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Socially Responsible - Swiggy or Zomato?

Updated: May 13, 2021

The Unicorns’ efforts of creating a sustainable business will remain incomplete until their work also reflects a socially acceptable business. We take a brief look at the two startup’s contribution to the society which broadly reflects their vision:

  • Pandemic Response:

    • As we reported in our Apr’20 issue, Zomato launched a campaign to provide ration to daily wagers who have lost their livelihood due to the lockdown. Impact: The ‘Feed the Daily Wager’ Initiative into 65 Mn meals.

    • Swiggy: Nothing.

  • Cloud Kitchen Business:

    • The approach: Zomato on one side has been actively pursuing the model. However, it has repeatedly emphasized on the fact that it will run this segment only as an aggregator of Kitchen space (Shadow Kitchen model) such that it is never in direct competition with restaurant partners.

    • Swiggy on the other side has pursued the cloud kitchen model with an intent to directly compete with other Restaurants.

    • This difference in strategy is significant because a delivery startup has access to a lot of, consumer data. Not only that, even by simply making deliveries through the app, they generate vital information (Big Data) like where and when is the demand peaking, what is the most preferred cuisine, what is the average price per order, what are the most important qualitative aspects that consumers expect etc. All this data when interpreted by experts reveal important consumer trends that can help the owner create a winning strategy.

  • Swiggy can churn its app data to place its kitchen pods and its food in the most favorable position vis-à-vis its competition. This abusive strategy has been used by Amazon since a long time and has recently raised eyebrows of the US Lawmakers.

The above two examples showcase the visible difference in the culture of the two startups. While we’re sure that Swiggy has been playing its part in tits-&-bits but Zomato does run an extra mile to showcase it as well:

  1. Acquisition of NGO Feeding India: Acquired in Jul’19. The NGO is working towards the aim of eradicating hunger, malnutrition and food wastage. Among other things, Zomato will support the development of a ‘’ app to connect Feeding India’s donors and volunteers. The app is estimated to serve at least 100 Mn underprivileged people per month, according to the company.

  2. Zomato periodically conducts audit of the restaurant partners and removes restaurants that are non-compliant with FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) standards. In Feb’19, Zomato delisted over 5,000 restaurants for this reason.

  3. Zomato recently announced equal paid parental leave of 26 weeks for both men and women employees.


This article is a part of the July'20 edition of our Startup Newsletter. Here's the complete publication:


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