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Book notes: Culture at Zomato

Book notes: Culture at Zomato


I don’t read book summaries. Neither should you. The following are mostly notes to myself for later reference, and are my interpretations.

I'm a big Zomato fan (wrote briefly about them in an appreciation post here). While the methods at Zomato for work, hiring, ways of working are well known — thanks to podcasts, conversations with friends from Zomato over the years, I wanted to learn about it the way Deepinder sees them at Zomato.

Mission statements

  • Better food for more people — Zomato & hyperpure

  • Instant commerce indistinguishable from magic — Blinkit

  • Make India malnutrition free — Feeding India


  • Remember to find people who are different than you. Diverse people bring new perspectives.

  • Are they smarter than me? That means I'll learn a lot from them.

  • Are they more ambitious than me? That means they will raise the bar for the entire team.

  • Do they show high ownership towards their life?

  • Are they comfortable saying, "I don't know"?

Finish things

  • Break a project down into near, mid-term or short-term goals. You must score today to have a shot at playing in the future.

  • If a project has been running for too long, ask yourself, "Does this project still serve the purpose I had in mind?"

  • What assumptions do I need to revisit?

  • If I had to do it in half the time, what would I do?

  • Important reminder to close projects on time. Don't run sprints for more than 2-6 weeks.

How can you grow & learn

  • If you have the will to learn, you really don't need a teacher

  • There are 2-ways to continuously learn & grow

  • First: your own curiosity — Pick any theme or topic you are curious about and just look it up on the internet. There are so many books, YouTube videos, movies, blogs, talks, and podcasts that will help you upgrade your skills and mindsets.

  • Second: learning through observation — You are surrounded by great people at work. Learn by watching them instead of insisting they "coach" you actively.

  • Find your own mentor

  • Find someone you admire, someone who is successful within (or outside) the organisation and has walked the path you want to take

  • Ask them if they are willing to invest in you — if you don't ask, you don't get

  • Standing on the shoulders of giants allows you to reach farther and see farther. A good mentor is that giant.

  • They can teach us lessons they've learned over decades in a matter of days

  • This is possibly one of the best investments you can make towards your personal growth

  • A good mentor is that giant

  • Your career here won't follow a traditional path

  • It will follow Brownian motion. You'll discover new interest areas and things that you are bloody good at.

  • If and when you find something that you love doing and are good at it, your career here will accelerate at 10X the pace it might elsewhere.

  • In order to make that happen, you have to take responsibility for yourself.

  • You are responsible for yourself; for your own growth — how successful you are at Zomato and in life

  • So push yourself to learn, embrace discomfort and regularly ask for feedback.

  • Try something new. You might fail.

  • At different times, we will all fail. I know I have more times than I can count. When you do, get up and try again.

  • There is no messiah who will hold your hand and make your life better.

Team awards

  1. Spirit of service award — An earnest & consistent practice of serving our customers, restaurant partners and delivery partners.

  2. High standard award — An extraordinary high bar on the output & impact of their work.

  3. Innovation award — Creating an innovation that propelled the organisation forward

  4. Extra mile award — Relentless in driving outsized outcomes

  5. Growth mindset award — An embodiment of personal and professional transformation

  6. Courage to speak up award — Challenging the status quo, esp. when it's the hardest thing to do

  7. Customer first award — Being consistently customer-obsessed in all they do

  8. Getting hands dirty award — Taking on any task — be it challenging or mundane to achieve the org's goals and outcomes

  9. Cross-team impact award — Enabling teams and individuals to collaborate and collectively achieve high-impact outcomes

Bad news = Great news

  • Putting the team first means we have to be radically honest with ourselves and with each other

  • Knowing what's wrong with our business is the starting point of improvement and greatness

  • Ignorance is death in business

  • I want to be the first one to know when something goes wrong in our business

  • Or when you spot something that we can make better in our business, share bad news with me without fear or hesitation.

  • Similarly, if you want to grow and evolve, don't shy away from bad news.

  • Actively create interventions for it to surface to you as soon as possible

  • Then roll up your sleeves and get to work


  • Seek counterpoints from people who think differently than you

  • Seek experiences that will challenge you

  • You'll better yourself and in the process create better outcomes for the organisation

  • We owe it to our future generations to leave this world a better place. As we build this business, I want to make sure that we leave a positive impact on the world.

  • The above is applicable for a company, a team, a project. E.g. We owe it to the next designer to do a great job with projects at hand. Leave it better than we found it.

  • We avoid bad news because we hate discomfort. Yet, all growth begins with discomfort. This is important to keep in mind on continuously sharing upward/ downward or peer feedback regularly with function head.

© Copyright 2023, I guess.

© Copyright 2024, I guess.