The best companies are always innovating, not just to survive but to stay ahead of their competitors. Zomato is no exception. It has brought a lot of innovation to the Indian food industry. Even though most of these initiatives failed, it hasn’t stopped trying new things.
This is a sign of a vibrant company. Most endeavours fail. Google is a graveyard of excellent products. There are websites (Killed by Google & The Google Cemetry) that list discontinued Google products. It’s a long list. But failures haven’t stopped Google from innovating.
Zomato thinks and behaves similarly. Its new product called “Everyday” offers home-cooked food delivery for Rs 89. The stock markets were not amused when it was announced. Zomato stock dipped by 4% yesterday. But the overall markets in India also went down by 1.5%. Thus, we can’t read too much into this. Public markets are fickle and sentiment driven. And by all means, Zomato’s stock can rise by 5% today. We don’t know.
So what about Everyday?
Zomato has at least found a catchy name. That’s a good start.
When Zomato and Swiggy started food delivery in India, eating restaurant food was a novelty for most Indians. People mostly ate at home. These 2 startups changed consumer behaviour, so much that people now lament they have had enough of restaurant food. As the country becomes more health-conscious, home-cooked foods are back in vogue. Home-cooked equals healthy in popular narrative. Startups now even provide chefs to households. I know it because we are investors in one such startup.
Zomato is trying to ride this health bandwagon with a cool name. Full marks to the management.
But who’s the TG (Target Group or Potential Users)?
Most people order restaurant food because they want novelty. They want to indulge. I doubt they will order home-cooked food. They get it every day at their homes. Young adults (students, working professionals, couples, etc.) seem more likely candidates. They often eat outside or order restaurant food. Some never cook at home.
But if they want home-cooked food, hiring a cook is an easier alternative. Unlike in rich countries where chefs are expensive and everyone cooks at home, most Indian white-collar workers can afford a part-time chef.
So why would you order home-cooked meals when you can hire a cook?
I guess the people who neither cook at home nor want the hassle of hiring a cook will find this service useful. They either eat outside or order food from restaurants. Home-cooked meals sound like a healthy alternative. And they also won’t mind paying Rs 89 for delivery.
Although this is a tiny group, it’s also Zomato’s core user base. Zomato recently exited 225 small towns because of low order volume. It was bleeding money. Now the focus is on core users who account for the most revenue.
This “Everyday” is a new service for them. It’s not a bad product per see. Let’s see if it brings laurels for Zomato.
That day of the year when all brands, all media, and some real humans will celebrate women will be soon upon us. Our great contribution to humanity and our ability to nurture the crap out of anything will be revered on this day. Give us something broken, we will lovingly put it together. We will caress its broken edges with our fingers and hope that in process of putting it together, we will be able to put ourselves together.
The women’s day campaigns will make us fall in love with them, especially those that recognize all that we do, they make us feel seen at least for this one day. They say behind every successful man there is a woman, and that is absolutely true, she is BEHIND him, therefore hidden and unseen. It’s adorable to have quotes recognize you, they make for great frames.
But in reality, as more women enter the workforce and struggle with running a family along with work, the question often arises “can we have it all?”. I would instead like to ask, why do we want it all?
We want to make sure we tuck our children in every night, even after an exhausting day at work. We feel pangs of guilt when we do occasionally manage to step out for some me time or socializing. Every conversation with other moms even colleagues will inadvertently have elements of what better we can do for the kids. Even when we are not with them, they hover in our minds every second that we can spare. We don’t just nurture our kids anymore we shape them. Their diet, their values, nothing just happens, it is by design and built into every little interaction.
Do we enjoy it? Yes. What we don’t enjoy is the unpaid job of the administrator of the house along with paid office work and the work of shaping a human being. Figuring out what needs to be ordered, when, from where, paying the support staff on time, arranging for the homework requirements etc, the list is endless. By themselves, they look like nothing but cumulatively erode the already diminished precious me time.
We could ask our partners to do more chores, which in reality may require multiple attempts to get their attention and you could still end up with incorrect things, incomplete tasks, or delayed activities. We know we can do it better, so we do it. Or is it because we have grown up seeing our superwoman mothers and concluded that if we are any less we will lose our superwoman status? After being tagged a superwoman, we have no choice but to deliver. Have we set the bar so high that we overburden ourselves?
I think the time has come to not do it better, to not have it all! It is time to relinquish some of our superpowers and be human. To accept that we are good enough. It is okay for things to fall apart. In fact, we should celebrate imperfections. Instead of being the tired mom behind the beautifully dressed child, let us be the beautifully dressed mom behind the okayish-dressed child.
Let the house be in shambles, as you have a cup of tea with a book in your hand. Let the groceries run out, now your partner can even order it via quick commerce. Enable the support staff so they can deal directly with other family members. Allow your partner and children to be their imperfect selves and manage with each other. Let us not fall into the trap of becoming goddesses, revered on occasion but silently serving the world the rest of the year.
Let us embrace our imperfect selves, and let them thrive. Because we are good enough. There will be women whose interior is cracking under the pressure of the world they have chosen, and they will hold you to the same high standards. Ignore them. Surround yourself with women who have discovered that we are special even when we are just good enough.
Being good enough doesn’t mean being complacent, it does not mean not working hard or not striving for excellence. It means choosing where you want to excel and leaving the rest. Instead of taking up the hair-fall-causing endeavor to be excellent in every aspect of our lives, let us just be good enough in some.
As more women enter the workforce and struggle with running a family along with work, the question often arises “can we have it all?”. I would instead like to ask, why do we want it all?