Two of India’s most successful online travel players agree that they have to continue groping towards a truly successful model that works for India, in India: they are learning on the job and the process takes its time. Deep Kalra CEO of MakeMyTrip, told delegates at the Travel Distribution Summit in Mumbai on Thursday that no ‘bricks’ business could ever compare with an online business in the ability to get accurate usage feedback. Echoing the words of Cuba Gooding Jr playing the footballer-client of Tom Cruise who famously said: ‘Show me the money’, Kalra suggested he could at any time say “ Show me the data!” – and expect get the most detailed feedback about his operations, which leads him to say “In Date we trust”.
Dhruv Shringi, CEO of Yatra.com, suggested that the virtual travel infrastructure works well in India, partly because the real infrastructure often lets customers down.
Both CEOs agreed that Indian customers long used to a level of personalized service from living, breathing travel agents that was unobtainable anywhere else, were a challenge for online service providers and there was still much that the online model could not deliver by way of customer satisfaction . However this was clearly the way of the future and the potential of the Indian market was so huge that neither was seriously looking elsewhere.
MakeMyTrip.com, India’s leading online travel company was founded in the year 2000 by Deep Kalra. Created to empower the Indian traveller with instant booking and comprehensive choices, the company began its journey in the US-India travel market. MakeMyTrip followed its success in the US by launching its India operations in 2005.The company began trading on the NASDAQ Global Market on 12 Aug 2010 under the symbol “MMYT”.
Yatra.com was co founded by Dhruv Shringi and Manish Amin in 2006. The Yatra.com team is currently 700 people strong with staff being based across 16 cities in India. Its investors include Reliance Venture Asset management, TVS Group, Norwest and Intel Capital.
The Summit which concluded on October 7, was organised by the London based Eye for Travel and attracted the cream of the India-based travel, tourism and logistics industry
October 8 2010