Building features the Agile way…Zomato

Zomato is an Indian restaurant search and discovery service founded in 2008 by Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah. It currently operates in 24 countries. It provides information and reviews of restaurants, including images of menus where the restaurant does not have its own website and also online delivery.

In September 2017, Zomato claimed that the company had “turned profitable” in the 24 countries it currently operates in. Zomato is valued at $1.4 billion within 7 years of inception. That says volumes about the popularity and love for the brand. Furthermore, Zomato announced that the “zero commission model” is to be introduced for partner restaurants. Recently it has made an headline for being the first food delivery company to have tested food delivery on drone “Zomato drone tests food packet delivery at 80 kmph”
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Zomato has competitive advantage of being first mover in many countries and they are expanding fast year on year. They have excellent funding available and also have made multiple technology related acquisitions of late. Zomato has regularly won awards for its app design and for its user-friendliness. It has huge opportunity to expand to more countries and more acquisitions as there are many small players in the space.

Zomato faces huge competition from other players like swiggy,foodpanda etc . It also has threat from Market followers and challengers — In the service industry, it is very easy to replicate the success of another service product or offering. Similarly, marketing followers and challengers can slowly take away the market share of Zomato.

Introduction to Agile development methodology:

In the current competitive landscape organizations need to do rapid development and need to deliver working software continuously and frequently. Agile development and testing practices have worked wonders for innumerable organizations. Positive aspects of Agile are not hidden, they are very much evident in areas like decreased time to market, improved communications or lower costs.

Unlike the waterfall model in agile model very limited planning is required to get started with the project. Agile assumes that the end users’ needs are ever changing in a dynamic business and IT world. Changes can be discussed and features can be newly effected or removed based on feedback. This effectively gives the customer the finished system they want or need.

Agile development model is also a type of Incremental model. Software is developed in incremental, rapid cycles. This results in small incremental releases with each release building on previous functionality. Each release is thoroughly tested to ensure software quality is maintained. It is used for time critical applications. Extreme Programming (XP) is currently one of the most well known agile development life cycle model.

As a product manager planning to implement following features for Zomato app in an incremental and iterative way:

1. Building enhanced search and filters.

Searching for restaurants based on area, cuisine, ratings, type of food etc. is the core of any food delivery aggregator app. To improve the search experience for the users as a Product manager we need to enhance the search and filter options.

Iteration 1: Build a basic search by restaurant name and location.

Iteration 2: Search to include Cuisine, food item name. Add filters for sorting by relevance and cost.

Subsequent iterations: Build predictive recommendations based on previous searches. Add filters based on expected Delivery time , Review Ratings along with Cost and Relevance.

2. Delivery systems: Food delivery by Drone.

Currently, the average time required for the food delivery platform’s biker fleet to deliver food is 30 minutes.Considering the increasing congestion on roads and pollution, using drones for delivery could be a game changer for metro cities as it would help scrape unnecessary traffic off the roads and direct it skyward.

Incremental iterations are as follows:

Iteration1 : Build basic delivery application with delivery partners picking up order at restaurant and delivering to customer via Zomato mobile app.

Iteration 2: Optimizing the delivery routing system by picking delivery partner closest to the restaurant and customer.Later the App to suggest shortest optimal route to the delivery partner for pickup and delivery.

Subsequent iterations: Building the technology and successfully testing food delivery by drone software by integrating it with drone hardware.

Each drone is initially tested with (remote) pilot supervision to ensure safety. Over time, as the company collects more data, it is likely to do away with the pilot supervision.

Run a Pilot for the food delivery by drone feature in a selected region and scale it for all deliveries

3. Zomato gold Membership promotional offer system.

Iteration 1: Membership model is designed for users which offers special discounts and promotions from restaurant partners.

Iteration 2: The membership is made globally accessible to users at all locations where Zomato app is available that is in 24 countries where the app is functional.

Iteration 3: Introduce referral model where user can refer friends and family for Zomato gold membership. And so on ..

To summarize by building the product in an incremental fashion the features built can be released instantly without waiting for one grand release date and depending on user feedback there will be opportunities to fix the issues and enhance the product . The product can stay ahead of competitors in terms of services and innovative solutions offered.