Online travel leader Expedia, consolidates India activities, sets up R&D centre
Gurgaon, October 20, 2012: The largest online travel company in the world -- the Expedia Group plans to set up a global technology centre in India as part of its enhanced investment in India. The Expedia group’s Indian subsidiary companies have already moved to a brand new office premise, spread over 42,000 sq feet in Gurgaon. The facility will primarily house employees working on sales and marketing, research and development, and travel supply support services activities in support of Expedia Group’s Expedia.co.in, Hotels.com-brand, and Egencia (corporate travel) businesses.
The Gurgaon set-up represents one of the Expedia Group’s largest facilities outside of Expedia, Inc.’s Bellevue, Washington corporate headquarters. The new office is the largest facility for the group in Asia Pacific and the fifth largest globally. Expedia Online Travel Services India Private Limited (ExpediaIndia), the Indian subsidiary of Expedia Inc., also plans to hire 300 people locally by end of 2012 as it strengthens its workforce in the region.
As the R&D hub for the region, the new development centre in India will create travel applications for local as well as the global markets. India will be the only other location besides Bellevue, where the Expedia Group will work on solutions across all brands and platforms. The Gurgaon location will house a balanced mix of teams across operations, search and supply functions along with core common infrastructure teams and data centres.
At present, the Expedia Group has R&D presence globally in 11 centers in Bellevue, London, Springfield, San Francisco, Geneva, Paris, Prague, Montreal, and now Gurgaon.
Says Edmond Mesrobian, Chief Technology Officer, Expedia: “India is of strategic importance to us and offers us access to a vast pool of bright technology talent. As one of the fast growing travel markets and given our success in this region, we are delighted to be able to expand our presence by way of setting up an R&D centre that will significantly contribute innovations and new solutions across our full suite of brands both here and globally. We are bullish on the long-term potential of the market and are expecting to hire 300 resources before the end of the year ”.
Adds Rajesh Rai, Director, HR, Expedia India: “While the Expedia Group has gradually become synonymous to ‘Travel Experience’, we really wanted our teams to comprehend to the core, what they stand for. We are a very strong technology company with innovation at the centre of its being. And that’s what we look for when we hire – the hunger to make an impact!. Further, the idea was to extend a fun, comfortable, refreshing and open work environment- that seems less like an ‘office’ and more like a unique travel experience in itself. Full of comfort, we’re in pursuit to make Expediaa great place to work.”
And Vikram Malhi, Country Head, Expedia.co.in comments, “Expedia.co.in has seen tremendous success in the Indian market over the last 3 years. At Expedia, we are committed to facilitating a seamless and fulfilling travel experience. We continually strive towards improvising ourselves and remain in pursuit of innovation, bringing to the Indian consumers, a new travel purchase experience supported by a strong supply of travel products and services. The new technology centre being set up in Gurgaon will be the platform for taking our engagement in the Indian market to the next level.”
“Our Egencia business brings the global best in class technology & operating solutions to business travelers in India, a key emerging market for us” says Gaurav Sundaram, Country Director Egencia India Travel Private Limited. “Whilst our strategy is growth through innovation and investment in technology to better serve our Indian customers, developing and sustaining the next generation of technology experts locally in Gurgaon is an exciting byproduct.”
“The opening of the new office in India is an exciting step on way of Hotels.com’s strategic goal to establish as the leading hotel booking website in India ", says Abhiram Chowdhry, Sr. Director of Marketing, Hotels.com Asia Pacific. The Indian market has great potential and one where our singular positioning as the hotel booking expert has shown great results already. We intend to continue with investments in our product, technology and marketing and offer ever greater value to address the hotel booking needs of the Indian consumer. The new office will be a great conduit for us as a brand in India.”