Most of the startup’s ideas originate from some kind of difficulty or bad experiences faced by a person. The will to change or eradicate such bad experiences and difficulties results in the birth of a startup. EaseMyTrip also has a similar story.
Easemytrip is an Indian online travel company that provides holiday packages, hotel bookings, air tickets, bus bookings, and white-label services. It was founded in 2008 by Nishant Pitti. They carter to both online and offline travel market. The headquarters of EaseMyTrip is located in Patparganj, East Delhi, with overseas offices in Singapore, Maldives, Bangkok and Dubai.
Rikant Pitti perfectly fits the profile of a jugaad entrepreneur. As a businessman, his father used to travel a lot and always used to book his tickets via his travel agent, we are talking about 2005 when OTAs were not that popular. It all changed one day when Rikant checked the price of the same tickets online and found out that his travel agent was charging 1.5K more than what he was getting online for the same ticket. And since his father used to book over 15 tickets, it was a loss of over 20k per month.
Soon, Rikant and his elder brother Nishant Pitti started booking tickets for their parents and soon all relatives also started calling them to book their tickets as well. Their fame spread when their father started referring them to his colleagues as they could get their tickets cheaper. Rikant and Nishant, in turn, was getting his pocket money by charging a Rs 100-500 commission on each ticket, though hiding the commission part from dad.
Seeing such a huge demand for cheap travel bookings, they started their own agency Duke Travels and marketed their offering using bulk SMS. The rate of conversion was good, as around 20-25 people used to call back to enquire after each SMS blast. Soon they started getting customers from other parts of India. They also started selling tickets on eBay.
As they grew, Duke Travels rebranded to EaseMyTrip.Talking about their USP - Rikant says lowest costs and not charging convenience/processing fee are their core selling points (although tomorrow somebody with deeper pockets can easily offer cheaper prices).
They partnered with Air Deccan and took an agency from them (on a commission basis) and started networking with travel agents and started generating sales. It was at the time when Air Deccan started selling air tickets in the Rs 500-700 range. But, as bad luck would have it, Air Deccan stopped selling cheap tickets and they were in a soup as it became difficult to generate enough sales without cheap tickets. Their business was on the verge of shutting down. They lowered their commissions and hired more travel agents to help them who were able to help them out and reached the target.
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Founded in 2008, the initial source of revenue for EaseMyTrip was air tickets only. Flight bookings and hotel packages were introduced gradually. The company became extremely popular through the most reliable source of marketing, word of mouth. By 2015, EaseMyTrip had crossed $15 million USD in revenue.
They soon launched the Android application and introduced new services like travel insurance through EaseMyTrip. In 2018, they partnered with IRCTC for train tickets. In September 2019, they collaborated with FoodforTravel which helped .Currently, they have over 477 employees on board and have a network of over 52,752 travel agents and a client base of over 800 companies ,their current turnover is around multi-crore.
Nishant and Rishant Pitti have managed to raise EaseMyTrip into one of India’s largest online travel agency in terms of air ticket sales. Presently Nishant Pitti is the Chief Executive Officer, and Rikant is the director of EaseMyTrip.Liked this success story of EaseMyTrip? Check out more such startup stories of entrepreneurs who made it big in the Indian startup space at Verzeo’s startup stories.