Deepinder Goyal© HelloIndia

HELLO! 100 Most Influential: Deepinder Goyal

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Shraddha Chowdhury

Why he matters: Zomato took root in a simple thought: Deepinder Goyal saw a way to make lives easier. Today, he’s a serial investor with foresight and — if his Instagram bio is to be believed — a “delivery boy” for a firm that grows by the day! The man behind the manic momentum dissects the reasons he looks at every day as the day he started.

I didn’t establish Zomato with the intent to enter the startup business. The idea for a scanned restaurant menu website came to me while I worked at Bain & Co., where many of my colleagues would queue up at the pantry to look for menu cards, and ordering food was a highly arduous process...

So one weekend, I went around town, picked up all the takeaway menus I could find and put them up on a website — mostly in the spirit of service to my colleagues and others around me. At the time, my intentions weren’t for it to become the business it is now. I only did this because I thought I could see a way for myself to be helpful to people and make their lives easier.

Ultimately, the purpose of Zomato is to serve the community. It’s the same spirit of service that makes us what we are today. And till this day, we put in constant efforts to innovate and evolve, to better serve all our stakeholders (including our customers, restaurant and delivery partners and shareholders, among others).

A Distinct Brand Identity

It really wasn’t a conscious effort to build the “quirky” brand identity that Zomato enjoys today. What’s been a conscious effort, however, is the diversity in the team, which brings with it a variety of tones and cognitive quotients.

Diversity in every form (across age, gender, community, physical ability, etc), if given a seat at the table, can breed innovation and generate ideas with the power to shape our business. Perhaps our “quirky” online image is one such result of the open environment that comes with the heterogeneity we promote.

A New Man - With Fresh Advice

Over the years, Zomato made me more confident in my ability to lead a team and a business. At the same time, I also think I’m only 1 percent done, and my best years have yet to come - and they will, only if I continue to learn and evolve at a pace faster than before!

I read this book, Built to Last, in which the authors speak of rejecting the “Tyranny of the OR” and embracing the “Genius of the AND.” The former pushes people to think they can either do one thing or another, but not both... My biggest learning, as well as my advice to budding entrepreneurs, is that for long-term and sustainable gains, we should not circumscribe ourselves in paradoxes created in our own minds. For instance, it’s possible to pursue profitability and also have a purpose beyond that.

15 Years Strong

Our mission is to support people to live happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives, whether it’s through providing convenience, nourishment, or simply a moment of joy. Serving people is our end goal. We don’t build services solely for monetary gains. Instead, we make money to build services so we can serve our communities better. This mission, I believe, is our USP.

My Zomato journey has completed 15 years, and yet, in my head, I’m in the same place I started. I don’t really look back to deconstruct the path already trodden. Instead, I try to keep my focus on the present, with a continual aim to build a strong, sustainable future. Today is Day 1, and it should be forever…

To see who else is on the list, grab the copy of HELLO! India’s August 2023 issue right here!