India-based online restaurant guide to expand in Turkey
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
A touristic restaurant, Asansör, is located in the western province of İzmir. Zomato plans to expand to İzmir.The India-based online restaurant and nightlife guide, Zomato, which was recently established in Turkey, is set to expand its services.
“Currently, we have 16,000 restaurants in Istanbul and 4,000 in Ankara. For 2014, we are targeting being in four cities in Turkey, and have announced İzmir as being the 3rd one,” Chief Operating Officer (COO) Pankaj Chaddah said in an email interview with the Hürriyet Daily News.
Chaddah stated that before choosing Turkey as its new field of operations, Zomato did a detailed on-the-ground study to evaluate the market. This involved picking a list of cities that it thought may be feasible on a macro level (demographics, regulations, etc.), and then sending people to do a “dip-stick” on the all operations and opportunities. “This is the best way for us to figure out if we should enter and the customizations that a local market will need,” he said, adding that the process had given them a very good idea of the market.
Chaddah said the Internet and mobile networks were growing very fast in Turkey and people loved eating out. “We see the need of a convenient restaurant search and discovery platform, which makes it a great market for us. We intend to make restaurant discovery easier for anyone looking to eat out, go out for drinks, or order in with our customized, bi-lingual website and mobile apps that come with special filters for breakfast, shisha and rooftop restaurants,” he said.
Zomato currently operates in Istanbul and Ankara, with around 20,000 restaurants participating. Having recently made public that it would expand to İzmir as a third city, Chaddah said the company was targeting a total of four cities in Turkey.
Zomato was founded in 2008, and provides online listings of over 160,000 restaurants in 35 cities across India. After initially starting in India, Zomato expanded to 11 countries: India, the UAE, the U.K., the Philippines, South Africa, New Zealand, Brazil, Indonesia, Turkey, Qatar and Sri Lanka.
Chaddah said the company planned to expand to 22 new countries over the next two years.