ZOMATO- A SUCCESS STORY
“Wherever we are, there is always so
much more to do.”
shape the course of history. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention.
So was the case with, Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj
Chaddah while standing in the long queue for hours to look at the menu
in the food court while they worked at the Management consultancy firm in
Delhi, Bain & Co. They scanned copies of the menu and uploaded it on the
intranet of the company. The employees found it easy and convenient to use as
it saved them all the trouble and also saving their personal time which was burning
down when standing in queues for the menu.
Soon this website was made public and the menus of different
other cafeterias and eateries from around the city were included in the website.
He named it as Foodiebay.com, which displayed menus of restaurants,
ratings and feedback. After the success in Delhi, they expanded to Kolkata
and Mumbai where again they received an overwhelming response. Their services were
used by thousands of foodies and have been growing since then.
Foodiebay.com got great recognition. The founders decided to
revamp it with international presence. They chose to rename it to Zomato
(reason being, it rhymes with Tomato! Interesting, right? Also, to avoid
getting confused with the famous website eBay).
No success comes without initial hiccups. The most difficult struggle the company had is
to face how to cover all the streets and all the restaurants and cafes, in all
the major cities so that the people who rely on them do not miss out on the
best eateries in town. Since inception they faced this issue, but the founders
along with the team members left no stone unturned, in all their efforts to
make it better. The founders themselves went out in the scorching heat of the
summer, to take the details of the eateries.
having enough recognition, now it was time for the founders to make the service
even more user friendly, founders built a mobile application so that they could
use it on-the-go. However, lack of funds was a major concern. Notwithstanding this,
Funds flow when the idea is good. Zomato interested the founder of Naukri.com
Sanjeev Bikhchandani and he provided initial funding of US$ 1 million through Info
Edge. The following year came with funds worth US$ 2.5 m 2012. It continued
till it became a holder of more than 50% stakes in the start-up. Now there was no
stopping for Zomato. Funding also came from Sequoia Capital, Vy Capital and
in all, Zomato has raised a total of US$224 million.
they focused was on a better experience for the customers with the ratings and
the detailed description. The funding gradually became easier when restaurants started
advertising themselves for a fee. Also, sales of tickets to food festivals and
culinary fests brought about huge revenue.
fast delivery and introduction of cashless transactions, they absolutely
changed the landscape of a customer’s ordering preferences. With big data and
analytics, they can easily get the likings and disliking of a customer and most
viewed products or restaurants and suggest and create an even better
experience. The implementation of new ideas is one of the many things
which have paved the path to success for them.
company was also focusing on its expansion plans at the same time.
was running successful in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune. Now
expansion plans were for Chennai, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad till 2011. Zomato launched applications for iOS, Windows
Phone and BlackBerry devices. Zomato went international in September
2012 when it launched its services in Dubai, UAE. This followed suit
by entering into Sri Lanka, Qatar, United Kingdom,
Philippines, South Africa, New Zealand, and Turkey.
started its spree of acquisition with New Zealand’s
‘Menu-mania’ in July 2014. The company started acquiring in Europe,
acquired online restaurant firms ‘Lunchtime.cz’ from the Czech Republic and
‘Obedovat.sk’. Zomato acquired Seattle-based food portal ‘Urbanspoon’ in
January 2015. Then, it went on to acquiring Mekanist. Zomato
acquired NexTable, a U.S.-based restaurant reservations and table-management
Within 7 years of Zomato’s struggle, the company has made a
whooping presence felt in 22 countries, covering more than 1 million
restaurants spread across 10,000 cities. Undoubtedly, Zomato has evolved
itself to be India’s first global application and yet strives to be better.
Apart from being an online restaurant search and discovery
platform, Zomato has envisioned to provide a basket of services- cashless
payment, online ordering, white-label apps, table reservation, and
However, nothing great comes without struggle. According to
an internal source, it was mentioned that Zomato might fail to meet its sales
target for 2015. Moreover, lately there has been a lot of turbulence in the
food-tech industry. An intense competition in the market and fund squeeze
is regarded to be the main factor causing this turbulence. This is quite
evident from the fact Zomato had decided to layoff around 300 employees (about
10% of its workforce), many of them in the US, as part of what the company is
calling as Global Restructuring.
Another mistake was starting food delivery in 14 cities hurriedly,
out of which 4 had to be shut down within a couple of months. It also
suffered a security breach with over 17 million users’ data leaked. However,
they managed it well and got the hacker caught.
Zomato’s success lies in its
marketing tactics and in-depth knowledge of their competitors. Zomato aims to
be a place for the foodie’s hangout.
Currently, the team is eliminating competition by now launching Zomato Gold in India. It is a
membership programme for premium dining out and social drinking experiences.
The programme works as an exclusive dine out and social drinking membership
service that gives the users special perks like a complimentary dish, two
complimentary drinks every time they choose to drink or dine at any of the
Zomato Partnered restaurants in India.
All in all, the story teaches us that
hustle on its own, is bad. Hustle should be backed by logical thinking. Zomato
is on its way upwards, if it manages and tactfully handles competition and