Startups must create sustainable products that are affordable too, says Zomato's chief sustainability officer
Zomato’s sustainability journey has been about creating affordable, functional and accessible products and services for everyone, said Anjalli Ravi Kumar, Chief Sustainability Officer, Zomato, at the recent TechSparks 2023 event.
Many enterprises today are in need of holistic solutions to achieve sustainability, and this is where startups come into the picture, said Anjalli Ravi Kumar, Chief Sustainability Officer, Zomato, at TechSparks 2023, YourStory’s startup-tech event.
During a fireside chat with Lathika Pai, Country Head, Venture Capital and Private Equity Partnerships, Microsoft, Kumar said it is crucial for sustainable products to be affordable and functional too.
“Startups need to create products which are innovative, affordable and accessible for everyone,” she said, adding that Zomato’s sustainability journey has always been about creating affordable, functional and accessible products and services for everyone.
Explaining the scope of startups in the realm of sustainability, Kumar said every large company is a platform for change, and such platforms can influence society if they have ample choices in terms of technology and affordability.
Kumar said the sustainability market is going through a data crisis, and there are not many helpful solutions in the areas of data collection and reporting. This, according to her, is a domain where startups can make a difference.
Challenges in sustainability
Elaborating some of the challenges in the process, Kumar said the risk of financing electric vehicles for delivery agents is a roadblock. However, she believes “bold” fintech companies can offer a helping hand in this regard.
Apart from innovation, high-risk finance is also an area where fintech companies can make a difference, she added.
Another tough challenges in sustainability is bringing about behavioural change, as this involves altering one’s beliefs.
The sustainability officer atalso shared how her organisation is encouraging families to let their women work as delivery partners.
“India offers a fantastic combination of really challenging conditions and also the world’s best engineering minds solving for sustainability,” she remarked.
“I would love to see more startups embrace these challenges.”
Kumar also spoke about Zomato’s community-centric initiatives.
She shed light on Zomato’s Zero Hunger and Feeding India initiatives. Under the Feeding India initiative, the company has provided 14 crore meals across the country, she pointed out.
To tackle emissions during last-mile deliveries, the company collaborated with SUN Mobility in March to provide 50,000 electric two-wheelers to delivery partners for 24 months and keep their promise of climate-conscious deliveries.
Zomato is planning to go net zero by 2030 and has also committed to 100 per cent EV adoption by 2030.
The company is also promoting diversity at its workforce by increasing recruitment of individuals with disabilities for delivery roles, enhancing female employment, and generating new livelihood opportunities, said Kumar.
Edited by Swetha Kannan