Gautam’s appointment comes at a time when rivals Swiggy and Zomato are flush with funds and are looking to consolidate their market position.
Online food ordering and delivery platform Foodpanda, on Tuesday, announced the appointment of Gautam Balijepalli as their Head of Strategy. The appointment comes just two months after the online food delivery firm was acquired by cab aggregator Ola.
The appointment also comes just days after rival Zomato saw its co-founder Pankaj Chaddah quitting the company. Last month, Foodpanda India announced its plans to invest Rs 400 crore in the India market to strengthen its network. The investment was seen as a corpus to be used for strengthening Foodpanda's market in India and giving a tougher competition to market leaders Swiggy and Zomato.
Gautam’s appointment has also come at a time when rivals Swiggy and Zomato are flush with funds and are looking to consolidate their market position. While Zomato raised $150 million from Ant Financial, Alibaba’s payment affiliate, last month, Swiggy raised $100 million in a funding round led by Naspers.
On Gautam's appointment, the company stated,
In his new role, Gautam will directly work with the CEO and leadership team to lay out a strong strategic direction in sync with the organisation’s business objectives. This newly created role at Foodpanda is envisioned to effectively synergise with the food tech ecosystem for a unified approach towards creating the best in class offerings for partner restaurants and consumers.
Gautam was earlier a venture capital investor at Ojas Ventures where he invested in a number of companies and helped them scale through active board-level involvement. He is an alumnus of IIT Chennai and London Business School. He has also been an investor and mentor to businesses, such as WarmOven, in the food space.
Pranay Jivrajka, CEO, Foodpanda India, said, “With Gautam coming on board, we intend to bring pertinent changes in our strategic direction and create the right intervention points for the industry to innovate and grow."
Gautam Balijepalli said, “The food tech industry is rapidly changing globally. With 1.3 billion people and only two percent of total food orders placed online, India is a market with massive potential. Within that context, leveraging best practices will be our top priority to create value for all stakeholders, including consumers and restaurant partners."