Zomato's India business breaks even - In conversation with Pankaj Chaddah, Founder, Zomato
When you've raised as much money as Zomato, you would think that the entrepreneur would have an exit of sorts in their mind. However, when I asked Zomato founder, Pankaj Chaddah, about the same, he said, "I haven't thought about it at all. We just want to go to as many places as possible and dominate."
And dominated they have. So much so, that they've achieved an important milestone; Pankaj confirmed that Zomato's India business has broken even. Here are some excerpts from our conversation with Pankaj -
YS: Zomato has broken even. What does this mean to you?
Pankaj: I think it is a great validation of our business model. There was never a doubt about breaking even to start with. But it's a good psychological feeling that we're doing the right things.
YS: Of all the places you've expanded to, London was probably the most challenging market. How has the London experience been?
Pankaj: We're doing very well in London. We're seeing good consumer and merchant traction. But it hasn't been easy. I think London has helped us move to the next level. If you see our app from last year to now, we've really changed a lot. This has happened because of the pressure of knowing that we're competing with global players. It has had a very positive effect on our product and just the way we're going about our business.
YS: You recently have expanded into New-Zealand; what is that as a market? What are your plans for the region?
Pankaj: New-Zealand is such a different culture. It's nothing like anything we're used to. Yes, there are some resemblances to South Africa as a market, which is useful for us. However, we know that usage patterns are very similar to Australia, which is a geography we are looking to get into in the next 12 months at least. Moving to New Zealand is a part of our strategy.
YS: Do you think your International businesses will eventually be bigger than India? Will you be breaking even in other market as well?
Pankaj: Yes, I think so. International markets will give us more revenue and I think eventually it will be bigger than the Indian market. As far as breakeven is concerned, I don't want to share much about it, but there are a few countries in the next 15 months that should break even. I will let you know when that happens.
YS: With the aggressive international expansion that you're doing now, are the funds you've raised enough?
Pankaj: I think we're good for the next 18-24 months. We haven't thought of the next rounds yet, unless we're going to the US. That's something we're thinking about.
YS: Lastly, as an entrepreneur, what does this milestone means to you and Deepinder (Goyal)?
Pankaj: Honestly, it only encourages us to grow faster. It gives us great confidence in our business model, both B2B and B2C, and now it is a question of replicating it in enough places. We haven't had the time to sit back and think about the past and journey so far, and I hope that we don't get that time either.
You heard the man. We will keep you posted with more updates from Zomato.