What is Zomato all about?
Zomato is a restaurant discovery and search platform that gives us various details about a particular restaurant, with customer reviews and feedbacks. It is a platform for foodies to try out new restaurants, cafes, eateries, and provide their feedback. There are different ranking systems as and when they customers try more restaurant out and provide feedback. It also allows the restaurant and the customers to upload pictures of the food and the menu, thereby bringing in more customers through visual appeal. Zomato is a mobile application that was developed in 2008 by Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah
How Zomato came into existence.
Food industry is the highest money-making industry in India, Indians have traditions around food and cultures sown around food, with no doubt there are countless number of food outlets that have been coming up every now and then. But when you have a new eatery popping up on every corner but no idea what the eatery serves or how good it is, it might get confusing.
To solve exactly that problem the Zomato App was built. It is an app and website that consists of all the information from the pricing to the cuisine of all the eateries in the city. The rating aspect of it helps one decide and gauge the quality of the eatery. Hence, providing apt information about the eatery that one wants to explore.
It all started back in 2010 when the founders were both working in a consultancy and saw that people spent hours together staring at the menu card and trying to decide what food they wanted to order. That was the Eureka !! moment for the founders Deepinder and Pankaj from Zomata was founded.
About the founders and Co-founders:
Deepinder Goyal, one of the two eminent people behind the establishment of Zomata is from Delhi, after completing schooling he went on to study an integrated Marster’s in Mathematics and Computing from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. The co-founder of this organisation is Pankaj Chaddah who studied in Atomic Energy School, Indore and then pursued Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical engineering along with Deepinder Goyal in Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.
The two witnessing the demand for the paper menu cards at the consultancy where the were working realised the demand that lied in menu cards and food Industry. Although Pankaj Chaddah decided to move on from the company after 10 years of its establishment.
Valuation and Investment:
Zomato has been recently valued at $3.6 Billion and is said to be ahead of its direct competition Swiggy, and is trying to soon hit the $5 Billion mark. The initial rounds of Investments were majorly from Edge India and Sequoia Capital, the further rounds included other Investors like- Vy Capital, Temasek and also Alibaba’s group of financial investors, Ant Financials.
Zomato is also very smartly stopping more competition to enter into the market by acquiring close to about 12 other companies in the similar domain.
Journey so far:
The founders after realising the huge potential in the food industry, and the demand to acquire the physical copies of the menu in their office place, they started of scanning the copies of the menu and placed it on a website, the website very soon started gaining huge traffic. That is when the potential became more evident leading to the public launching of the site in 2008. Initially started with the capital of the Nation Delhi and then very soon moved to Kolkata and Mumbai. It was called Foodiebay back then.
In 2010, Foodiebay changed to Zomato, in order to look beyond food and confusion with similar sounding brands. What started off as a platform for both restaurants and connoisseurs to try all the different cuisines, price options, eye-capturing food photos, basically a blogging platform in the food industry, quickly diversified into Table reservations, POS and also very recently food ordering services has been marketed extensively putting it in direct competition in the food delivery giant in the Industry- Swiggy. The app was introduced in the year 2011, increasing zomato’s member base in multiple folds.
Obstacles faced and overcome:
Zomato has appeared in the news quite recently for multiple reasons that throw it in dim light. That shoes that it has not been a cake walk for the company to have been surviving and coming so far. The first controversy to have hit the company was when there was a security breach of the data and the database of the Zomato app consisting of about 63.5 million users was stolen. It consisted of telephone numbers of the users, email addresses and Instagram pictures too which were interlinked, but the issue was resolved by the company within a span of 48 hours. There was another security breach in 2017 and that was quickly fixed too.
There have been controversial marketing strategies that have created the buzz for Zomato, a delivery executive was found eating the delivery food and resealing it which put the company in dull light but the norms have been made more stricter to combat this problem now. The controversy about religion has been an issue they are having to deal with even to this day. The company has been handling it pretty well, especially with the tweet, “ Food has no religion, Food is a religion” that went viral and received many praises.
The biggest blow was probably when Pankaj Chaddah quit to start a different venture of his own, having been the biggest support system and co-founder of the company. But Zomato is still going strong with constant innovation and fixing issues. Currently, there are strikes about non-veg being delivered, especially beef and pork, hurting the religious sentiments of the delivery executives.
Read more about it: Zomato delivery partners to go on strike in Howrah, Kolkata
Future plans and Expansions
From December of 2018 the company has been extending its wing to almost one city every day. As of now they have their services in about 250 cities and they want to double it this year to around 500 cities. Around the world, Zomato has its tie up with 1.4 million restaurants and 24 countries.
Impact on the society.
Zomato has provided job opportunities to 1.8 lakh Indians who work as delivery executives for Zomato. Zomato has made the lives of 65 million users all over the world convenient since all these users use the services of the app to quench their food requirements.