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Sara Fonseca | July 10, 2017 | 2 min read
With love, from Portugal

Sara Fonseca,
Lisbon, Gold

June 2nd, 2017: Once every few months, our Content team hits the streets, visiting all areas of the city to find new restaurants that have opened up, and to also make sure all our data on Zomato is up-to-date. We generally request the entire city team to pitch in, so we can get the job done a lot faster. And that’s what happened on this beautiful summer day in Lisbon.

That morning, I put on my old Zomato t-shirt, my most comfortable pair of shoes and looked at myself in the mirror — I couldn’t believe the changes I saw from the first day I’d put on that same t-shirt 3 years ago, for the very same purpose.

I was one of the first few to join the Portugal team and started my journey with the Content team, when no one in the country knew what Zomato was except us. Collecting information from restaurants back then was not exactly a piece of cake. The Portuguese are known for their kind nature but they can be extremely protective too. Sometimes, we’d receive a few threats and would have to very patiently explain that we didn’t want anything from them except a few details to spread the word about their business.

A lot happened after those early days in the Content team, including an amazing opportunity to work out of our headquarters in Delhi NCR, India for 2 years. When I returned home to Portugal, I saw a big difference in the country and the way people saw Zomato but not as much as I did on that day.

We set out to cover our designated areas in groups of 4 to 5, and started approaching the restaurants to cross-check the information. I was completely surprised with the change in people’s reactions. Almost everyone I spoke with knew what Zomato was and they were more than happy to share their details. Moreover, they said they appreciated our work! On top of that, the area assigned to our group was a pretty remote part of Lisbon. I felt super proud of what we have achieved so far (but of course, as true Zomans, we’re hungry for even more — after all we’re always 1% done).

During lunch time, the team gathered at a local eatery and shared experiences of the morning sprint. It was a great opportunity to listen to their Zomato stories. All of us had different backgrounds and joined Zomato at different stages of the company in Portugal. We spoke a lot — about work, the growth of the brand in Portugal, and food. It was team bonding at its best — building something together, sharing the same vision, fighting together for a common target, combined with delicious food, and a feeling of accomplishment.

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