My mentor gave me the hunger to learn from: Deepinder Goyal, CEO, Zomato
In the run-up to the grand finale of the ET Startup Awards 2017, your favourite newspaper presents a special series on the lessons that some of India's most celebrated entrepreneurs have learnt from their mentors.
Whenever I am down and need some advice, the first person I go to is my wife Kanchan Joshi. A PhD from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, Kanchan is a mathematics professor at Delhi University and since she has never worked in a corporate set-up, I get a very unbiased meaning of life. I discuss my deepest conflicts with her.
I remember the advice from Sanjeev Bikhchandani (founder of Info Edge, the largest shareholder in Zomato) when he gave us our seed round seven years ago: "Deepinder, everything that goes wrong at Zomato is your fault because at some point in time, you could have done something to not let that happen."
This piece of advice came back full circle especially in the past two years. When things started going downhill at Zomato about 2 years ago, when we had to layoff staff in the US and shut operations in some countries, I took some of Sanjeev's advice to heart and reacted very negatively. I thought this was all my fault.
But over time, I realised that there is no way I cannot make mistakes. Everybody has got to learn and one can't be 100% right all the time.
That's part of life. I think what I now understand of what he said to me is that 'everything is your fault, but you should quickly learn from these mistakes and make sure you don't repeat them.' So you have to constantly be in learning mode and you can never get to a point where you believe you actually know it all. The moment you begin to feel so, that is where it ends.