Alok Jain

Online restaurant and events guide Zomato has appointed Alok Jain as its Chief Marketing Officer. This was disclosed by Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal on Twitter. Speaking to Medianama, Jain told they now intend to step up Zomato’s marketing campaigns and make the company from being an Indian brand to a global brand.

Prior to this appointment, Jain was serving as the chief marketing officer of Smile Group’s daily deals site DealsAndYou.com for a short five months stint. Before this, he founded a mobile apps firm Unyqe in 2011 and a Singapore-based digital marketing solutions firm Think Net in May 2010. He had also launched an online digital photo printing service PhotoMasti.com (now defunct) in March 2006, which was shut down an year later and an online T-shirt portal Teepsy.com in March 2005, which was sold off in January 2006. Besides this, he’s also had a short stint at GE Capital.

Elaborating on Zomato’s approach to marketing, Jain said the marketing initiatives in each market depends on the stage that they are in that market and it will be a mix of offline and online marketing. They currently do a lot of below-the-line marketing and they intend to do some above-the-line marketing in a few markets. From branding perspective, there is a B2B plan wherein restaurants recognizes Zomato as a brand and they have to establish that. Then there is a B2C plan for consumers.

Three New Countries In November: Jain said Zomato plans to expand its operations to three new countries in November – Brazil (Sao Paulo & Rio De Janeiro), Turkey (Istanbul) and Indonesia (Jakarta). Over the past year, Zomato has significantly focused on its International rollout and is now present in 27 locations across nine countries including India, New Zealand, Philippines, Qatar, Sri Lanka, South Africa, UAE and United Kingdom.

Catering: It looks like Zomato has also launched a new catering section, which allows users to browse through various caterers, select a caterer based on various factors like cuisine and pricing among others and then call up the caterer to make the booking. This is quite similar to the pay per lead model Zomato has with select restaurants for restaurant booking service. It looks like Zomato is experimenting with other revenue channels, considering that advertising accounted for 95.7% of its revenues in FY 2013.

Zomato Catering

While players like JustDial already offer listings for caterers across the country, the focus here seems to be only on premium caterers in a specific city. The company told Medianama that the service was first launched in Delhi NCR in March 2013 and later extended to Mumbai and Bangalore earlier this month. It plans to extend the service to other metro cities later this year.

The company said this section was introduced since several users had asked them if it would be possible to search for caterers for their private parties or important occasions like weddings, engagements and birthdays among others and it made sense to Zomato since a lot of restaurants also offer catering services, due to which it was able to source the data for the service.