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Deepak Gulati quits as Zomato president, COO within six months
Photo Credit: Shah Junaid/VCCircle

Deepak Gulati, who had joined online restaurant listings and food ordering startup Zomato Media Pvt. Ltd in March, has stepped down as its president and chief operating officer.

“It is true, Deepak is no longer a part of the executive team. He will continue to be associated with Zomato as a member of our board of advisors. Deepak has been, and continues to be a wonderful coach and an advisor to Deepinder,” a company spokesperson said.

Before joining Zomato, Gulati was the president, chairman office­-technology group and senior advisor at Indonesia-based Sinarmas Group. Earlier he served as the CEO and executive president of Tata Docomo.

Frequent CXO exits are not unusual in India’s startup ecosystem. However, Zomato has witnessed half a dozen C-suite executives leaving within months of joining.

In September 2015, Durga Raghunath, the then senior vice-president for growth, had quit barely five months after joining the startup, while former Facebook executive Namita Gupta, who had taken over as the chief product officer at Zomato in June 2015, had put in her papers within 11 months. Former McDonald’s India executive Rameet Arora, too, quit the company as its chief marketing officer within six months. In February 2016, chief product officer Tanmay Saksena also stepped down in yet another senior-level exit.

Earlier in the day, The Economic Times had reported that Gulati had stepped down as Zomato’s COO, citing unnamed people.

In 2016-17, Zomato had reported revenue of Rs 332.3 crore, up 80.6% from Rs 183.9 crore in the previous fiscal year. It had also narrowed its losses to Rs 389 crore from Rs 590.1 crore in the period under consideration.

Zomato’s food-ordering business, which recorded an eight-fold jump from the previous year to around $9 million in 2016-17, contributes 20% to the company’s top line.

In the food ordering space, Zomato’s competitors include Bundl Technologies Pvt. Ltd-owned Swiggy.com and Germany’s Delivery Hero-owned Foodpanda.com. It had recently acquired delivery start-up Runnr in an all-stock deal.

The company is reportedly in talks with Alibaba to raise a whopping $200 million (Rs 1,283 crore), at a valuation of $800 million-1 billion, from the Chinese e-tailing behemoth’s payments arm Ant Financial Services Group, or Alipay.

Zomato’s last funding round in September 2015, saw the company raise $60 million from Singapore government’s investment company Temasek and existing investor Vy Capital.

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