Rajesh Magow From MakeMyTrip Is Excited About The $15 Million Innovation Fund, Will Bring New Talent To The Indian Travel Industry

Rajesh
Magow From MakeMyTrip Is Excited About The $15 Million
Innovation Fund, Will Bring New Talent To The Indian Travel IndustryMakeMyTrip is a household name in most metros and large cities of India. People of India love to travel and MakeMyTrip is one of the preferred choices for them to make a reservation (for both airlines and hotels). Recently, MMT announced funding of $15 million innovation fund for new entrepreneurs in the travel circuit. We got a chance to catch up with Rajesh Magow, Co-Founder and CEO-India, MakeMyTrip.com and he told us some interesting facts about the journey so far and why did the company decide to raise this fund.

MakeMyTrip has grown by leaps and bounds. Can you give BI India readers a small glimpse of the MMT’s journey till date?
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MakeMyTrip.com was founded in the year 2000. Deep Kalra (Founder) conceptualized it with the idea to empower Indian travellers through choice, flexibility and transparency of pricing. The travel industry in 2000 had not achieved momentum yet. There were a couple of websites that offered air-tickets but none that could comprehensively claim to cater across categories (LCCs and full-service) and offer Best Deal and Lowest Airfare Guarantee.

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Upon launching the first version of the site in October 2000, we received a favourable response from the US. In India however, travellers were more inclined to research online, but make the actual buying decision using traditional modes of payment. We had to take a hard call to stop all marketing in India; on hindsight this turned out to be one of the best decisions for the company. By focusing solely on the NRI market, we managed to conserve precious marketing dollars while our competitors burnt their fingers in a pre-mature online market.

After consolidating our position in the market as a brand recognized for its reliability and transparency, we launched our India operations in 2005. As the pioneer among Online Travel Companies in India, MakeMyTrip heralded a revolution in the way travel was purchased in India – and soon became the go-to website for booking travel. In 2010 we became the first Indian travel company to list overseas through a successful IPO on NASDAQ.

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Today, we are the dominant market-leader with 47% market-share (per a study conducted by PhocusWright in 2013).

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MMT like many others has started a venture fund, what was the reason behind it?

We have announced the institution of a $15 million Innovation Fund primarily to support early stage companies/ start-ups in the travel technology space with a special focus on Mobile and IP-based companies. The fund will be focused on young and new ventures in the travel technology space for our market.

This initiative is an additional prong of our inorganic growth strategy of pursuing M&A opportunities in the travel technology space. We intend to purposefully go out and look for such companies and take early stage positions.

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What is MMT expectations from this venture funding?

We are excited about the Technology talent in the global marketplace and how it can be leveraged to serve customer needs. We are hopeful that this initiative will encourage entrepreneurs building niche companies in the travel technology domain.

What are the future plans for MMT besides this?

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We are already the largest travel company in the country and the largest eCommerce business, recognized for providing the best value-based offerings. In the mid to long-term, we intend to use our core strength i.e. technology to innovate, provide best-in-class service and delight customers.
Rajesh
Magow From MakeMyTrip Is Excited About The $15 Million
Innovation Fund, Will Bring New Talent To The Indian Travel Industry
Rajesh Magow, Co-Founder and CEO-India, MakeMyTrip.com

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