Online food delivery is one of the most loved concepts in today’s world. In our busily, entangled lives, the luxury of receiving our preferred choice of food at our doorsteps has almost been life-changing for the masses. Zomato, the industry stalwart whose name not many would miss recalling, has almost become synonymous with quick and comfortable food.
Growing by leaps and bounds each year, here is a look at the foodtech biggie’s recent stand in the market.
It all started in July 2008 when the Indian startup ecosystem had just started shaping up, with only a handful of Internet entrepreneurs in space. At that time, the two young brains, Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah, launched a unique restaurant directory or a restaurant search service, Foodiebay, which in 2010 was renamed as Zomato. The journey of the startup since then has been unstoppable. Growing ambitiously from time to time, Zomato has today become one of the most preferred and used foodtech platforms. Surely, there have been a number of ups and downs in the startup’s journey, where the downs sometimes shook the unwavering confidence of the founders. However, these tough times are actually the testing times for entrepreneurs, and Zomato came out of it all with a never-die attitude, battling each situation with the right spirit and strategy.
So, what was it that kept Zomato going? What was it that made them successful over the period of time?
Zomato was undoubtedly the first player in the industry to unveil the concept of online restaurant discovery in India. Needless to say, it established a quick connect with the consumers, with the help of various unique marketing and brand-building initiatives that it undertook. Usually, the first players in the industry win half the battle easily, as they are quick in earning a name for themselves. This first mover advantage helped Zomato sail through and rise irrepressibly.
Key Takeaway: Customers have a constant hunger for something new. Understand their pain areas and design solutions to address the same. Product differentiation is extremely essentially to survive in the competitive startup space.
Zomato carved a unique, profitable business model for itself right from the beginning, which helped them sail through even during tough times, including the period of 2015-2016, when the startup was experiencing significant losses. Today, Zomato has multiple revenue channels including restaurants listing/ advertising, food delivery, subscription programs, live events, White Label access, Zomato kitchens and Zomato Gold. It is continuing to work on many new business endeavors, with an aim to sustain profitability.
Key Takeaway: A strong business model is a key pre-requisite for long term success and profitability.
Well, in case you happen to interact with Deepinder Goyal anytime about his brand’s journey, you would notice he would never miss talking about his people. Out of the two things that he usually owes his success to, one of them is his ambitious team, which he created right from the beginning, and eventually kept expanding. Even while foraying into the international locations, the founders knew how to put the right team and people in place, who shared their vision, and together turned a mere idea into reality.
Key Takeaway: A successful empire can never be built by one person alone. You need to have people, and the right ones who could share your vision and walk the bumpy road with you.
The best thing about Zomato has been that it never stopped – whether it was expanding [nationally or internationally], designing new offerings, raising funds, acquisitions, marketing, engagement, etc. There were many troubled times in between for the company, marked by layoffs, period of losses, the rise of Swiggy, discontinuing operations in a few cities, exit of top management, and many others, where they never gave up. With a clear focus on the long term picture, it continued to penetrate into new markets, introduce new products and services – all at a firefighting speed. Soon, the company which took off as a restaurant discovery platform, gradually made its way into other areas of foodtech business like online ordering, food deliveries, table bookings, dining out offers, etc.
Key Takeaway: Keep your goal clear and never stop innovating. The startup industry now involves a high-risk game, driven by immense competition. As a startup, you need to be on your toes, imbibe and offer freshness at all stages, and never lose hold of your vision.
Zomato was fortunate from the time it laid its foundation, as it continued to attract great attention from a series of interesting investors, who pumped in large sums of money and aided the expansion and growth of the company. It was basically the idea and the unique business model, in which many saw potential. Coupled with this, the zeal and passion of the founders never went unnoticed, which kept the flow of funding constant.
Key Takeaway: Design a great idea and create a solid product offering. Funds will follow.
Zomato never lost sight of its competition. It always stayed one step ahead, no matter what. The entry of Swiggy posed a grave threat to its existence, when it entered the market with full force, riding high on online food deliveries. However, the foodtech giant was quick enough to switch over its model, getting into the realm of deliveries itself. Having the first mover advantage, it kept up its market share. The company continued to announce new offerings in order to stay ahead of its biggest competitor, Swiggy. Soon, it launched a unique initiative, Zomato Gold for all the dining out lovers. It has partnered with over 10,000 restaurants globally to offer either 1+1 on food or 2+2 on beverages.
Key Takeaway: Watch your competition closely, and always have plans in place to stay ahead of them.
The story of Zomato indeed is a real-life glorious description of how just an idea can lead to the building of a successful brand. The important thing to note here is that it is not just about getting that big idea, but executing and implementing it well that creates a larger than life impact. Having said this, the flourishing startup ecosystem still awaits some fresh ideas and fresh beginnings. It is the right time for entrepreneurs to dive in with something new. Get in touch with us and our experts will help give wings to your idea to design that perfect mobile app for your new venture.
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