Dineout is a little restaurant reservation app – which has helped over three million diners find a table. Co-founder and BEng Computers and Telecommunications Engineering graduate Ankit Mehrotra tells us how it happened.

Having established a successful investment banking career in the City, Ankit decided to leave the nine-to-five behind and return to India. After the launch of Top Table, the UK restaurant reservation website, he spotted an opportunity to launch a similar service in his home country. He knew it was a risk, but his Essex degree had given him the self-belief he needed to make the leap.

Building an empire
Dineout was launched across eight cities in India in 2012. The company expanded into Dubai and Singapore and in 2014 was acquired by Times Internet Ltd. Ankit remains at the helm, overseeing a team of around 400 employees.

Providing the foundations for success
Ankit credits Essex with honing his business acumen. Not only did the flexible degree structure allow him to take optional modules on finance, but the learning style was completely different to his previous experiences. “School in India was all about reading books and cramming. At Essex, I learnt to question everything and find out the answers for myself. I worked for the Students’ Union, joined the gliding society and the cricket club too and made friends from all over the world. Studying at Essex is about your whole life experience.”

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