India: Hundreds of Zomato employees take voluntary salary cuts

Table setting at Zomato Summit. Photo: Zomato

Several employees of online food ordering and delivery platform Zomato have taken deep voluntary salary cuts as part of efforts to conserve the company cash flows amidst the Covid-19 lockdown in India and in other countries where it operates, according to its co-founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal.

In a series of tweets, Goyal mentioned the different steps that Zomato is taking to help its members and delivery partners, who have lost earnings as dining out in many countries is badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“To conserve our own cash flows, hundreds of Zomato employees have taken deep voluntary salary cuts,” Goyal said.

Zomato recently acquired its rival, Uber Eats India, for $206 million in cash and shares. The company was valued at $3 billion after it raised $150 million in January from Chinese online payment services provider Ant Financial.

As many countries have imposed lockdowns, Goyal said thousands of restaurants have been severely hit because of their immobilised workforce.

“We are going to facilitate loans for our delivery restaurant partners,” he said. “Trying to figure out how to help the rest of the restaurant community”.

The company is also extending its subscription-based Gold memberships by two months in India and other countries like UAE, Australia, Indonesia, Philippines, Lebanon, Turkey, New Zealand, Portugal, and Qatar.

“We can only help facilitate loans to Gold partner restaurants since the transactions flow through us and it is easier and cheaper for our fintech partners to underwrite it,” Goyal added.

In addition to this, Zomato is also starting a fund to cover up the lost earnings for thousands of its delivery partners. “We also hope that we get government support to help us with this,” Goyal said.

Food delivery workers have been facing issues across cities in India as authorities stop them while delivering food even as their work is classified as an essential service.

Goyal stressed that Zomato is actively working with authorities “to clear the confusion” so that essential service can operate without trouble.

Bangalore-based Swiggy and Zomato, backed by Jack Ma’s Ant Financial, now lead India’s food-delivery sector, which like elsewhere is showing signs of consolidation.

Bangalore-based ANI Technologies Pvt, which owns the Ola ride-hailing brand, acquired the Indian unit of Foodpanda in December 2017 and also faces an uphill struggle against the two established players.

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.