Companies

Want to be leader in flight booking: EaseMyTrip Co-founder

Yatti Soni Bengaluru | Updated on September 20, 2021

Prashant Pitti, Co-founder, EaseMyTrip

EaseMyTrip recently expanded its global presence to the Philippines, Thailand, and the USA

As EaseMyTrip crossed $1billion in market capitalisation on Friday, Co-founder Prashant Pitti has said that the company wants to become the largest flight booking company in 3-4 years.

EaseMyTrip is an online travel and accommodation booking facilitator. The bootstrapped company, profitable since its inception in 2008, got listed with a ₹510 crore initial public offer in March 2021.

EaseMyTrip has also recently expanded its global presence to the Philippines, Thailand, and the USA, taking its total global subsidiaries to six including Singapore, the UAE and the UK. In order to capture the international market, EaseMyTrip plans to offer lower service charges on air ticket bookings as compared to the large players in these markets. The company will afford these low service charges by keeping its operational and technology team in India itself.

‘Low cost model’

“We will not hire more than 2-3 people in these international subsidiaries. These few people that we would hire will be in the role of business development and will majorly work on maintaining relationship with the airline, following law of the land while other back-end operational work will continue from the India office,” Pitti told BusinessLine.

Interestingly, EaseMyTrip has remained profitable even during the pandemic and reported a six-fold jump in profits during Q1 FY22 despite the second wave’s impact on the travel industry.

“Profitability soared during these times for two reasons, one because we were able to negotiate a better share of commissions and second, because we improved our operational efficiency dramatically while reducing our costs related to marketing, discounts etc,” said Pitti.

Giving an example of how EaseMyTrip brought down its costs, Pitti noted that the company had over 230 people in the operations team before the pandemic which was primarily a call centre. But during the pandemic, the company integrated WhatsApp with their system which allowed customers to directly chat with the team instead of waiting on call for hours.

As a result, wait times for customers went down and one customer executive was able to chat with multiple customers at a time. This allowed the company to slash its operational staff to 110 people.

Rapid growth

The company witnessed a 261 per cent growth in gross booking revenues with ₹356.7 crore in Q1 FY22 as opposed to ₹98.7 crore in the corresponding period last fiscal. Total income for Q1FY22 also jumped to ₹34.75 crore (₹12.01 crore). Despite lower income for the quarter on account of the second wave of the pandemic, the company’s EBIDTA stood at ₹21 crore (₹3.7 crore). In comparison, the booking revenue recorded by EaseMyTrip in July 2021 was to the tune of ₹225 crores, which is already 63 percent of last quarter’s booking revenue. Further, the company claims to have seen much better growth in August and September revenue is also looking strong.

Talking about the overall consumer trend in the travel industry, Pitti said that the customers are booking more business class tickets and in terms of hotel booking as well, 4 star and 5-star booking have increased as compared to the pre-pandemic period.

Published on September 20, 2021

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