Having identified hotels and international airlines as big growth areas for itself, MakeMyTrip is scouting for more acquisitions after Goibibo. Deep Kalra, Founder and Group CEO, MakeMyTrip, speaks to TRAVTALK about the growth areas for the company.
After the recent merger with rival online travel agent Goibibo, MakeMyTrip Ltd. is looking to acquire technology oriented hotel solution providers. Revealing this is Deep Kalra, Founder and Group CEO, MakeMyTrip. He says, “For us, growth will continue on the hotel side. We have been growing very fast in this area with high double-digit growth, even reported triple-digit growth. We have identified international air and hotels as big growth areas for us.”
Speaking about the integration with Goibibo, Kalra says, “We have to appreciate that it’s not just a merger on paper but of people. There are a large number of people on both sides. We have 1500 members and Goibibo has about 1200 people plus redBus. Ever since we got our approval from the Competition Commission of India in January, we have been working on a pretty intensive plan.” This started with the leadership team on both sides with 18 people and slowly involved more people. The idea behind this, Kalra adds, was to appreciate skills and strengths on both sides and get to know each other. The company, which will soon get a new name too, has moved into a new office with everyone. MakeMyTrip now also has about 600 agents–all women–working from home under its Holiday Experts Program that was launched five years ago.
“We had been trying to get experienced people for a long time. After a lot of research, we realised a lot of the experienced people had fallen off the grid because of maternity issues and such. We wanted to harness this talent so we support them with our technology and hardware,” Kalra adds. The ‘experts’ logged-in from home after training and tackled leads and queries shared by the company. It has over the course of time about 1,000 people working under this program. Extrapolating on this, Kalra adds, “The time is not too far when everything will move online. Air ticketing today is 60 per cent online. Hotel booking is also 15 per cent and moving online rapidly. Holidays are the final frontier. However, I must add that customised holidays and bespoke vacations will continue to stay offline.”
“We have 1500 members and Goibibo has about 1200 people. Ever since we got our approval from CCI in January, we have been working on a pretty intensive plan”-Deep Kalra, Founder and Group CEO, MakeMyTrip