So what if Zomato is just a menu card scanner?

Deepinder Goyal must quit, and Zomato must be shut. So one must infer from Rahul Yadav of Housing.com’s comments on his recent Reddit AMA, where he takes a dig at Deepinder Goyal of Zomato citing “A company scanning menus from last 7 years and doing no innovation. And the CEO says ‘Aww. So cute.’ ”  Rahul went on to make a meme and posted it on his personal Facebook page that compares Deepinder to an office scanner.

And the Aww. So Cute mention by Deepinder is a story by itself!

Housing CEO Rahul Yadav takes dig at Zomato's Deepinder Goyal in his Reddit AMA

 

Im no fan of Zomato or Deepinder, nor do I have anything for or against Rahul Yadav.

Then why im I writing this? Its just to give my perspective on why Zomato is innovative even if they just continue to scan restaurant menu cards:

  • Zomato was born out of the need, a need so basic that falls under the 3 essentials of life- Roti, Kapda aur Makaan. (Food, Clothing and Housing). Duh! you are already getting the picture? Zomato is a simple web innovation that has addressed a basic problem of frustration we all face when wanting to find a right place to eat.
  • Housing.com provides people with better choices of homes by ‘scanning’ for vacant homes,  Zomato provides people with better choices of places to eat by ‘scanning’  restaurant menus. If the latter is not innovative then the former isnt either!
  • Zomato’s menu card scanning has gone to such grass-roots level that you can feel the impact first hand. Consider this –  I once called a street-food vendor near my Tardeo office – Mamajis-grill-and-pizza & asked what they got? the vendor’s response stunned me. He said ‘Sir, aap Zomato mein dekho aur wapas call karo’ (Sir, check on Zomato and call us back).
  • If Zomato’s innovation is just ‘scanning’, then so be it. It has kept them on top for years now. When was the last time you checked Burrp or Times food guide? (see data from comScore below.) The numbers speaks for itself.
Zomato (blue line) vs Burpp. Total Unique Visitors (000) Trend. Source: comScore - March 2015

Zomato (blue line) vs Burpp.
Total Unique Visitors (000) Trend.
Source: comScore – March 2015

And finally,  Innovation is a bastardized word like strategy, throw it around and you have peoples’ attention. There are large and successful companies that does one thing right, laughs all the way to bank and never makes it to the list of innovative companies.  Why so? because they care a damn about what others think about them I guess.

A company is innovative enough as long its customers dont fire them by choosing to go with its competition. In that measure, Zomato looks a lot innovative.