Zomato co-founder Pankaj Chaddah resigns amid top management rejig

Pankaj Chaddah will retain his 3.11% stake in the company, which is worth about Rs 237 crore, post the latest funding by Ant Financial.
Zomato co-founder Pankaj Chaddah resigns amid top management rejig
Zomato co-founder Pankaj Chaddah resigns amid top management rejig
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Zomato, the unicorn food ordering and delivery startup is witnessing rapid changes in management at the very top with co-founder, Pankaj Chaddah leaving the company. Chaddah himself posted a Tweet in his Twitter handle that he is exploring other avenues.

“After 10 yrs, I am moving on from Zomato to try out something new. I’ll continue to play an active role till the end of this month. Have been thinking about this for a while, and the timing seems right today as Zomato is back to being a rocket-ship,” he said in a tweet.

It could be that he may continue on the Board of Zomato and not sever his ties completely. Chaddah will also hold on to his 3.11% equity in Zomato for now.

This shuffle at the helm comes at a time when food delivery business segment in India is witnessing aggressive movements from multiple players. The major and nearest rival for Zomato is Swiggy and then there is Ola, which has acquired Foodpanda and Uber EATS and Google Aero. All these mean that Zomato cannot rest on its oars and has to keep constantly re-inventing itself to stay ahead.

The reshuffle at the top level at Zomato leaves Mukund Kulashekaran as the chief business officer a position hitherto occupied only by one of the co-founders. Gaurav Gupta stands appointed as the COO, a kind of elevation for him.

Kulashekaran, thus, is vested with complete responsibility to oversee the company’s different revenue streams, the online ordering business, Zomato Gold and Zomato Treats as well as advertising sales. The online ordering business which is the main focus of the startup and where it is hoping to ramp up the contribution to overall revenue from 20% to 50% has been entrusted to Mohit Kumar, the co-founder of Runnr, which Zomato took over in 2017. This portfolio was with Kulashekaran till now.

Included in the responsibilities given to Gaurav Gupta include the cloud kitchen initiative, Zomato Infrastructure Services. Online sourcing and reviews for this vertical will also be part of his responsibility.

There are indications that many of these changes have been in the offing and the internal adjustments for a possible exit from the day-to-day management positions by Chaddah were anticipated and executed accordingly. He was involved in shepherding some of the new initiatives.

There is also the perspective from the investment side where Zomato raised funds from Ant Financial the investment arm of Chinese giant Alibaba. The $200 million that came in also raised the value of the startup to $1.1 billion, giving it the Unicorn status.

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