Zomato’s Deepinder Goyal and Swiggy’s Sriharsha Majety food storm on New Year’s Eve

How can the last day of a year that has seen dramatic highs and lows, end without a bang? Notwithstanding the night curfew in the light of the ominous procession of Omicron across cities and towns in India, there are fireworks going on alright on this New Year’s Eve.

Unless you have attained nirvana from what is now the Web 2.0 world (we are still figuring out Web 3.0), you would have witnessed the mother of all face-offs on Twitter.

It started with Deepinder Goyal of Delhi-based Zomato giving minute-by-minute tidbits of information from what he referred to as Zomato’s war room. Starting with his fingers crossed for the AWS server gods to behave, Deepinder shared that the app opens were up 91 percent w-o-w compared to Christmas eve, “which was unusually high anyway. Expecting this 91% to land at 200-250% by 7pm,” he tweeted.

Apparently, a cake was being ordered on Zomato every single second when he shared that slice of information four hours ago.

It was probably around this time that Zomato’s arch-rival Bangalore-based Swiggy joined the tweet party. Its official handle swung into action saying, “Tonight, India comes together under one roof to throw this year’s biggest house party.” Adding some masala to keep the suspense, it urged, “more details to follow soon.”

Clearly, Swiggy’s social media team was caught in a food coma, having just recently served plates full of insights on how India ate in 2021, which had been consumed with equal glee on social media.

But come on, it’s not a faceoff if not between equals. Here was Deepinder’s DP in his bright Zomato red tee giving you steamy details straight from the sizzling wok, and all it gets in response is a tepid soft drink?

It was time for the gentle Co-founder of Swiggy Sriharsha Majety to dust off his shy cloak, don his toque blanche, and get out of his comfort zone. It’s not going to be a nice quiet dinner at home, is it?

Founders of Swiggy (L-R – Nandan Reddy, Rahul Jaimini and Sriharsha Majety)

“On Swiggy’s first NYE in 2014 as a three-month-old food delivery platform, we did one order every three minutes. How times have changed. Love India’s hunger for more,” tweeted Sriharsha. He was responding to their new record of 5500 orders per minute last NYE, to 6610 orders per minute (at 7 pm) in 2021 NYE.

But Deepinder was unrelenting. His tweets were flying faster than the speedometer of this company’s delivery partners. Apparently, Zomato’s “delivery partners had already travelled 16.8 lakh kilometers in the last hour (from the time he tweeted this) to deliver hot and sizzling food to you for NYE.”

By 9:30 pm, Zomato had recorded two million orders! “First time in a single day. Three more hours to go…” tweeted Deepinder. All this food was worth Rs 91 crores!

In between, Albinder Dhindsa, Founder of Blinkit (it was Grofers recently), also joined the party. He tweeted saying, “50,000+ nimbus sold already today. I guess it’s tequila time.” Blinkit got a leg up from Deepinder (Zomato recently acquired a 10 percent stake in grocery delivery app Blinkit), who also shared what was flying off its shelves.

“– 130,154 liters of Soda

– 11,943 ice packs (hope no one is getting injured, and this is just for drinks)

– 4,884 jars of dips to go with nachos and chips

– 6,712 tubs of ice creams

– 28,240 packs of instant popcorn

– 7,000 packs of nachos

– 33,440 condoms were ordered today. “Someone ordered 80 condoms in one go. Durex seems to be India’s choice when it comes to safety,” he tweeted. “This is what we do usually in 2 weeks time at Blinkit.”

Meanwhile, on Swiggy’s Instamart it was already the morning after and India had bought 15,458 cartons of eggs, 35,177 bags of tomatoes, 27,574 bags of onions, and 7,822 bread packets.

By 9 pm, Swiggy had crossed 2 million orders. Tweeted Sriharsha, “…a wonderful tech team (which is handling our craziest demand yet!) and 6 years later, we are still looking for more iOS developers :D” There you go. Looks like no one has yet been able to fulfill the demand for engineers in a country that produces more than 700,000 engineers every year.

As midnight drew closer, the face-off had cooled down. Deepinder forgot to order his own dinner, which he later did, and Sriharsha’s appetite for the Twitter spotlight had been whetted. Before he left he said, “OPM (orders per minute) and all is great, but my new FPM (followers per minute ) hit an all-time high too :D. Thanks for following my mini entry on Twitter!!!”

What did India, including my noisy neighbours who are having a house party, consume this NYE? According to Swiggy, biryani took the cake. “We are a biryani loving nation and it shows. No wonder 1229 biryanis were marked ‘delivered’ in a minute!”

Meanwhile, I missed ordering my food and shall have to do with lunch leftovers. Am always a glutton for punishment.

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