Zomato delivery riders will have a number emblazoned on their bags that can be used to report them if they speed on the roads, the company’s chief executive officer said in its annual general meeting (AGM) on August 30.
“We do not incentivise riders to deliver an order quickly. We don’t even tell them what the estimated delivery time is. If someone is speeding, it is of their own accord,” said Zomato founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal.
Speaking at the company’s first AGM after going public, Goyal took the backseat as he made just one remark on rider safety while the company’s chief financial officer (CFO) Akshant Goyal took the rest of the questions.
While 41 shareholders registered as speakers for the AGM, only around 10 of them got the chance to quiz the company’s management. Most of the questions centered around Zomato’s path to profitability, plunging share prices, and the acquisition of quick commerce company Blinkit.
One of the shareholders asked, “Please sochiye share price kaise upar jayega. Koi aisi news laiye ki share price bohot upar jaye.." (Please think about how the share prices can be driven up… Make some news such that the prices rise very high.)
Zomato shares are currently trading at a discount of over 20 percent to the issue price of Rs 76 apiece in its initial public offering (IPO) last year. While the stock was listed at a premium of 66 percent on its market debut and hit an all-time high of Rs 169 apiece, the hoopla was short-lived as the stock fell 8 percent on the day the anchor lock-in period of 30 days ended.
“I would pray to god so that curse may fall on the dishonest anchor investors who pulled down the price. They should be blacklisted. I want to find out how long it will take the co to regain the old share prices. My holding is at the average rate of Rs 152 and I have 250 shares,” said a shareholder during the AGM.
“When the Zomato IPO came, I was happy to be allotted shares. The premium listing was short-lived. Today my capital is negative and I am in pain. Our bottom line is in red... While we make money on every transaction, why should we be operating at loss?” wondered another shareholder.
Answering these questions, Akshant Goyal, Zomato’s chief financial officer of Zomato said, “Our current share price is 20 percent below the issue price… There are some factors beyond our control…. But the management is working hard to increase the top line and improve profitability"
Goyal also added that the company expects the food delivery business to show profits in the next few quarters. “At a company level we should break even in 6 months to 1 year… without (excluding) Blinkit which will take a bit longer.”
There were also a few lighter moments during the AGM. For instance, one shareholder heaped praises on the management for rising share prices and consistent dividend distributions over the years – both of which have not yet happened in the one year of the e-commerce unicorn’s public market presence.Another high-spirited shareholder announced, “Thank you for making deliveries to every household in India. Har ghar tiranga, har haath mein Zomato.” (A tricolour in every household and Zomato in every hand.)