Coming from a small town of Muktsar in Punjab, this is a story of a man who combined his love for food with technology and became one of the biggest names in the internet businesses in India. In just a couple of years, the company Zomato spread their wings in 23 countries and showed the world how implementation of a simple idea can bring about a massive chain.
Born to teacher parents, Deepinder Goyal grew up in an atmosphere that focused a lot on academics. After his schooling he made it into IIT Delhi, country’s one of the most reputed institutes, to take up an integrated M.Tech degree in Maths and Computing. Immediately after this he started working with a consulting firm Bain & Company.
It was a daily struggle to find answers to the most-asked questions “What to eat” and “where to eat from”. Deepinder and his colleagues used to wait in queues at the office cafeteria for a long time to take a look at the menu. By the time they laid their hands on the menu, they were terribly hungry and grumpy. Deepinder wanted to solve this daily struggle with the help of technology. He got the menus scanned and put them online for people’s convenience. This was in 2007 and his website FoodieBay started getting a lot of hits.
In 2008, his friend and colleague Pankaj Chaddah joined him and they worked on FoodieBay over the weekends. In no time, they had launched in NCR, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune and it was getting tougher to balance office alongside their business so they quit. It was becoming financially burdening to run the project without their fixed income now but luckily Deepinder’s wife got a job with Delhi University and motivated Deepinder to focus on his business.
Infused with a new zeal, the co-founders decided to give FoodieBay a makeover for international launch and named it Zomato in 2010. The new name eliminated any doubts regarding its connection with the the e-commerce giant ebay which was a must before they approached investors. the ‘z’ added zing to tomato and the name was unique and easy to remember.
Deepinder and Pankaj worked day and night to improve and expand Zomato which is the only reason behind their success today. At first they did not focus on having a business model or monetizing it but as they became popular, big restaurants would approach them for advertisements. Over the time, Zomato also began selling tickets to food festivals and culinary festivals adding another revenue channel.
They spent a lot of time and effort in hiring the right people and believe that it is the key to their growth. Today they have more than 2,500 employees all over the world who have made Zomato an absolute necessity for food lovers and explorers. The company was featured second in the list of top Indian start-ups of 2016 and have acquired several competitors over the years.
The founders have always stressed on the importance of creating value before generating funding or worrying about revenue. Their aim of solving people’s problem has given them a strong brand identity and made them a popular name in the industry.
Recently, the company was valued by HSBC at $500 million which is more than Rs 3400 crore! Founders Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah are leaving no stones unturned and this is the reason behind the company’s startling growth. Their dedication is the reason behind the extraordinary performance of their staff and comes across as an inspiration for all those who want to see their dreams live and attain great heights.
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