Zomato has come up jumping through the hoops: It’s sauce is meritocracy

24th July 2021

24th July 2021

Zomato’s Deepinder Goyal (left) with Sanjeev Bikhchandani of Naukri.com (middle) and Mohit Bhatnagar of Sequoia on the day of Zomato’s IPO launch

"Zomato is now worth more than many bespoke large companies in India". The names don't really matter, what matters is that meritocracy has triumphed -in India, once again - over descendants of opium smugglers, public sector monopolies, random fronts for tax-haven funds and people who knew the right people and therefore received licences. Some of these companies have been around for centuries and some are in the throes of disintegrating. 

It doesn't matter what the past and present business model of Zomato was or is - whether it was the food line in a canteen or the emerging middle class delivering food they can't afford to eat themselves as of now. It also doesn't matter if the rules of the game change and adherences as well as compliances become tougher - which they shall. The secret sauce that Zomato appears to have as of now is the constant tweaking of emerging technologies to deliver what the supplier makes and the customer wants.

Unlike in the past with large corporates who would often reach a point of critical mass and then decide that there was no better way to do things. Zomato - and a clutch of companies like them in India, remain nimble enough to keep jumping through hoops. Which in many ways reminds some of us about the way the future for India really needs to be like - if Indians from India in India were given even half a chance. Unlike Indians from India abroad, the Indian in India has always got a raw deal as far as products and services for “Indian in India” were and are concerned.

Take alcoholic beverages, for example - the obvious next product for manufacture in India and delivery in India. The outbound India gets to an international airport in India, and it starts from there  -  she or he is literally assailed by aspirational foreign brands. Ours must be the only country where our own airlines, flying our flag, do not serve our own alcoholic beverages  -  despite the centuries of traditions, especially with fruit and flower wines. 

(Atmanirbhar Bharat: Union minister Kiren Rijiju complimenting Takhe Tamo and Taga Rita Takhe of Arunachal Pradesh for producing organic Kiwi Wine, Plum Wine and Pears Wine. )

The same with technology then - Zomato represents, after Tally, the new breed of globally and technologically known international brands from India - with a product on the ground wearing their T-shirts to add to the visibility. Kingfisher used to be one, too, but went adrift over time. Tasty Bites, which very few know of in India, has made its mark all over the world. There are some more - and they all have one thing in common  -  they emerged from ground level India.

Meritocracy is arriving. Has arrived. Bottom up. 

Will we enable meritocracy in India, via Atmanirbhar, some more?  

We have no choice if we wish to retain our freedom and not become coolies to the world again.

(Zomato began in 2008. Its’ co-founders Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah, became colleagues and friends at Bain and Company. They began ordering lunch by creating an online directory of restaurant menus. Soon enough their colleagues began using their directory to order food at work. A year later they had left their job and Zomato was born). 

Veeresh Malik was a seafarer. And a lot more besides. A decade in facial biometrics, which took him into the world of finance, gaming, preventive defence and money laundering before the subliminal mind management technology blew his brains out. His romance with the media endures since 1994, duly responded by Outlook, among others.

A survivor of two brain-strokes, triggered by a ship explosion in the 70s, Veeresh moved beyond fear decades ago.

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