“Zomato”asted – What went wrong?

Editor’s note: Zomato recently ran a campaign to attract technology talent to Delhi (which has now been pulled down and replaced by this note). The campaign was supposed to be in jest but things spiralled out of hand and the discussion has gone in an entirely new direction. Any publicity is good but repercussions like these will surely make Zomato rethink.

Bangalore/Delhi: Hell broke loose when a Delhi-based restaurant discovery platform tried to take the crown of Tech-capital of India from “Namma Bengaluru” to “Saaddi Dilli” – This happened when Delhi was reeling under hot winds, and when Bangalore was busy in enjoying its cool showers.

The company under scanner “Zomato” gave a very unique proposition to the Bangalore techies –

Inviting all the Bangalore geeks (UI Designers, coders, app developers) to relocate to Delhi where they would be paying for all the expenses – Relocation cost of entire family, house deposit and brokerage fee and to top that one can stay in their guest house equipped with a swimming pool until they don’t find a nice home to stay.

Sounds lucrative?? Guess so… But others, especially Bangaloreans thought otherwise and Zomato which was on its way to troll Bangalore; got trolled itself!

I think the idea was right – But, the way of representation was completely wrong and unthinkable

Points where Zomato missed out:

1) Zomato forgot that social media fraternity in India has become accustomed and quite adept at trolling/bashing after going through six long months of heavy campaigning from political parties in India , which has decreased the tolerance level of Twitteratis even more.

This clone webpage which was up minutes after the incident escalated the whole drama

http://stormy-taiga-7214.herokuapp.com/

2) Any publicity is good publicity …errr… Not every time – From the first look of it, it seems pretty much acceptable that Zomato needed some extensive PR for them but it looks like nobody from  Zomato thought about the worst case scenario

The “Tech Capital” campaign of Zomato has resulted in a prominent dent in its brand equity which is very crucial for a company like Zomato, so as to boost the trust their investors have on them.

The below snapshot clearly depicts the challenge that lies in front of Zomato to reinforce the brand association of its customers.

zomato02

3) Zomato in its campaign is very gung-ho about the fact that the tech scene in New Delhi is far much better and evolving as compared to Bangalore, and the indian capital boasts of some of the shining stars like Jabong, Naukri, Makemytrip, goibibo, PayTM, Snapdeal whereas Bangalore only has Flipkart and Myntra to offer.

This claim was pretty exciting, but then when we researched and found out what Bangalore has to offer, then we found these names;

a) Capillary Technologies – Leading SaaS solutions provider which was included in the 12 hidden gems of 2013 by Forbes Magazine and included in HarvardUniversity’s curriculum for their reverse innovation strategy

b) Little Eye labs – A performance analysis and monitoring tool for Android Apps, was recently acquired by Facebook which was the first of its kind acquisition of an Indian tech startup by a global giant

c) InMobi – Listed in MIT Technology Review’s 50 most disruptive companies of 2013

d) Bangalore Software exports were valued at INR 1 Lakh crore in 2012-13; over half of India’s exports

e) According to LinkedIn : Bangalore houses 399k Software Engineers [Second largest in the World after San Francisco with 517k Software Engineers] whereas Delhi houses 199k Software Engineers

Now, after all this bashing and trolling, Zomato has apologized but in a very unapologetic manner but I think Zomato has already missed the bus and now should get ready to face some serious visible repercussions.

Prashant Jain

Prashant Jain

About the Author

Prashant Jain is a Delhi guy working in Bangalore at Simplify360 and in love with Zomato as it belongs to his home city and also has developed a certain liking for Bangalore.