Zomato's Deepinder Goyal preaches tolerance: But, here's how he lost it when it comes to Hindi!

Though Zomato has reinstated the customer care executive, whom it had fired for a controversial response to a customer that drawn massive outrage against the company, Chief Executive of Zomato Deepinder Goyal had seemingly fueled the wrath after preaching tolerance. However, the netizens are rewinding back to when Goyal had lost his tolerance in a fashion akin to what has happened now. Before we go into Goyal's tolerance level, let's take a look at the story so far. 

The nationwide outrage against the company was due to the sequel of Zomato's customer care executive's message that Hindi is the national language and that everyone should know Hindi a little. On Monday, a Twitter user Vikash has shared the screenshots of his conversation with the Zomato executive and ever since it was posted on a global platform, it has presented a pack of backlash to the food delivery company. In his tweet, Vikash has said he had ordered food in Zomato and an item was missed after which he contacted the concerned restaurant asking about the missing item. 

Vikash's screenshots show that he had spoken to the restaurant about the missing item. But, he was told by the restaurant to contact Zomato and ask for a refund. When he asked the executive to call the restaurant for the refund, the executive has replied, "Already tried 5 times but language barrier." Vikash then replies, "If Zomato is available in Tamil Nadu, they should have hired people who understand the language. Ask them to transfer to someone else and get me a refund." 

Responding to his message, the Zomato executive has said, "For your kind information, Hindi is our national language. So it is very common that everybody should know Hindi a little bit." Sharing all these conservations on Twitter, Vikash alleged, "Customer care says amount can't be refunded as I didn't know Hindi. Also takes the lesson that being an Indian, I should know Hindi. Tagged me a liar as he didn't know Tamil. " He further wrote, "Zomato, not the way you talk to a customer." Vikash has also tagged the official handles of the Chief Minister Office's, Tamil Nadu, DMK MP Kanimozhi, Udhayanidhi Stalin, and several news agencies to get their attention towards the matter. 

His Tweet has been going viral and has drawn massive notice and scrutiny against Zomato. After knowing that a wide call to reject Zomato has been spreading online, the company came up with a response. Replying to Vikash on Twitter, Zomato has said, "Hi Vikash, this is unacceptable. We'd like to get this checked ASAP, could you please share your registered contact number via a private message?". Vikash then demands the company to issue a public apology. He replied, "I need a strong clarification and public apology from the concerned person who accused me a liar and asked me to learn Hindi without any base reasons."

While the company has later said to Vikash that his concern has been addressed, it was a testament on social media sites that the matter didn't get subdued. Several Tweeple had used the hashtag #Reject_Zomato and slammed the company and circulated their tweets that 'Hindi is not our national language.' The incident had again brought the debate of Hindi into the limelight and it has invited a strong affirmation, for yet another time, that Hindi hasn't been a national language. After several political leaders including DMK MPs had demanded Zomato to issue an apology, by using the hashtags #HindiIsNotNationalLanguage and #StopHindiImposition, the company has tendered an apology. 

On Tuesday, the company has issued a statement in English and Tamil and said on Twitter, "Vanakkam Vikash, we apologise for our customer care agent's behaviour. Here's our official statement on this incident. We hope you give us a chance to serve you better next time. Please don't #Reject_Zomato (sic)." In its statement, Zomato has said, "Vanakkam Tamil Nadu, we are sorry for the behaviour of our customer care agent, we have terminated the agent for their negligence towards our diverse culture. The termination is in line with our protocols, and the agent's behaviour was clearly against the principles of sensitivity that we train our agents for on a regular basis. This customer care agent's statements do not represent our company's stance towards language and diversity." 

"At Zomato, we are building a Tamil version of our app. We have already localised marketing communication in Tamil for the state (e.g. we also signed up Aniruddh Ravichander as our local brand ambassador), and we are in the process of building a local Tamil call/support centre in Coimbatore. We understand food and language are core to any local culture and we take both of them seriously", Zomato added. Though the netizens in Tamil Nadu had welcomed the apology from the company, a section of them, including Vikash, had objected to the termination of the executive and appealed to Zomato to take her back into the company. 

Vikash took to Twitter and wrote, "Hello Zomato. Apart from the clarification regarding the issue, I request you to reconsider on recruiting back the employee rather than terminating. I suggest to give them a proper training instead. தமிழர்களின் மரபு சுயமரியாதை யே தவிர பழி வாங்குதல் அல்ல. (The legacy of Tamilians is self-respect, not revenge) Thanks." His comments were echoed by many with one of the Tweeple saying not to fire employees but teach them basic things like Hindi is not the National language of India. Several requests were poured in towards the company to reinstate the fired executive, instead of sacking her. 

Later, the company has announced that the executive has been called back. Zomato's CEO Deepinder Goyal took to Twitter and wrote, "An ignorant mistake by someone in a support centre of a food delivery company became a national issue. The level of tolerance and chill in our country needs to be way higher than it is nowadays. Who's to be blamed here?. On that note, we are reinstating the agent – this alone is not something she should have been fired for. This is easily something she can learn and do better about going forward. And remember, our call centre agents are young people, who are at the start of their learning curves and careers. They are not experts on languages and regional sentiments. Nor am I, btw." 

Goyal added that Zomato loves Tamil Nadu. He said, "Having said that, we should all tolerate each other's imperfections. And appreciate each other's language and regional sentiments. Tamil Nadu – we love you. Just as much as we love the rest of the country. Not more, not less. We are all the same, as much as we are different." While his response has helped the company to subdue the outrage, on one hand, it has sparked a fresh stir on the other as several netizens had criticised Goyal for his message of tolerance when it comes to fighting the fiction. A section of netizens had gone a rewind back to when Goyal had lost his tolerance when it comes to Hindi. 

On December 31, 2020, Goyal had taken a break from his tolerance when one person in the team doesn't; understand Hindi. Goyal shared a post on Twitter that showed a virtual meeting between the techies and he wrote, "Funny how it gets so hard for techies to solve problems when one person in the team doesn't understand Hindi." His controversial tweet has attracted more ire from the users particularly from South India at that time with some asking him to keep his company in North India and recruit only Hindians. 

What he tweeted in December 2020 has now been going viral as many users have been circulating this tweet to display the moment when he lost his tolerance when a person in the team doesn't understand Hindi. When Goyal now says each other's language and regional statement must be appreciated, who is to be blamed here? There has been a demand only for a public apology and not to fire the concerned executive, but Goyal's administration has fired her, by missing tolerance. Who's to be blamed here?