Six years ago, we started a little experiment now called Zomato. This month, over 30 million people will use this little experiment to ensure that their next meal is not a disappointment. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that all this happened in just six years.
Looking back, we loved our food too much to go with boring, predictable choices. Or worse still, take a chance with a poor one. So we built something that would help everyone discover more than the usual. Before we knew it, our colleagues and friends were using this treasure trove of information, encouraging us to do more.
When we were 10% of our current size a couple of years ago, we would have killed to get to where we are right now. And we’re in a good place, even though we are only 1% done. With some distance behind us, we had the time to ask ourselves a few questions – Why do we do what we’re doing? What exactly are we doing? Why does what we do matter?
When you are growing at a very rapid pace, it is important to have answers to such questions. These answers would mean a lot to all our new users and recruits. Today, we will try to answer these questions for our new team members, our users, our advertisers, and everyone else.
Zomato was built for the love of food – the one thing that stirs universal emotion (probably matched only by the universality of sex, sports and music). Our fondest memories are intricately woven with those of the people we were with, and the food we loved. Our food stories are perhaps the most told stories.
The best moments in the world are shared over a hot cup of coffee, a delicious meal, or a great bottle of wine. Cafés, restaurants, and bars have all been the original social networks, long before we had modern-day online social networks. Even as a team, we connect and share the most over a beer and a lamb kebab. Not over Google Hangouts.
We spend way too much time in front of our screens on the digital social networks, and we’ve stopped connecting with people in real life. But we believe that a good meal, along with good company, is where we find answers to all of life’s challenges. A bad meal, even with good company, takes days to digest. This simple belief about 'people and food' gives us our wings and purpose.
Putting down why we exist, is liberating. We want people to spend more time with each other than with their phones (ironically, by means of our app on your phone). And while we are at it, we will try to ensure that every meal, for everyone, is a great experience. We raise the bar for the restaurant industry by making restaurants accountable to their customers. We guide people to places that help create unique and memorable food experiences for our users, and provide a platform for critical feedback to reach places that don’t.
Meet the Heart, our new logo.
This logo transcends languages and cultures. It captures the story of millions of meals and experiences being shared with a vast global community of people. The story of ‘people and food’.
It signifies our connection with those who share our passion for food. People who love, and live, to eat. The ones who diligently chronicle their food experiences so that others are able to make better choices. Because people who love to eat are always the best people.
Our world has been, and will continue to be, built around conversations over great meals. History, whenever written, has always begun with a toast, followed by a feast.
So here’s a toast to you, and to us. The people who love food.