Monday, January 12, 2015

The Uber of the Restaurant business and my pick is ........

Using the term "Uber" of a certain business seems to be the norm in the start-up space today. Essentially this means creating a highly disruptive company on a global scale.
While there was an article in the Times of India last Saturday about "e-Restaurants" and how activity in this space is frenetic in India currently with several companies getting funded, I believe that the Uber of the restaurant space has already been created out of India - we just aren't celebrating enough and talking about them enough.

The company I am referring to is"Zomato". The audacity with which they have expanded globally, acquired several companies (including their biggest till date - Urbanspoon of the US) has been stunning and almost unbelievable. Kudos to the leadership team and the investors supporting them (specifically Sanjeev Bikchandani of Naukri fame, who probably owns the largest stake in Zomato).

I believe that they have built a pure digital platform that will cover the entire planet with no physical infrastructure or capital expenditure needed at each of the local geographies they operate in. All they need is sales folks and some on-the-ground support staff - just like Uber and Airbnb.

My prediction for Zomato in a few years:

  1. They will be the global leader in the digital restaurant space
  2. They will acquire the likes of Justeat, Grubhub etc. - essentially anyone who generates revenues from the restauranteurs will be a target for them. Hopefully they will go one up even on the market leader Yelp. 
  3. They will attract big investments from silicon valley/global biggies on par with what Uber/Airbnb etc.have received.   
  4. They will be on radar of Google etc. 
  5. They will be the first truly global consumer oriented technology/digital business out of India and will be in the same league as success stories such as Tripadvisor etc. 
  6. They will be a company which India will be proud of - say like Korea is proud of Samsung etc. 
My big congratulations to the entire Zomato team and my best wishes for them to continue executing the way they have. Hats off!!!!!!