AirBnB's Varsha Rao says Indian travel market will be $40 billion opportunity in next 5 years, will localise and learn to become market leader

It is better to have a 100 customers that love you than a million customers that "kind of" like you, said Varsha Rao, head of operations, AirBnB, a website for people to list, find and rent lodging in India.

"India is a huge travel market. It will be $40 billion opportunity in 5 years. We are looking to localise and learn," she said, as she addressed the audience comprising global investors, top CEOs, startup owners and budding entrepreneurs at the Startup India, Standup India event today.

Sharing her journey so far, she gave out a crucial tip to startups: "Meet your customers week to week, day to day to find out their problems and how they change."


"Social media platforms have made Airbnb become successful. Community and principles helped us reach the space where AirBnB is now," she said.

"We are about real identities backed by social media, difficult for startups from earlier era," she went on to say, adding that while AirBnB helps Indians travel, number of other startups can solve even bigger problems.