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Hard times Not Yet Over for Zomato

... Karan Choudhry/Business-standard:

Hard times may not be over for online restaurant search and discovery app platform Zomato, which was recently in the news for reported sacking of 250 to 300 employees.Co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Deepinder Goyal is learnt to have sent out an e-mail to the company's sales team on the 'hard reality of the company's growth'.

The mail, reviewed by Business Standard, says Zomato is far behind the numbers it promised to its investors for year ending March 2016. Zomato, valued at more than $1 billion, is funded by prominent investors including Info Edge, Sequoia India, Vy Capital and Temasek. Goyal has warned the sales team to "shape up or ship out."

An e-mail and mobile text message sent to the communications team of Zomato on Friday evening remained unanswered.

Advising his sales team to read the mail over the weekend, as it was "quite long", the 32-year-old claimed that a lot of things he talks about "applies to life in general" as well.

Sent on October 26, Goyal lambasted his sales team and painted "the real picture" of the company's performance to them. The company, founded in 2008, has secured $225 million in funding so far. It claims that none of the country centres were making enough money to pay salaries.

"The fact of the matter is that our sales team is not firing on all cylinders. The average number of meetings per day for our sales teams vary from a pathetic one to 3.5 in the best teams - it should be anywhere from five to six meetings a day.... I could go on and on," Goyal wrote.

Elaborating on the commitment made to investors for the financial numbers for this year, he says, "We are close to not living up to that for the first time in the past five years. So, we really need the sales team to achieve peak performance, and it needs to happen right now."

While talking on the fears of employees getting fired, Goyal indirectly confirmed that the company had to ask people to leave earlier. But he added that his team should not feel that employees were sacked for no reason.

"A lot of friends tell you that they were never given any feedback before they were asked to go. That is never true. The fact is that a lot of people don't take feedback seriously, and they keep under-performing consistently. A lot of people are let go (sic) on ethical grounds - we never make the reality about such people public, because if we did, it would ruin their careers," his e-mail said.          

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