settled in Milan in 2015 and immediately found work for an Italian brand at LVMH, still in HR. Then I worked on a beautiful project that unfortunately did not see the light of day due to Covid: for Printemps, who wanted to settle in Milan.
And since last year I’ve been working in HR for the Rohlik Group, a startup founded in 2014 in Prague – a platform for food and other products – and a very successful company. Since then, it has established itself in Hungary, Austria, Germany and now in Italy, starting with Milan under the name Sezamo. This year also comes Romania and Spain.
The headquarters of our structure is located in Milan, a few kilometers from Linate. The team had three people in November, and today we are nearly 100 employees.

Why did you choose Italy among the leading markets in Europe?
The conquest of Europe passes through Italy! But this market is also quite challenging for the group because the Italian food culture is so different and specific, there is a real passion for gastronomy unlike in some Eastern European countries. The service began in April in Milan, before being developed in neighboring cities, with the goal being to reach other major Italian sites.

How does Sezamo work and why is the service defined as innovative compared to competing food e-commerce?
Sezamo offers more than 7000 references, a number that reaches a supermarket. So we have a wide range of mass distribution, which differs from platforms such as Glovo, Gorillaz or Getir which are characterized by super fast delivery, but with less than 1,000 references, dedicated to emergency shopping.
However, our peculiarity compared to the supermarket, is to guarantee delivery in a maximum of 3 hours, while providing the customer with flexibility in choosing the day and time he prefers, for example at 7 in the morning for fresh bread for breakfast! The platform offers everything you could find in a supermarket, plus exclusive, regional and local products and even flowers. The ambition is to sell culinary excellence, Italian first, but also some foreign products, such as butter with Guérande salt, real fresh cream, French wine and champagne or Morbier cheese.
Our entire fleet of pickup trucks is also environmentally sustainable, whether electric or green fueled.

Is the Italian e-commerce market, especially the food market, still wary?
The online food market is still really traditional, and is now occupied by two types of players: pure player Digital companies such as Getir, Glovo and Gorillaz (specializing in very fast delivery of small groceries by scooter), retailers Retail classics. In total, e-commerce accounts for only 2% of the total food market.
If the market is in full boom, buoyed by the Covid that has been accelerating, it is still very limited in Italy. However, we are not afraid of competition because it is pushing in the same direction, which is digitalization to change consumer habits. It can be said that shopping is one of the well-established daily habits. We come to harass these reactions.

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