Digital entrepreneur - Ankit Mehrotra
UK degree: BEng Computers and Telecommunications Engineering at the University of Essex
Ankit co-founded dineout.co.in in 2012 and has successfully positioned it as the premier table reservation service in India, winning numerous awards.
What is Dineout?
Dineout is India’s first and largest table reservation platform. It covers eight cities and 2,000 restaurants, and has seated 2 million diners to date.
I founded Dineout in March 2012 with three other friends. Dineout went on to raise a round of funding in August 2012 and after two successful years it was bought by Times Internet Limited in April 2014.
Along our journey, Dineout won a number of awards including the Websparks Award in 2013, Microsoft Bizspark in 2013 and Most Innovative Startup at India Internet Day 2013.
We acquired a company called inResto in Aug 2015 to maintain our position as the largest table reservation platform in India. I am currently managing a team of 200 people.
What did you learn in the UK that helped you start up the business?
In the UK I was taught to think analytically and experiment. A lot more emphasis was placed on projects and doing things. The culture of teaching and the learning environment forced me to apply my mind to problem solving. I had to think on my feet.
All of this has helped me as an entrepreneur. I learnt how to hold my own in a tough situation and to negotiate which was very useful when I was raising funds for my start-up.
Did you enjoy studying in the UK?
Studying at Essex was one of the best experiences of my life.
Studying at Essex was one of the best experiences of my life. For the first time in my life, I was meeting students from different countries – China, Russia, Spain, Italy, the USA, Botswana and so many more.
Coming to the UK to study gave me a global perspective. It opened my eyes to what was going on internationally and introduced me to differing viewpoints from a cultural and personal perspective.
Do you think your business has affected people’s lifestyles in India?
I truly do. We are driving a cultural and behavioural change in the way people dine out and helping India dine out better.
What’s more, being one of the pioneers of the food technology industry in India has definitely helped create and build the sector and the industry. I started Dineout in early 2012 before the start-up boom in India. Seeing our success, a lot of other start-ups have entered in the food tech and reservation sector. This has helped the community and created a lot of jobs.
As Dineout grows, more people will dine out. This is good for the economy and good for the sector. We are constantly driving change and innovation.
Ankit Mehrotra was the winner of the Alumni Award for Entrepreneurship in India, 2016.