MMT scouts for more ho­tels

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.

TravTalk - India - - INTERVIEW - HAZEL JAIN

Af­ter the re­cent merger with ri­val on­line travel agent Goibibo, MakeMyTrip Ltd. is look­ing to ac­quire tech­nol­o­gy­ori­ented 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.”

Deep Kalra Founder and Group CEO MakeMyTrip

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