Written By Manvi Agarwal (Grade 12)
Today, it is practically impossible for us to survive without the existence of a helping hand like Zomato. Try imagining a situation, approximately fifteen years back when you are stuck at home – alone clueless and hungry. It would be so wonderful if you could just browse through your phone and order food from your preferred restaurant and it is delivered to your doorstep, without any toil on your part. We have been enjoying this luxury daily by availing of the facilities and services offered by Zomato.
How it all clicked?
Founded by two IIT graduates – Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah in Gurugram in 2008, Zomato is a restaurant search and food delivery company. It had been discovered at a time when consumers had to regularly contact the restaurants to place orders or to inquire about the directions and the table reservations. The birth of this multi-national company took place when the founders, from their office in New Delhi, observed people tirelessly standing in lines waiting for the printed menu cards of restaurants. Thus Zomato under the name of ‘Foodiebay’ was started by uploading soft copies of menu cards and contact details of various restaurants on the website. Touch-screen smartphones and the internet had not evolved much by that time, and restaurants had their menus printed on paper flyers. According to research, India’s internet penetration rate was less than 5%.
The path that followed after the establishment
Before the establishment of Zomato, Goyal had faced failure in his earlier venture ‘foodlet.com’ that offered online food delivery. Thus, with Zomato, he wanted to improve how Indian consumers discovered and consumed food. Starting as a review platform, it has reversed the entire scenario and today it is a global food-tech brand. The free and real user reviews assisted the company in building a strong marketing and user base. It ventured into food delivery after having gained the customer’s trust. In less than two years, it had acquired more than 2 million followers and approximately eight thousand restaurants had registered themselves on its website.
In 2010, Foodiebay renamed itself Zomato as it was easy to remember and avoided confusion with eBay. Its objective was to help hungry Indians discover food nearest to their location and leave user reviews about their experience. Not before 2015, did it enter into the food delivery section for mainly three reasons. Firstly, it wanted to build the user’s trust in its brand before entering an entirely new sector. Secondly, there was a lack of demand for online food delivery. Lastly, there was a non-availability of sufficient food delivery agents.
Why it works?
Zomato’s food delivery was successful as it solved both the consumer and restaurant’s issues. It increased the reach of the restaurants that could not afford a complete delivery system. As far as the consumers were concerned, it aided them in finding the best places serving a dish of their choice. Consumers that were travelling daily were assisted in finding better restaurants nearby. Choosy and finicky consumers were provided with more filters to choose the right place to dine in according to their moods. It served as an alternative option for all housewives who wanted a break from cooking and the working women who don’t have the time to cook daily. The young millennials at home and the working class in the metro cities were provided with food daily with the help of Zomato.
What lies ahead for this unicorn
Zomato has always focused on fulfilling the needs of its users by giving them their desired food in the comfort of their homes on time. Its mission has been to ensure nobody has a bad meal and it has victoriously achieved its goal. Thus, Zomato with its consumer-focused strategies has created history in the user internet market.
Ten years down the line, Zomato would surely redefine the future of the food industry. It might soon enter the dining sector or any other sector and bring about revolutionary changes in it. Who knows in future we may be able to relish the food of another city or country from our homes? If it continued to progress and hustle in the same manner, there may come a time when not a single Indian would have to suffer from hunger and fatigue.
Featured Image Courtesy – CNBC