Walking up to the 19th floor of a swanky corporate building to interview the man who has built an empire through sheer ingenuity, you cannot help but feel a sense of nervous anticipation. Fumbling your way from the elevator, you finally reach the office and meet a friendly, bespectacled man who is surprisingly easy to talk to. He is someone who believes in creating value by embracing innovation. With $2 Bn in annual sales, his company has an unrivalled presence in India’s online travel space. This man is Ashish Kashyap, the founder and CEO of Ibibo Group.
A quintessential tech entrepreneur, Ashish has donned many hats in his enviable career, from being the Country Head of Google India and the co-creator of PayU India (which acquired CitrusPay last year) to the main architect of the ecommerce business at Indiatimes. He went on to found Ibibo. From a team of eight in 2007, Ashish has grown Ibibo Group into a formidable establishment with properties including Goibibo.com, redBus.in, ibibo ryde, YourBus, and Travelboutique to its name.
Nearly 10 years since its inception, Ibibo Group now boasts of an international reach across countries like Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Peru and Colombia. The company’s flagship apps have reportedly been downloaded more than 25 Mn times, and have handled over 24 Mn transactions. However, these achievements haven’t made Ashish complacent. During an hour-long interaction, it became clear that he is on a relentless mission to mobilise India’s 120K hotels and accommodation facilities from offline to the online travel space.
To that end, Ibibo Group merged with MakeMyTrip last year in what has since been touted as the biggest consolidation move in the country’s online travel aggregation space. The $720 Mn merger deal, which was finalised in February 2017, has created an entity that Morgan Stanley valued at $1.8 Bn.
According to Inc42 Datalabs, the combined entity will leverage nearly 34.1 Mn total transactions, 9.7 Mn air transactions, 6.6 Mn hotel transactions, and 17.5 Mn bus transactions in the travel space. Of these, around 45% are mobile-based transactions. In the first quarter of 2017, the merged entity reported a 135% increase in net revenue to around $141.2 Mn. Overall revenue has grown by around 55% to $192.1 Mn, compared to Q1 of 2016.
To get an insight into the story behind Ibibo Group’s phenomenal success, we at Inc42 recently conducted a Facebook AMA session with the man himself. Here are the most interesting views that Kashyap offered during the session: