The COVID-19 pandemic has led to Swiggy's Sriharsha Majety introspecting every business decision in a much deeper way specially after it had to massively scale down its ambitious cloud kitchen vertical, the founder said at an event on November 26.
"It has been a very character building year for me. I find myself asking deeper questions every time while making a decision about what can go wrong and doing premortems a lot better," he said at a fireside session along with Marico's Harsh Mariwala at the Sixth Edition of ASCENT eConclave 2021.
Swiggy also had to lay off hundreds of employees. Ironically, the incident happened soon after Swiggy had completed the roll out of its 120th kitchen.
"We had just completed the roll out of the 120th kitchen and these things take a fair amount of capex and then we landed in the middle of COVID in February-March. That kind of absolutely looked like the worst decision in the investment history of startups," Majety said.
"But I think that jolt was very very helpful for me," he said, adding that he took time out to reflect upon how the company got there and what they could do to make sure they didn't repeat the same mistake.
The deadly COVID-19 pandemic saw many companies scaling down multiple business verticals.
Swiggy, for instance, was working with restaurants to expand infrastructure as well as trying out some brands of its own. The decision to close down many of its kitchens was taken depending on its profitability profile.
As the business has recovered, Swiggy recently said its delivery arm grew 56% in the period of April-September, an increase of 91% pre-COVID-19 levels.
According to the regulatory filing, Swiggy reactivated 1,28, 000 restaurants on the platform and clocked 1.59 million orders per day, with a gross merchandise value (GMV) of US $984 million, which is an increase of 69% YoY.Majety also said that the company planned to go public in the next few years without sharing an explicit deadline.