Startups June 19, 2020

Ignite Podcast – Episode 08 – Gautam Ganguly – CEO and Founder of Foodie – Foodie Was Born Inside the Kitchen

Episode Summary

Quote: “The best thing you can do to learn is to break something, and then try to fix it.”

In this episode of the Ignite Podcast, Michael Waitze is joined by Gautam Ganguly, the CEO and Founder of Foodie, a cloud-based restaurant automation and e-commerce platform dedicated to optimising user experience when ordering food. They discussed how Gautam went from software consulting to product development, the stigma around those in computer science, and the secret recipe for a successful product. 

Firing Up The Computer

“My first computer was what really fired me up,” said Gautam.

Gautam’s interest in technology came to him via a “Build-Your-Own Computer” kit that his father’s friend had gifted him and his family. He explained to Michael how his fascination for technology grew after seeing how the computer was put together and how easy it was to do so.

His father’s friend had urged him to experiment with it, saying that the “best thing you can do to learn is to break it, and then to try to fix it.” Gautam did just that. 

Gautam shares his early experiences with technology and explained to Michael that through firing up the computer, he also ignited a newfound passion. 

From Keyboard to Kitchen

“There are only three things you can be today as a young Indian person, you can either be a doctor, an engineer, or a family disappointment.” 

This mindset is far from uncommon in the Asian community, and like many people out there, Gautam was also faced with this uncomfortable choice. In his case, his mother wanted him to pursue a medical career after two generations of his family joined the armed.. 

However, Gautam decided he was going to carve his own path, and went on to tell Michael about his own journey after obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Applications.

Cooking Up the Product

Foodie was born inside the kitchen of Pizzamania,” said Gautam. 

Gautam revealed to Michael that he had little to no experience in the food industry, let alone the e-commerce side of it. But as he stood in the kitchen of Pizzamania – a restaurant he had worked with – ideas started to emerge. 

He then went on to explain the secret recipe behind developing successful products. Gautam tells Michael that products should be built in an environment that needs it and discusses the importance of remembering that you are rarely your own customer.

To learn more about Gautam Ganguly and his successful approach to integrating technology and e-commerce in the food industry, listen to this episode of the Ignite Podcast.

The audio for this episode was expertly produced by Alanis Braun.

The music for this episode is ‘Clear Progress‘ by Scott Holmes.


Michael has been podcasting with some of the best investors and business builders globally and discussing all things startup with them from an Asian perspective.

Michael I. Waitze worked in Global Finance for more than 20 years, employed by firms like Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, primarily in Tokyo.

Michael always maintained a particular focus on how technology could be used successfully to make businesses more efficient and to drive P/L growth.

After more than 20 years in Tokyo, Michael moved to Southeast Asia to get more involved in the Private Equity and Venture Capital business and invest his own capital.

Michael is quite skilled at connecting people and capital to innovative ideas and is a trusted advisor to both investors and founders. Michael has raised capital and advised some of the most famous startups in the region.

Michael is a leader in the digital media space, having pioneered the concept of a podcast network in Asia, while building the biggest and fastest growing listener base in the region. His flagship website,, has listeners in over 100 countries and is available on virtually every podcast player that supports RSS feeds.


Gautam Ganguly is the CEO and Founder of Foodie, a cloud-based restaurant automation and e-commerce platform dedicated to optimising user experience when ordering food.