Interview with Zina Mavroeidi, founder & CEO


Zina is the founder and CEO of the online grocery retailer She has designed and executed all aspects of the business that started as a startup e-supermarket and has become a €20m business today. Previous roles include strategy consultancy at big four firms focusing on growth strategy and digital transformation. She is an elected member of the SEV general council and ICC Hellas. She was awarded the «Thalis o Melesios» female entrepreneurship award and was part of the “40 under 40” list of Fortune Mag for three consecutive years. She mentors students and women on career development and business launch and takes an active part as an SME in discussions for critical current affairs such as AI. We met with Zina and talked about her journey. Here’s what she told us.

Tell us a few things about e-fresh. How did it all start? How did you discover the market opportunity for your solution, and where are you today? is an online grocery retailer founded in 2015 . At that point, the e-grocery concept had already spread in multiple markets but was still untapped in Greece. From our perspective this was viewed a promising gap and a great opportunity to try something new and valuable for the Greek consumer.

We moved on to build a comprehensive online service that considered existing developments and current trends. We were able to apply our experience and adopt a data-driven approach in our decision-making with a strategy focused on convenience and innovation. To support this, we emphasized developing our product range as well as offering speedy delivery times straight from launch.

Today, is a well-established grocery player with more than 1.5 million orders delivered successfully to its customers. We take pride in the quality of our service which raised the bar both for the e-commerce grocery industry in Greece as well as for consumer expectations.

How do you differentiate from other similar offers in the market? What value does e-fresh bring to consumers and partners?

Even though was an innovative concept for the Greek market, there were plenty of examples of similar businesses abroad. This gave us the opportunity to leverage best practices, both from the e-grocery and the e-commerce industry in general that had already been applied successfully in other markets. At the same time, technology made great steps in areas like automation and robotics, and new methodologies were available for us to explore. This helped us form a service that utilized best-in-class technologies and previous success stories, eventually providing our end customers with some true competitive advantages. We were able to deliver quickly, in just a few hours from day one, beating same-day deliveries - and we did that even for last-minute orders. We used technology that kept our freezer compartments up to -25 while moving. Those choices and the technology behind them contributed to high-quality service and helped people gain trust in our brand. 

What would you consider to have been (or are) your biggest challenge so far?

Rapid growth can backfire, and this was always a concern. While a business develops, you want to support every customer in the same way as your first when things were slower and there was more room for mistakes. It is always a challenge to keep up the same level of service when a company grows, especially if this happens quickly. The same challenge applies to the employees who find themselves quickly doing a very different job than when everything started. Adjustments and solid processes play an important role in healthy growth, but re-design and re-investment are often needed.

What are the biggest learnings from your journey so far?

If we were to pick one, we would say how important it is to retain the ability to adjust and evolve.  Even if you are operating in a new, fresh industry, change, and disruption always happen around you. Technological innovations are now happening more frequently and faster than ever before. Both of these conditions will have an impact on the business model, and one should be very careful to keep a close eye on it and adapt to make sure that the change that is happening, regardless of our actions, is a positive one for the organization.

What do you think is going to be the key factor of future success for online supermarkets? Will the success depend on delivery service, the quality of goods, marketing, or other factors and why?

All of the above factors are reflected in the overall customer experience, which should be our main focus. People are different and, therefore, may value those sub-factors differently, but as the industry evolves, expectations are rising. What we now see as innovation will be part of a future minimum viable product. Even though the main consumer needs – for example, the need for convenience - will not change, how we address them will differ depending on the available technologies and other changes the future holds. How we use future tools and how we adapt will be the key to remaining relevant.


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