Zomato expands meal delivery in India amid surging covid-19 cases, appoints 4 women to board

INDIA – Food delivery platform, Zomato has expanded the offering of its meal delivery service to include home-style mini-menus to cater for surging demand of food order amid a worsening covid-19 crisis.

The new, curated menus in the delivery app’s platform include options such as khichdi, soups, rajma chawal, and other Indian staples and have been launched in partnership with thousands of restaurants in the country.

Chief Executive Deepinder Goyal said that expansion of the meals available on the platform was necessitated by surging demands from people with poor health in need of wholesome meals.

“For everyone whose parents are struggling with health, cannot cook, or have no help – please order for them, or even better, teach them how to use the Zomato app,” Goyal said.

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This is the second feature Zomato has introduced to help people facing health issues as Covid cases continue to surge in India. Last week, Zomato had rolled out priority deliveries for Covid-19 emergencies.

According to Goyal, the feature will be visible in locations covering about 85% of Zomato’s order volume with plans underway to have the service upscaled to cover more areas in the coming days.

As the pandemic rages on and new daily cases surpass the 300, 000 mark, Zomato’s not-for-profit arm Feeding India has partnered with logistics firm Delhivery to source oxygen concentrators and related supplies to help hospitals and families in need.

In a tweet, co-founder Deepinder Goyal said the company had already already kickstarted the effort and was requesting donors to help the company save hundreds of thousands of lives.

Independent members appointed to board

Meanwhile, the IPO-bound food-delivery firm has added five new independent members on its board, four of whom are women, as it prepares to go make its public market debut soon.

“Up until now, we had a largely investor run board. But today, I’m elated to share that we have five independent members on our board of eight people, four of whom are women,” the delivery platform’s CEO said in a tweet.

Among the new independent board directors are Kaushik Dutta, the director of Thought Arbitrage Research Institute, who is taking over as the chairman of the board.

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 Others include professional badminton player Aparna Popat, Gunjan Tilak Raj Soni, CEO of Zalora Group, an ecommerce platform which runs in South East Asia, Namita Gupta, founder of Airveda, and Sutapa Banerjee who is a behavioural insights advisor.

Douglas Feagin, senior vice president of Ant Group and Info Edge founder Sanjeev Bikhchandani, the two largest investors in Zomato, continue to be on the final board along with Goyal.

Mohit Bhatnagar, MD, Sequoia Capital India has left the board he’d been a part of since October 2015 as per filings sourced from business intelligence platform Tofler.

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