Deepinder Goyal, Founder and CEO of Zomato in an official public statement today announced a bold step towards building a climate-friendly sustainable future for his company.

“Today, we are taking another small step towards making Zomato a more sustainable enterprise. We now fund local environmental projects to offset the carbon footprint of all our deliveries plus packaging in India. We also currently deliver ~20% orders on bicycles, and ~35% in crowded cities like Delhi. These deliveries have no carbon footprint and are pollution free. We fully recognize that these are tiny steps in a long but important journey. More progress continues and needs to be made soon. Will keep you posted when there’s more to share” – Deepinder Goyal.

Zomato is a restaurant review, restaurant discovery, food delivery and dining out transactions platform providing in-depth information for over 1.5 million restaurants across 24 countries. Founded in 2008, Zomato serves more than 70 million users every month.

Zomato is a public limited company and recently was in news for filling the draft papers with market regulator SEBI for its initial public offerings (IPO) to raise $1 billion.

The Hotel and Service Industry has suffered huge financial losses caused by the pandemic shutdown. The situation in India looks grim as many states are severely affected in the 2nd wave with rising cases and states announcing stricter measures. With the healthcare system already facing a massive burden, people are in fear and reluctant to dine-out. The option to order using internet has become more reliable as families spend more time together and special occasions and festivities remain indoors.

To serve the community, Zomato has started ‘Help Save India’ campaign to raise funds for oxygen and related supplies and feed the families affected by COVID-19 lockdown.

Further, in an effort to help its restaurant partners and the eco-system to recover swiftly, Zomato has made its takeaway service for free with zero commission. The measure includes 100% waiver on payment gateway charges on all takeaway orders.

Food App delivery companies like Swiggy and Zomato have turned out to be a big relief for the local businesses and citizens during the lockdown. The advantages of ordering food online are –

  • Convenience of ordering via mobile app and website
  • Multiple payment options
  • Loyalty points and discounts
  • Employment
  • Low carbon footprint when deliveries are done using bicycles

While there are visible benefits of using bicycles to deliver the orders, a delivery boy who uses a two-wheeler makes greater number of trips in a day with half the efforts and takes home higher payment. The company will have to rework its compensation strategy in order to make bicycle deliveries more attractive.

Electric bicycles are capable of handling short routes and multiple trips but the acquisition cost is 5X of a human powered bicycle. The staff generally belongs to the economically weaker section and most unlikely will be in a position to maintain a sophisticated e-bike.

Thousands of Mumbai Dabbawalas are jobless at this moment as offices and local trains are shut. Zomato must appoint the association as ‘Delivery Partners’ and collect market feedback. It will help them to understand ground realities and devise a practical plan for its vision of ‘Climate Conscious Delivery’.

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Author: Vijay Malhotra, Mumbai

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