Restaurant review site and app, Zomato has pulled down its controversial hiring campaign, ‘Tech Capital’ launched two days ago, following the social media outrage it triggered.
Looking to hire for tech positions in Delhi, the company had taken an ambitious route in its hiring campaign – it wanted to make Delhi as the official tech capital of India, despite the crown being worn by Bangalore, more popularly known as the ‘Silicon Valley of India’. The idea was accompanied by a cheeky infographic and reasons as to why Delhi wins over Bangalore, where each reason took a jibe at Bangalore traffic, curfews, lack of cuisine, etc.
“Honestly, we have a really hard time understanding Bangalore’s tag as India’s Tech Capital. The more we think about it, the less sense it makes. Delhi has a lot more tech success stories than Bangalore,” Zomato had reasoned in its opening line.
But, it now admits, “What we thought was a cheeky dig at Bangalore spiralled into something we never imagined,” as read in a post by CEO, Deepinder Goyal.
Since the morning the campaign was launched on May 20, furious people (especially Bangaloreans) took on to Twitter to give a piece of their mind to Zomato. They threatened to uninstall its app. The keyword ‘Zomato’ started trending on top Twitter India trends, and as the day wore on, many spoof pages of the campaign had sprung up. It was difficult to differentiate which was the original campaign page and which was the spoof. The spoof pages (now taken down) took a harsher dig at Zomato and more so at Delhi, even calling it the ‘rape capital’.
Zomato CEO’s post clarifies the campaign objective with, “This was just a hiring campaign to attract the right talent, and not to offend, outrage, degrade, stereotype, or do any of the terrible things that have been claimed.”
It further praises Bangalore and its tech talent:
“We love Bangalore, and we have absolutely nothing against the city or its people. In fact, this campaign wouldn’t have seen the light of day if not for the awesome tech talent there.”
Also, Zomato clarifies that it did not create the spoof pages, as alleged by some.
Admitting its mistake on the campaign again, Zomato steered clear from all allegations of Tech Capital being given a ‘racist, rapist or criminal tone’. “We admit we got the campaign wrong this time, but to those who gave it a racist, rapist or criminal tone – we are sorry, we are not with you.”
Although the Zomato post does not sound all that apologetic, it appears that the company has received a severe beating for it to finally call off the campaign. As per NextBigWhat article, Zomato’s Android app rating before the campaign was 4.5 with 25696 votes, while it came down to 4.3 with 25800 votes. Also it has been reported that many uninstalled the app while many gave the app a single star rating on Play store.
While Deepinder states the campaign to be attributed to the company’s craziness and not stupidity, it also says that the next time it will take ‘more than five opinions before going live’ with such a campaign. We suggest Zomato to not run any kind of campaign that can incite communal, regional or racist fury, in a multi-dimentional country like India.