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From delivery and eating out to managing restaurants’ supply chain, Zomato wants a bite of all things edible

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Zomato has been in business for 10 years now, but in the past year it has diversified into areas where its competitors are yet to make inroads. Its entry into the supply chain business could be a game-changer if it succeeds.

Zomato Founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal is a man on a mission. He wants people to stop cooking every day. And in an era where wallet-conscious consumers are also more health-conscious and concerned about the quality of the food they eat, he knows it’s not an easy sell. And then there’s competition in the form of Swiggy, UberEats, FoodPanda, etc. Those challenges, however, seem par for the course.

Deepinder sums up their ambition when he says, “It isn’t only about delivery or listings or the supply anymore - it is about everything (related to food and food delivery).”

In the past 15 months, Zomato has created a presence for itself beyond food delivery into eating out, food pickup, and even the supply chain.

A year back, it announced Zomato Gold, its subscription programme, which allowed customers to get steep discounts and free dishes at a long list of restaurants. Its loyalty programme, Piggybank, was launched in July this year. Two months later, it acquired TongueStun for $18 million to enter the canteen aggregation place. In October, it acquired WOTO, a raw materials and ingredients supplies platform for restaurants, now rebranded as HyperPure.

To some, it might seem like too much, too soon, and the flurry of activity at their Gurugram headquarters at 3.00 pm on a Thursday afternoon certainly seems to reinforce it. But as an employee assures me, “This is how we work here. It’s always like this!” And once I meet Deepinder in person, I realise that the hustle and bustle is all part of a clear strategy, internally referred to as Triple A and Q (AAA Q).

“Assortment, Affordability, Accessibility and Quality – it is about being a part of every value in the food chain and being a complete food business,” explains Deepinder.

Zomato started life as a restaurant review platform. In the decade that followed, it has repeatedly upped the ante in food tech. In 2015, it ran a small pilot in delivery and then plunged in full time into a space where rival Swiggy had the first-mover advantage. One of the As stands for Assortment, and yet, Zomato has stayed away from the cloud-kitchen model that Swiggy started, much to the dismay of several restaurant partners.

We have been saying this for three years. We work for the restaurant partners,” says Deepinder. And supply for Zomato works differently: “It is about helping restaurant partners grow. We are even adding........

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