When Swiggy launched in 2014, it was seen as a late entrant in an overcrowded market. Back then, the online ordering and delivery of food was not considered attractive, and Zomato, the leader in food-tech, didn’t expand its delivery service, which was deemed messy and unviable. In less than four years, Swiggy has become one of the much-talked-about unicorn startups. The company has also forced Zomato to rethink its decision to invest hundreds of crores of rupees to compete with Swiggy, which dominates online food ordering.
To put it in perspective, India’s most successful startup, Flipkart, entered the billion-dollar club a little more than six years ago. Swiggy, which was launched in Koramangala in Bengaluru by Sriharsha Majety, Nandan Reddy, and Rahul Jaimini, surpassed that mark in less than four years, becoming the fastest startup to become a unicorn.
Despite being part of the 2014-2015 wave of hyper-funding, Swiggy continues to thrive. There were supposed to be dozens of successful companies and a few unicorns as a result of that wave. When all was said and done, only Swiggy emerged victorious. The company has beaten hundreds of companies along the way, including Zomato and Foodpanda, as well as peers, such as Tinyowl, which eventually collapsed. Here’s how
- Logistics are a key focus
In the startup ecosystem, Swiggy’s success fits in with a trend: companies that have control over the entire customer experience have triumphed over purely marketplaces. Swiggy did a lot of things right, but the driving force behind its success is its excellent logistics operation.
Startups preferred to not build their own supply chains when they started Swiggy rather than focus on building a cool app. Marketplaces such as Zomato, TinyOwl, and Foodpanda connect customers with restaurants, but “outsource” delivery to third parties. Even Flipkart cut its logistics operations in 2015, a mistake it would later correct. The company was convinced that the only way to break into the food delivery market was to build an extensive logistics network. Many food-technology companies are now operating their own fleets for delivery.
- Don’t let the trend pass you by
Majety and Reddy, two of Swiggy’s founders, weren’t embarking on their first project together. Mid-2013, the two BITS-Pilani graduates came together to develop an idea that would take full advantage of the Indian e-commerce boom. In India, shipping goods across the country is a massive pain point for e-commerce, which is why the duo developed Bundl, a technology product.
- Create a complementary team
The company decided to incorporate Swiggy as Bundl Technologies Pvt. as a tribute to their earlier efforts. Ltd in August 2014. Furthermore, Swiggy was successful because each of the three co-founders had a unique skill set. Majety first found his calling as a trader at Nomura in London in 2011. A few months later, however, he became disillusioned by corporate life. The man had been working well for a year, but after a year he decided to travel and take time off work. The trip took him through Europe and Asia, and during that time he grew to realize that he wanted to pursue his own interests.