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Being paranoid, innovating constantly driving next versions of biz: Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal

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Goyal – who is counted among India’s growing tribe of celebrity founders – said the mantra for Zomato is “how do we disrupt our businesses” and not become complacent

New Delhi: Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal on Monday said the company’s culture of embracing disruption and being paranoid to evolve and stay ahead, is driving innovation in its business.

He hinted that in one year, Blinkit could be bigger than Zomato.

Goyal – who is counted among India’s growing tribe of celebrity founders – said the mantra for Zomato is “how do we disrupt our businesses” and not become complacent.

Speaking at the Startup Mahakumbh event, Goyal said “Zomato has a business plan competition going within the company, which is going to offer funds to a small team which will disrupt the businesses that we are in, and that could lead to Zomato version 5 or Blinkit version 2.”

Blinkit – the quick commerce platform – itself is part of Zomato ‘version 4’ he said, adding “In one year’s time Blinkit could be bigger than Zomato, so I don’t know how long Zomato will have its relevance.”

During a fireside chat with Info Edge founder Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Goyal said the company believes in being paranoid to stay ahead.

Notably, Info Edge is among the earliest backers of Zomato.

Bikhchandani observed that Zomato will stay relevant and resilient for the foreseeable future because people will continue to want food delivered at home, to which Goyal replied “As soon as we start saying nothing can happen, we are dead.”

“So we have to be paranoid about it… that someone can do something and we should be the ones doing these things on our own,” he said.

He shot down a suggestion from the audience about drone delivery being the new frontier for Zomato and said “It is not going to work out”.

Goyal advised entrepreneurs to be led by passion and drive while building the company of their dreams, and cautioned that starting a venture with the sole desire of making money won’t work and may lead to “bad governance calls”.

Goyal spoke candidly about how his own company prefers to be always paranoid to stay ahead. Complacency should not kick in at any point in time, he asserted.

“I see a lot of founders starting a lot of companies, and I ask them why did you start this company, and the answer is ‘I want to make a lot of money’… I don’t think that works because that leads to bad governance calls… that’s not the purpose with which you should start a company,” he said addressing a packed hall.

His advice to aspiring and new entrepreneurs: “You should be so passionate about something, you should be willing to risk your life for it, only then you can build a company of your dreams”.

“That’s the only piece of advice I have… do it with passion, don’t do it for money,” he said.

Bikhchandani advised entrepreneurs and startups to be too frugal and hands-on, and always connected to the market and consumers.

Goyal emphasised that continuous innovation is a “must” for businesses, as no business model can survive for more than a decade or two without innovation.

He further said that anyone looking to start a company and turn an entrepreneur to be “comfortable” and “happy” would be making a “wrong choice”.

“You have to learn to handle the stress to succeed. The only way to lose is to quit… if you can survive, you’ll win,” he advocated.

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