Zomato sees Global Expansion through Multilingual Online Strategy

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At Kwintessential we love to read about companies that have adopted internationalisation to their own advantage. Here is the story of the Indian company Zomato, a restaurant listing website that has proven that a multilingual strategy can be a company’s biggest asset.

According to an article written by Steven Millward for website Techinasia, restaurant listing site Zomato has recently completed the immense task of translating their website in a number of other languages.

The website, that was founded in India, was previously only available in English and for English-speaking locations, but has now been launched in Sao Paolo, Jakarta and Istanbul as well, meaning the website had to be translated in Brazilian Portuguese, Indonesian and Turkish [as per below].

Zomato website in Turkish language

Millward says Zomato is also planning to expand its service to the South African town of Durban and Glasgow and Edinburgh in Scotland. This was stated by Albinder Dhindsa, Zomato’s head of international operations. However, according to Millward, these expansion plans are less challenging as Zomato is already present in these two countries.

After the article on Techinasia was published, news broke six hours later that Zomato had received a $37 million funding to help its expansion plans. This funding is led by the investors of Sequoia Capital, but Info Edge, a company that already provided funding for Zomato in the past, is also involved.

According to Millward, Dhindsa told Techinasia that there are now 12,300 restaurant entries for Jakarta on the Zomato website and mobile app. For 11,9000 of these venues, menu’s and other information has already been uploaded. The addition of these restaurants means that Zomato users can now write reviews about them. Dhindsa says that the expansion to the new territories took quite some effort, as everything “had to [be] set up from scratch.” Zomato created local teams for every single location to ensure the expansion would run smoothly.

zomato's international expansion strategy

In December, the company will also enable users in Bandung, an Indonesian city in the vicinity of Jakarta, to review the restaurants in their hometown, Millward says. This means the overall number of Indonesian restaurants on the website will roughly be 18,000. According to Millward, the Indonesian team of Zomato consists of 21 people that mostly work in the country itself. In fact, there are still a few job openings left!

Dhindsa stated that the company’s next expansion plans involve Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia. In addition, Millward says, the head of international operations is looking into opportunities in Vietnam, even though this market is not very mature yet. After all, it always pays to invest in, or at least investigate, emerging markets!

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