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Friday, 08 February, 2019, 18 : 30 PM [IST]

MakeMyTrip Group to expand ‘Experiences’ offerings on app

Co-Founder says the company is on the right track to break even in two years time
MakeMyTrip which launched an additional feature of ‘Experiences’ to their app-based platform towards the end of 2018, will be strengthening and expanding product offerings on the destination level in the coming months. The company is looking at adding more services and products into the ‘Experiences’ business such as intercity cabs, road transport, train, etc., to make it more appealing to travellers.

“We had soft-launched ‘Experiences’ tab recently on our mobile app. We want to grow that business. The vision is to become one-stop shop for all the travel-related needs of Indian travellers,” said Rajesh Magow, Co-Founder & CEO, MakeMyTrip.

Magow said that the smart phone penetration is projected to grow from the present half billion to one billion soon and that is an opportunity for online travel companies to capture more customers. The concept of day-cation and staycation are fast catching up in metro cities. People are looking at using hotel services like spa, health club, etc., during day time without staying in the hotel. Such activities can be brought under the ‘Experiences’ feature, he said. “We are rolling out new features to our platform every alternate month now,” he said.

When asked about the issues between the hotel owners and the company, Magow said that they always believed in sorting out disagreements with partners through discussions. “Take it or leave it was never our approach towards our partners,” he said. He said that the company reached out to 1,000’s of hotel partners across India when the issue cropped up. “We got support from over 10,000 hotels,” he informed.

Magow said that it is practically and commercially impossible to have a uniform contract with all hotels considering the location, visibility, etc. He said that the “business was as usual” even at the height of the controversy.

Commenting on road map to reach the financial break-even by 2020, Magow said that the MMT has been reducing the operational losses and therefore, is absolutely on the track to break even as scheduled. “Whether that happens in the last quarter of 2020 or first quarter of 2021 is not a major concern. We are absolutely on the right path,” he stated.

Magow also informed that the company will work closely with the government and other agencies to take their responsible tourism initiative to more states and destinations in the country in the coming years. The destinations identified include Andamans, Ladakh, Kerala, North eastern states and hills of North India. “We are open to work with governments and other agencies at all destinations which are bursting with carrying capacity,” he added. MakeMyTrip Foundation with support from Seva Mandir had successfully planted one million trees in two districts of Rajasthan – Rajsamand and Udaipur, as part of company’s responsible tourism initiative.
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