Deepinder Goyal worked in a consulting firm, Bain & Company, for 3 years. A lot of times in the company cafeteria, he had noticed a lot of people literally standing in a queue to check the menu. This experience for Deepinder Goyal became an impetus that led to an innovative idea. He planned to open an intranet on the company’s portal that would display the menu in cafeteria on a daily basis. Deepinder’s ambition to become an entrepreneur bolstered him to expand this idea. Consequently, Deepinder and his friend and colleague Pankaj Chaddha came up with website – foodiebay.com which is now Zomato.
Deepinder Goyal was born and raised in Punjab. He belongs to a humble middle class family. He is an alumnus of IIT Delhi where he had studied mathematics & computing (2005 batch). Goyal is an enthusiastic foodie. The entrepreneur had started an online food ordering portal after he passed out from IIT, but it did not work.
Goyal joined Bain & Company where he worked for almost 3 years. At Bain, Deepinder was working as a Senior Associate Consultant. He was one of the problem solvers in the organization. During his tenure at Bain & Company, Deepinder Goyal acquired the business acumen that he is famous for today. Deepinder believes in maintaining relation with his ex-colleagues and he doesn’t dither to reach out to partners and consultants at Bain for mentorship.
Even though Deepinder Goyal had a high paying job at Bain & Company, his insatiable urge to become an entrepreneur was always alive. He started a website called Foodiebay.com with his colleague Chaddha. The first restaurant menu they had uploaded in their portal was from Haus Khas, Delhi. Deepinder used to work 24*7 to maintain balance between his job and his entrepreneurial dreams. A need of expertise and expansion made him quit his job in 2008. Goyal went to expand to major cities like Kolkata, Mumbai and Bangalore after exploring Delhi. The service soon started getting recognition. As it was an avant-garde innovation, he went on to take the project to an International level. Later, Goyal and his Chief Operating Officer, Chaddha thought to tinker the name to make it more catchy. Foodiebay then became Zomato.
In October 2015, Goyal had to face difficult times. It was reported that Zomato, which had operations in 22 countries was readying to dismiss 250-300 employees, many of them in the US as part of global restructuring exercise. Later in May, Zomato again gathered attention when its annual earnings were reportedly low. However, Deepinder Goyal is a man who learns from his mistakes. He has shared lessons from the 2015 debacle on this blog which is worth a read for all aspiring entrepreneurs.
Millions of users use Zomato today but Deepinder Goyal refuses to stop. He feels there are still many problems in the restaurant industry that need to be solved. He envisions Zomato continually reinventing strategies to make life easier for people.
Deepinder Goyal’s life story may not be a stereotypical tale of a start-up enthusiast. However, his forte in technicalities and his business prowess is something that future entrepreneurs should emulate. His cool demeanour and progressive approach towards exploring the possibilities of restaurant industry is what makes him successful in his niche.