When it comes to food, most of us almost instinctively think of Zomato – be it for reviews, photos, reservations, or just to discover new places to eat. And given the extensive listings it has today, it’s no surprise that Zomato has become the foremost platform for foodies and food lovers.

A 2005 graduate of IIT Delhi, Deepinder Goyal is the man who has given India more happy meals than McDonald’s restaurants. Deepinder has always been a lover of food and it was during his 4 years working for Bain and Company that the idea for Zomato was conceived.

Deepinder and his colleague at Bain, Pankaj Chaddah, noticed how they and their other colleagues had to queue up to order from the menus at the office cafeteria, which consumed lot of time. So they got an idea: they scanned all the menus at the cafeteria and uploaded them on the Bain intranet portal.

This simple idea became an instant hit, and visits to the portal increased. Eventually Deepinder decided to scale up the project. For about a week, Deepinder and Pankaj drove around Delhi, collecting menus of various restaurants. These menus were then scanned and then uploaded on a website – then named Foodiebay.com. Foodiebay was the first iteration of what would eventually become Zomato. The first version of the Foodiebay was very basic, having only URLs and the scanned menus of restaurants. Despite its drawbacks, it was solving a problem many faced, and people flocked en masse to the website. Seeing how well-received their offering was in Delhi, they expanded to other cities in India.

Deepinder was handling Foodiebay over the weekends, and soon enough Foodiebay became too big for him to handle part time. He then chose to quit Bain and Company and focus entirely on the business.

One decade on, Zomato is India’s largest food app, and is present in 24 countries. The powerhouse behind Zomato’s phenomenal growth, Deepinder Goyal is our Xpert on entrepreneurship. Hear his story firsthand, his experiences, his successes and failures, only on Xpert.

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