It’s been a little over three years since I joined Zomato, and it’s been one hell of a ride, an absolute kaleidoscope of emotions and experiences. But if I think hard about it, there’s one emotion that sticks out more than all the rest: Trust.
It’s been a thread that’s run through my entire time at Zomato, from my internship with the PR team back in 2013, all the way up to present day, where I’m involved with almost every bit of communication we send out. As someone who’s admittedly always had fairly low self-confidence, I often wonder how I got this far. The glaringly obvious answer, is the tremendous amount of faith shown by everyone at the company, be it Deepi, any of the managers I’ve had, or someone who just joined last week.
At a personal level, the trust has shone through time and again. Two short weeks after joining, I was asked to work on Collections. The product had been created, and it was now up to us, a brand new team of three, to figure out how to grow them in all our markets across the world. A year and a half later, I could proudly say I’d helped manage and scale something that we’ve been able to monetise successfully, and use for countless branding and partnership opportunities. During this, I too learned to trust the people I was working with — our content POCs did (and continue to do) a smashing job helping us curate collections in each of our markets, and make them what they are today.
An even better example is from less than a year ago. I left Zomato last September, for an ill-fated attempt at getting back to studying. Two and a half weeks later, I was talking to AG (Ashish Goel, our then-head of design) about coming back and joining the product design team as a UX copywriter. He knew I could write, and that I understood the product pretty well, having worked closely with it for over two years, and was willing to let me learn the finer points of UX writing once I got stuck in. Apart from giving it my all, the only assurance he wanted from me was that I wouldn’t leave (again) in 6 months, to go back to school. It was an easy decision, and I was on the next plane back to Delhi.
Around late November last year, even with a couple of months of UX copy experience under my belt, I still felt like I was adding nothing to the role. I needed to get every bit of copy proofread by someone else, and had little confidence in any of the stuff I was coming up with. One day, in a fit of frustration, I began drafting an email to AG, where I asked if I could start sending him end-of-day reports of what I was working on, because I felt I simply wasn’t adding enough value. Sure enough, something else came up just then, and the email remained unsent.
In March of this year, while sifting through old email drafts, I came across this one. And that’s when it hit me — I’d never need to send it out! In the 5 months since those first few stabs of self-doubt, I’d seen myself grow tremendously. Not only did the proofreading by others tail off, my inputs were soon actively being sought for things outside of product copy. Had I not been trusted enough to figure shit out myself, god knows if I’d even still be here today, writing this post.
And that is what trust can do.
It helps reinvigorate your belief in your own ability, and drives you to tap into potential you never knew you had. And perhaps the most heartening thing about it all, is that I know I’m not the only person at Zomato with a story like this. 🙂