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Zomato's Financial Rollercoaster, Nearly Running Out of Money 6 Times in 15-Year Journey

Entrepreneurial Wisdom from Zomato's Leaders, One Day at a Time, Focus on Impact

15 January 2024

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Kunal Tyagi

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  • Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal reveals the company's challenging financial history, acknowledging that Zomato almost ran out of money six times in its 15-year journey.

  • Goyal emphasizes the significance of focusing on work and consistency, stating that the irony of money is that once it stops mattering, it starts flowing in.

  • The interview covers various aspects, including the difficulty of building businesses in India, insights on IPOs, Zomato's marketing approach centered on making the audience smile, and the company's unique initiatives, such as food donation and afforestation drives. Goyal's personal journey, including his openness about stammering, adds a human touch to the discussion.

Zomato, the food delivery giant, has become synonymous with convenience and choice in the Indian market. In a recent interview, Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal shed light on the company's remarkable journey, revealing that Zomato almost ran out of money six times in its 15-year history. Goyal emphasized the irony of money, noting that once it stops mattering, it starts flowing in. Despite the financial challenges, Zomato's focus on work and consistency has allowed it to weather storms.


Goyal highlighted the difficulty of building businesses in India, noting that Zomato's 15-year history is still early in its journey as a business. The discussion delved into the topic of IPOs, with Goyal stating that many founders view it as a scary process. He emphasized that building a brand requires a focus on consistency and the quality of service. Goyal shared Zomato's approach to marketing, where the only mandate to the team is to make the audience smile with every communication.


The interview also touched upon the personal journey of Deepinder Goyal, with a special mention of his openness about stammering. Goyal revealed that overcoming personal challenges required putting one step ahead of the other and moving forward in life. This vulnerability resonated with many, showcasing the human side of entrepreneurship.


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Goyal and Zomato's CFO discussed the dynamics of handling finances, profitability, and external pressures. They emphasized the importance of filtering signals and noise, staying true to the core values of the business, and focusing on long-term impact rather than short-term gains.


The conversation turned to Zomato's unique initiatives, such as food donation and afforestation drives. These endeavors were driven by a genuine desire to make a positive impact rather than a strategic move, reflecting the company's ethos.


As the discussion shifted towards the current state of entrepreneurship in India, both Goyal and the CFO shared insights. They encouraged entrepreneurs to focus on building impactful businesses, letting success attract capital rather than obsessing over fundraising. The ever-changing landscape of startups and the vibrancy of the Indian market were highlighted as exciting factors.


The interview concluded with a lighthearted note, with Goyal and the CFO sharing their views on the evolving Indian consumer preferences, the growth of the startup ecosystem, and the excitement of waking up to new challenges every day. The key takeaway was the importance of building relationships within a senior team, comparing it to choosing a life partner for marriage.


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