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Verve Man
September 02, 2015

Deepinder Goyal: The Big Cheese Of Zomato

Text by Ranjabati Das

“Ideas are a dime a dozen, but what really matters is how you execute them.” Founder and CEO, Deepinder Goyal, talks about Zomato’s new Online Ordering facility, and his mission to globally revolutionise the dining game

He is building a business empire – boosting the brand’s menu of offerings by adding online ordering, cashless payment and table reservation facilities. Deepinder Goyal has moved towards creating a complete customer experience which is no longer limited to restaurant discovery. The young gun is one big shot who is not only electrified by the boundless possibilities for web-based businesses, but also absolutely addicted to wowing the Internet.

Verve discovers the man behind Zomato…

On the birth of Zomato “I like to believe that I’m a geek, and it has more to do with my fascination for technology and solving problems than just a love for food. When I was working at Bain & Company, I got the idea of scanning menus and putting them on the office intranet, because we would waste a lot of time queuing up in the cafeteria to view a very limited number of menus.”

What’s in the name? “We decided to change our name from Foodiebay to Zomato in November 2010. It wasn’t easy coming up with a new name so we decided to do it democratically. ‘Zomato’ sounds like ‘tomato’, is short and memorable, and has a nice ring to it.”

Branching out “We have introduced Zomato for Business, a marketing and analytics tool for restaurant businesses. This year we’re laying a huge emphasis on transactions – right from placing an order online from the comfort of your home to reserving a table and even paying at a restaurant using the cashless feature on our app. We’ve also gone live with the Online Ordering feature, which allows you to see the status of your order so you know when to expect it. We will  soon launch Zomato Base, a cloud-based system that will allow restaurateurs to operate and optimise their services from anywhere. We are certain that we’re going to change the way people dine.”

Greatest inspiration “Steve Jobs.”

Biggest challenge en route “Finding people who are as passionate about the product, and fit in well with our working style and the culture we’re building here at Zomato, where going the extra mile, often on a very tight deadline, is something that comes naturally to everyone.” (Did you know that interested candidates can now join the company for a trial week, work on live projects and decide if they want to stay on?)

Entrepreneur highs “Knowing that I am building something that adds value to people’s daily lives.”

A start-up is… “Getting shit done.”

Fave apps (apart from your own) “WhatsApp, Twitter, Skype.”

A change post Zomato “I’ve definitely become a lot more disciplined about my time. I work from Monday to Saturday and on Sundays, I try to switch off and spend time with family and friends.”

If not Zomato, then what? “I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur and start something of my own. I have always been passionate about utilising technologies to connect people in the real world to make their lives easier.”

You stand by the fact that…“A good idea needs an even better platform and team to execute it.”

A trade secret… “Unwavering focus.”

Becoming a global brand “We didn’t write a business plan as such when we started out; instead, we focussed on building a solid product – one that people would love to use – and ran with the idea. Ideas are a dime a dozen, but what really matters is how you execute them.”

Working on social media “We keep creating content on social media that is easily relatable and reflects our personality. It helps to be truthful, and that’s what has helped us build a following over the years.”

Gastronomic favourites “I love Cafe Delhi Heights and Tonino in Delhi; fresh salads and raw pressed juices from Salad Days in Gurgaon; Terra Plata in Seattle and Hamdi Restaurant in Istanbul; and if I’m in Prague, I make it a point to stop by at La Gare.”

Recipe for success “I believe in taking action. If I have an idea, I weigh the possible outcomes, get inputs, bounce it off my core team, and then pull the trigger. I listen to people’s opinions but do what I feel is best for us. If you just sit and try to think about ideas, you’ll never be able to move forward.”

Most recent readThe Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz.”

The next big thing (in start-ups) “Hyperlocal deliveries.”

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