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Zomato’s Deepinder Goyal explains why it’s important to ‘be solution-focused and not problem-focused’

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Speaking about his 10-year journey, Zomato Founder Deepinder Goyal explains why he wants to own the value chain, how being hands-on helps and why intellectual honesty is critical to startup success.

Starting up at a time when the words startup and foodtech didn’t exist, Zomato has grown into a unicorn valued at $2.3 billion and has raised $600 million in funding. Yet, over the 10 years of its existence, the company’s focus has been just one: to make food more accessible to the consumer in every way.

It is 3 pm, and I am sitting at Zomato’s headquarters in Gurgaon, waiting for its reticent Co-founder and CEO, Deepinder Goyal, to arrive. I may have covered more than 1,500 startups, but this is a story I’m especially looking forward to.

Deepinder is known to be guarded. I’ve heard his answers are on point, but I need more than that. Soon, he walks in and greets me with a warm smile and a firm handshake.

We get down to brass tacks immediately. A lot is happening in the foodtech space again after 2015 - and the market seems to be growing. “I think the market was already there; different people needed to find out what really works. Many companies went out of business in the foodtech space without having a correct product-market fit. Others that found a product-market fit are fighting it out,” Deepinder says.

Conquering the value chain

Zomato is growing ambitiously. Apart from the launch of Zomato Gold and Zomato Pickup, the company grabbed attention with its entry into the “farm-to-fork” model with HyperPure, a supplies platform that sources ingredients for restaurant partners.

It started with the acquisition of Bengaluru-based startup WOTO a few months back, which was renamed HyperPure, and pilots are on in Bengaluru. But sourcing is a tough game. So why venture into so many different things?

“It is all about being a part of every value in the food chain. Zomato needs to be a complete food business; that means owning the complete chain. The idea is to get better food for more people every day. In the process, we need to work and partner with our restaurant partners, and give them solutions,” Deepinder says.

When asked for a more detailed explanation on future plans beyond the farm-and-fork model, he candidly replies: “I can’t tell you. Two years back, I would have........

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