Our secret sauce to success is focus: MakeMyTrip founder Rajesh Magow

Topics MakeMyTrip

Rajesh Magow, Co-Founder & CEO MakeMyTrip
With players from e-commerce majors to mobile wallets vying for a slice of the online travel pie, how difficult will consolidation for online travel aggregators (OTAs) get from here on? 

The presence of so many players —be it those in the travel vertical or even the horizontal players dabbling in travel — only goes to emphasise how lucrative the Indian online travel market is. Given the massive market size and the sheer number of players, it all boils down to focus. In this scenario, OTAs like us are the specialised experts that provide comprehensive offering across the travel value chain and therefore have the right to succeed in the market.

Since travel is a complete experience, can we see MakeMy Trip (MMT) going beyond lodging and transport and entering the consumption categories such as food, shopping and recreation? If you already have, kindly share some insights?

At MMT, we are constantly innovating and experimenting by building products and services that cater to the dynamic demands of our customers. The launch of Experiences on our platform last year was also based on such rich insights from our customers. It includes curated and unique hyperlocal leisure activities, Daycations, adventure, spa and wellness, city walks, water parks, food and beverages deals etc.for domestic travellers and in-city customers. We are also offering an unmatched range of in-destination leisure activities to give our outbound travellers a comprehensive choice of offerings on our platform.

If not discounting, what can distinguish MMT from the above-mentioned competitors? Is it reach, is it brand recall?

Our biggest differentiator will always remain our customer centricity which helps us make the most relevant and personalised offerings for Indian travellers that helps us serve them with a range of choice and unmatched support at all travel-linked touchpoints. We have built brand recall and continue to grow our loyal user-base who trust us to provide them with the very best offerings in travel, each time they book with us.

Late last year, there were reports of dispute between hotel owners and OTAs in some parts of the country. How have you managed to address their concerns?

Partnership is a two-way street and we enjoy good business relationship with all our partner hotels because we are constantly engaged to drive the best outcomes. Being a marketplace, we have to serve the interest of consumers and hotels alike to ensure the demand-supply match. It’s a fact that a platform like ours has helped significantly grow overall occupancies and business for hotels. Helping these hotels, especially independent ones that are not part of big chains, market themselves across India through our platform is of unmatched value and we are glad that it is acknowledged as such by our partner hotels.

What has been the initial response to your foray into the carpooling segment through redBus’s new intra-city service rPool?

rPool is a carpooling service pilot to reduce traffic in congested Indian mega-cities. Indian cities are among some of the most congested cities in the world and carpooling is one of the most obvious solutions that we need more and more people and even policy makers to look into seriously. 

It’s been less than a month following the launch and we have already seen an encouraging uptick in the number of users availing the service. What adds to the popularity of rPool – is it’s unique features such as safety checks that authenticates users through their corporate email ids, free accident insurance policy and reward points to riders. 

Jet’s grounding had posed an immediate challenge for air travel. A few months since, has the situation improved both in terms of availability and pricing for the consumer?

As capacity allocation to airline operators improves, we’ve noticed some rationalisation in fares as compared to peak highs that we witnessed in the immediate aftermath of Jet suspending operations.. However, it will take some more time for supply to come back to pre-Jet levels.

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