How Zomato Reached the Top One Delivery at a Time
Updated: Aug 9
Zomato Business Profile
The story goes that the founders of Zomato, Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah, were working in their office when they saw a line of people waiting outside a restaurant for a chance to see the menu during their lunch break, resulting in the idea of Zomato in 2008, marking a significant Digital Transformation in Food Industry.
Formerly called Foodiebay, the duo launched a basic website on their company network, which grew into Zomato, an app-based food delivery company, and restaurant aggregator, based on tie-ups with food service outlets in urban Indian metros such as Mumbai and Delhi. As they realized the market potential of their idea, they expanded to other metros and tapped into second and third-tier cities across the country, shaping Zomato's Business Strategy. In 2019, Zomato expanded globally to 24 countries.
The most successful businesses are built on the basis of solving a customer's pain point. Therefore, the bigger the problem, the faster the business growth. For Zomato, they targeted a crucial pain point - personal time! Taking the tedium out of waiting (read: wasting time) for one's food order while standing outside a food service establishment was a problem worth solving especially in crowded urban Indian cities. This tactic was part of Zomato's Business Strategy and is also a good example of Zomato's Competitive Advantage.
In the early years, small business start-ups like Zomato would've loved to have a 'magic 8-ball' that gave all the answers to what was coming up. But without sufficient data and years in business, that is just a wish. Zomato is a prime example of a business that started small, listened to the voice of the customer, stayed agile enough to pivot as opportunities came up, and got the concept of 'business scaling' right. Here at Delna Avari & Consultants, we like to impress upon small and medium business owners that the true test of an enterprise is its ability to scale its core operations and people while also being able to change with the current situation (read more in the resource links below). This is well-exemplified in Zomato's case study.
The food service industry is fickle, and the failure rate for restaurants is high. Given that Zomato earns its revenue through commissions on orders delivered and table reservations, they excel at keeping up with trends and engaging both sides of the aisle: the customer and their restaurant partners.
Continuing to scale up and move with market trends, Zomato successfully acquired Uber Eats- a food delivery service offered by Uber, in early 2020. During the Covid-19 pandemic, they used the opportunity to satisfy an increasing trend in food delivery by creating protocols for sanitizing, cleaning, and contactless delivery, as we can see in a Zomato case study.
At its core, Zomato continues to build on strong, forward-thinking company values by ensuring women make up 50% of their board, providing 26 weeks of paid parental leave to both women and men, and period leave to female employees. In addition, their non-profit 'Feeding India' provides meals for the unprivileged, and during the pandemic, they partnered with other such organizations to deliver much-needed medical supplies and oxygen concentrators to hospitals.
Starting their business by solving a relevant customer pain point and moving on to scale aggressively by following the flow of the market are the key aspects of Zomato's success story. Even today, they don't seem to lose sight of their customer's needs while also simultaneously contributing to the success of their restaurant partners, making sure to walk the fine line of keeping both sides satisfied. Underlying everything is an attitude of collaboration and strong company values - a true win-win for any business.