Eating Up The World: a JCU Student Idea Becomes Zomato's Entry to Italy

zomatoOn February 12, Prof. Pulino’s International Entrepreneurship class was proud to host JCU alumnus Guk Kim, founder of Cibando, a quality content and media communication company based in Italy that caters to restaurants and other dining enterprises. Since December of last year, Cibando has become part of the Zomato group, a leading Asian player present in 19 countries.

The path to success was not trouble free;in the beginning Guk faced multiple financial and logistical obstacles, and it was not until 2012 that Cibando reached a significant milestone with about half a million Euro in revenues. Youth was part of the problem, as investors measured not only the risk of the business idea, but also the founder’s experience. Now, however, things are changing, and Guk encourages entering the market right after college, because investors seek students’ ability to think outside of the box.

Guk’s lecture highlighted the importance of adapting to different cultures and situations. He explained that negotiation across cultures can be very unsettling for an entrepreneur and encouraged startup aspirants to develop a wide knowledge of the industry and current competitors before requesting funding or facing an acquisition.

The biggest challenge, though, is the current one of adapting from being a startup, to being part of a multinational like Zomato. The increase in the number of team members, from a dozen or so to nearly 30 almost overnight, has forced Zuk to adjust his management style and study new ways to maintain good relations among his employees.

Finally, he described the characteristics he looks for in new employees:  creativity, determination and a positive attitude. He stressed the importance of learning about the company before even applying for a position and to learn the basics about sales and accounting.

At the end of the lecture he thanked Prof. Favorite for her teaching, admiring the care with which she teaches students the basics of business communication, as well as how to write an informative and interesting resume.

Learn more about the John Cabot Institute for Entrepreneurship