The food aggregator company- Zomato which had raked up a storm after delivering ‘moral science’ lectures to social media users instead of food, seems to be in the middle of another crisis as it has now laid off 541 people, 10 per cent of the company’s strength across customer, merchant, and delivery partner support teams, as per reports. This is the second round of layoffs in a month after the company let go of 60 people in August this year.
The decision to lay off comes as the food aggregator has claimed to be moving on to an improved Zomato platform with Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven bots and automation in resolving customer queries that have led to an overall reduction in direct order-related support queries, the company said in a statement.
“While this has been a painful decision, to make the transition smoother, we have extended between two-months severance pay (based on tenure), family health insurance cover (till the end of January 2020) and career fair opportunities with companies,” said Zomato.
Zomato, which seems to be fighting a losing battle against its customers and partners, has also been at the loggerheads with the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) over deep discounts in its fine-dining Gold programme. It claimed it has improved the speed of service resolution and now only 7.5 per cent of its orders need support from down from 15 per cent in March.
“Over the last few months, we have seen our technology products and platforms evolve and improve significantly. This has led to an overall reduction in direct order-related support queries,” said the company.
Zomato said it hired over 1,200 people across functions excluding its last-mile delivery fleet and another over 400 off-rolls positions and is currently hiring in technology, product and data sciences teams.
The company is planning to introduce its Gold programme across multiple cities on its delivery platform.
The NRAI said on August 30 that there is an in-principle agreement between the association and the two major online delivery platforms, Zomato and Swiggy, to resolve the issues of the industry including deep discounts. However, Zomato is hellbent on carrying on with its plans to make it’s Gold programme now available for delivery.
As their woes continue, a restaurateur and Indian School of Business alumnus, Raghunandan S Prasad had written a stinging open letter to the Zomato founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal, terming him as a “glorified broker” and accused him of taking credit for their product.
Zomato founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal, who is now the newfound hero of Indian liberal-secular mafia, had invited the anger of restaurant owners after he had called them a ‘bargain hunters’ while threatening them of consequences if they did not withdraw from a ‘movement’ of logging out from Zomato’s services.