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This is the best time for Indian travel sector: EaseMyTrip CEO & Co-Founder Nishant Pitti

This is the best time for the travel sector in India and the travel industry will continue to grow in the next couple of decades, said EaseMyTrip’ s CEO and Co-Founder Nishant Pitti. In an interview with ET he said with several airports being launched and more airlines increasing their fleets, the travel industry will continue to grow in coming years. He also talked about the EaseMyTrips journey from a small travel business to India’s second-largest online travel agency. Edited Excerpts

Tell us about the EaseMyTrip’s journey from a regular travel agency to became India’s second-largest online travel company?
The foundation of EaseMyTrip originated with a travel business named Duke Tours, which was founded many years before EaseMyTrip in 2008. In fact, we used to plan our father’s business tickets in order to avoid the hefty fees charged by numerous travel agencies. Relatives and family acquaintances started to use our services, which ultimately resulted in the establishment of a travel agency and the birth of EaseMyTrip.

Primarily, the business operated out of a small office in Delhi with a handful of employees. Yet, we were competent in growing the company by maintaining competitive pricing by not charging convenience fee and providing excellent customer service. Our primary emphasis was establishing relationships with airlines and hotels so that their clients could get the greatest discounts that made us serve the B2B market in our initial years. Soon, we forayed into B2C and have not looked back since then.

We have continued to develop and extend our offerings throughout the years. Currently, we are recognised as one of the largest online travel agencies in India, with a significant presence in local and international markets. Our company has extended into other sectors of the travel industry, such as corporate travel and travel insurance, and has garnered a number of accolades and awards for its service. EaseMyTrip, is a completely bootstrapped company and is profitable since its inception. We have also gained the prestigious stature of becoming a unicorn in 2021.

How do you see the company and the industry in the future ahead?
It has been 14 years since we made our debut as a brand in the travel sector. We went on to alleviate the problems faced by at least 11,000 travel agents as a B2B enterprise for the first three years before converting to a customer-facing business, which today accounts for 84 per cent of the company’s income. We didn’t seek any outside investment from venture capitalists or private equity investors, the organization instead chose to self-finance itself up to the time of its initial public offering (IPO).

We are steadfast in our belief that our self-reliant mindset is always reflected at the forefront of our brand. We will continue to cater to the market and the requirements within the industry, as our brand and the sector ride the wheel of progression and envisage offering only the best we can to our customers. Talking about the travel industry, I would say that there isn’t a better time to be in the travel sector. With many airports being launched and more airlines increasing their fleets, the travel industry will continue its growth trajectory.

About EaseMyTrip’s IPO
The success of the IPO is due to our earnest and very transparent work culture that we’ve imbibed within our team. When many companies were just focusing on increasing their net worth and value-related numbers to find the right time to exit when the time came, we were focusing on profitability. Since our foundational years, we’ve always been profitable, and that has been our pillar to being successful as an IPO too. We have to understand that an IPO has always been about building trust with customers who feel confident enough to invest in our company and be a part of the progress. The overwhelming love that we get is the foundation that has helped us fabricate an IPO story that echoes well in corporate circles.

Tell us about your upcoming offline stores through the franchise model.
The establishment of our franchise model has been done to furnish an exclusive in-store retail experience for our customers. The EaseMyTrip franchise model was born with the simple idea of catering to a different set of customers who like to be assisted face-to-face and are not internet savvy. With the EaseMyTrip franchise, our focus is to provide a meet-and-greet experience that is one-of-a-kind in the travel industry.

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