Booking Holdings, an online travel services provider, plans to invest $250 million and hire 1,000 employees over the next five years for its India operations, said Randhir Bindra, Lead-Centre of Excellence and General Manager for Booking Holdings India.
The company will be launching a centre of excellence in Bengaluru, the first in the country and second globally. Currently, its tech centre in Bengaluru has 320 employees. Across its multiple brands — Agoda, Priceline, Rentalcars.com, KAYAK, and Booking.com, among others — it has 800 employees in India, with offices in Bengaluru, Gurugram, Mumbai and New Delhi.
“We strongly believe that this initiative will help drive an accelerated innovation path and support the company’s growth and vision for the future of travel. The primary objective of the centre is to provide support to various Booking Holdings brands,” Bindra told businessline.
The main focus areas are access to specialised talent, aiding all the brands in emerging technology projects, and fostering collaboration among brands to drive efficiencies and economies of scale, he added.
The Booking Holdings tech centre in Bengaluru has been operational for about 18 months, and has a full management team. The centre’s capabilities include supporting multiple brands in domains such as fintech, flights, data engineering, mobile technologies, and cybersecurity initiatives.
“The India teams are already engaged in the ongoing deep engineering efforts in the payments sector, focusing on areas like micro payments, buy now pay later, and virtual credit cards. More development and R&D activities are underway within the centre, and we expect to have more opportunities as it matures,” Bindra said.
Booking Holdings provides services in more than 220 countries and territories through six consumer-facing brands — Agoda, Priceline, Rentalcars.com, KAYAK, Booking.com, and OpenTable — as well as a network of subsidiary brands including Rocketmiles, Fareharbor, HotelsCombines, Cheapflights and Momondo.
“We facilitate global travel experiences by employing advanced technologies. We aim to streamline and enhance the travel process for consumers and partners by focusing on innovative tech solutions for websites and various travel-related platforms,” Bindra said.