Students Staff

17 March 2016

Web entrepreneur wins Education UK Alumni Award in India

Ankit Mehrotra shows off the Dineout website

Ankit Mehrotra

Entrepreneur Ankit Mehrotra has won the entrepreneurial category of the Education UK Alumni Awards organised by the British Council after helping to transform the restaurant industry in India.

The award recognises Ankit for his outstanding business leadership and commitment to innovation.

The BEng Computers and Telecommunications Engineering graduate is the co-founder of, India’s first and largest table reservation platform.

The website now serves eight cities and 2,500-plus restaurants, and has helped two million diners book a restaurant table online or over the phone, with users benefitting from exclusive discounts.

Launching Dineout and a new way to eat out

Ankit with Dineout co-founders

Ankit with Dineout co-founders

After a successful career in London’s financial sector, where he worked as an Investment Banker with BNP Paribas for 6 years, Ankit returned to India to launch Dineout with three friends in March 2012 and the multi-award winning company was bought by Times Internet Limited in April 2014.

Ankit remains at the helm overseeing a team of 200 people and Dineout is determined to maintain its position as the largest table reservation platform in India - acquiring inResto in August 2015

He said: “Along our journey, dineout won a number of awards including the Websparks Award in 2013, Microsoft Bizspark in 2013, Most Innovative Startup at India Internet Day 2013 and I was awarded the Prestigious Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the 6th Indira International Innovation Summit in 2013.

“I was also the runner-up on season three of Bloomberg TV’s, The Pitch - India’s biggest business reality show.”

Essex Spirit inspires business success

Ankit describes his time at Essex as “one of the best experiences of my life” which has played a central role in his success.

“I was 17 and the youngest in the University,” he said. “It was an eye opener. For the first time in my life, I was meeting students from different countries – China, Russia, Spain, Italy, 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 as well as a personal perspective.

“Another huge change I experienced was in the culture of teaching. While India was all about studying books and exams, in the UK I was taught to think analytically and experiment. A lot more emphasis was placed on projects and doing things. The environment encouraged me to apply my mind to problem-solving, and to think on my feet and that has helped me as an entrepreneur.

“I also 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.”

Driving change and innovation

The Essex spirit has definitely helped Ankit be at the forefront of the food-tech industry as he creates and builds a new business sector in India.

“We are driving a cultural and behavioural change in the way people dine out and helping India dine out better,” he said.

“Seeing our success, a lot of other start-ups have entered in the food tech and table reservation sector. This has helped the community and also spawned a lot of jobs.

“We have really had an impact on the restaurant industry in India - increasing the number of people dining out and as a result directly increasing the revenue generated. This positively impacts the GDP of India as the restaurant industry contributes approximately 2% to the GDP of India.

“We are constantly pushing forward change and innovation, and there is a direct relation between our success and the success of the restaurant sector. As dineout grows, more people will dine out, which means more people will visit the restaurants and this will grow the sector.”

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