Sunday December 15, 2019
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Zomato Lays off 541 People, Blames it on Automation

However, Zomato is hellbent on carrying on with its plans to make its Gold programme now available for delivery

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zomato, NRAI
Founded in 1982, the NRAI represents the interests of over 5 lakh restaurants. Pixabay

Food delivery platform Zomato on Saturday said that it has laid off 541 people — 10 per cent of the company’s strength — across customer, merchant and delivery partner support teams.

The reason behind the move is an improved Zomato platform with Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven bots and automation in resolving customer queries that has led to an overall reduction in direct order-related support queries, the company said in a statement.

“While this has been a painful decision, to make the transition smoother, we have extended between two-month months severance pay (based on tenure), family health insurance cover (till the end of January 2020) and career fair opportunities with companies,” said Zomato.

The company, which is at the loggerheads with the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) over deep discounts in its fine-dining Gold programme, claimed it has improved the speed of service resolution and now only 7.5 per cent of its orders need support (down from 15 per cent in March).

“Over the last few months, we have seen our technology products and platforms evolve and improve significantly. This has led to an overall reduction in direct order-related support queries,” said the company.

Zomato NRAI
Zomato in a smartphone device. Pixabay

Zomato said it hired over 1,200 people across functions (excluding its last-mile delivery fleet) and another over 400 off-rolls positions, and is currently hiring in technology, product and data sciences teams.

The company is planning to introduce its Gold programme across multiple cities on its delivery platform.

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The NRAI said on August 30 that there is an in-principle agreement between the association and the two major online delivery platforms, Zomato and Swiggy, to resolve the issues of the industry including deep discounts.

However, Zomato is hellbent on carrying on with its plans to make its Gold programme now available for delivery. (IANS)

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Zomato Aims to Serve 20 Crore People in India

Out of the total delivery partner network in non-metro cities, 20 per cent are on bicycles

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Some restaurants reportedly delisted themselves from "platforms such as Zomato Gold, EazyDiner, Dineout's Gourmet Passport, Nearbuy, MagicPin among others. Pixabay

Zomato Founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal on Tuesday said the online food delivery platform aims to serve 20 crore people in India over the next few years who will order food at least five times a month.

Admitting that his thoughts may be “labelled as stupid for saying out loud,” Goyal said that out of the 20 crore future Zomato users, nearly 2 crore will order food once a day, 24X7.

“These 20 crore people (and in some time, many more than that) are the real India. And that India is coming of age. Domestic consumption in India is what it is – and it is going to grow as it is,” Goyal said in a blog post.

Zomato is delivering 1.3 million orders a day from 150,000 restaurants across India at more than 10 orders per restaurant per day.

Stressing upon Cloud kitchens, Goyal said the food aggregator platform is committed to develop cloud kitchens to bridge the supply gap.

“I want to re-emphasise that we will never compete with our restaurateur partners – we will only build the kitchens – but they will be operated by restaurant brands,” said Goyal.

Zomato’s kitchens are operational in 50 cities across India, with 110 kitchen hubs (either completed or under construction). In total, there are 663 kitchen units and kiosks.

Zomato NRAI
Zomato in a smartphone device. Pixabay

Zomato’s revenue for the first half of the financial year 2019-20 saw a massive three-fold jump – from $63 million in the same period in 2018-2019 to $205 million.

The Zomato CEO also touched upon how the company is helping users understand what food delivery means and how they can use the Zomato app for their family in over 400 cities in India.

Zomato is currently present in 556 cities.

Trivandrum was Zomato’s 50th city in November 2018 and Leh was the 500th in July this year.

Also Read: Bengaluru, Most Conscious City When it Comes to Buying Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Products

Zomato is also uninterruptedly active in 10 cities (Guwahati, Nagaon, Jorhat, Agartala, Silchar, Dibrugarh, Tezpur, Shillong, Tinsukia and Aizawl) in the North East region.

“Tier 3 and 4 cities now contribute 35 per cent of the monthly order volume. These cities are relatively small but are growing at a frenetic pace,” said Goyal.

Out of the total delivery partner network in non-metro cities, 20 per cent are on bicycles. (IANS)