Generally, hobbies and interests dies with time. For career, opportunities, work pressure, settled life etc. one gives up his dreams. Its a rare art to make your passion come live in form of something meaningful which not only makes you happy but also help others in one way or another. This art is normally referred to as “Entrepreneurship”.
To Hari Nair, now founder and CEO of HolidayIQ.com, travel was the dope.#
Hari had been fascinated with the world of travel, tourism & hospitality for a very long time. This hobby led to the formation of traveller community HolidayIQ.com.
Today,HolidayIQ has a comprehensive coverage of 2000 Indian tourism destinations & 32,000 Indian accommodation listed (covering luxury resorts to budget home-stays & from boutique hotels to adventure camps).
While 12000 of these hotels are bookable online through HolidayIQ.com’s partner online travel agencies, the remaining are bookable through a big national network of traditional (offline) travel agencies.
Does it provides transactional base facilities or work on affiliate tie-ups?
Hari Nair: We do not transact with customers directly. The sanctity of our reviews lies in the fact HolidayIQ.com does not sell any products to users. HolidayIQ.com is not a travel agency and does not do bookings at all. HolidayIQ.com is also not partially or fully owned by any travel agency or hotel chain or any other travel industry player. Therefore HolidayIQ.com is fully independent and can provide travellers with truthful information not affected by any requirements to sell specific travel products. The only commercial service done by HolidayIQ.com is to route users to various Travel Agents (both online & offline) who can help them make bookings of hotels or packages.
Its Travel agent partners include leading online travel agencies like Makemytrip and Expedia, tour operators such as Kuoni and SOTC, and 100s of traditional small & medium travel agents spread across every state in India.
The Revenue Model
HolidayIQ’s revenues mainly come from online travel agencies, traditional travel agencies and hotels. Travellers can compare prices on HolidayIQ.com and then go on to one of the online travel agencies to book the ticket, these are the booking partners and they the company whenever they get traffic from HolidayIQ.com; however, the company donot hold any responsibility of converting customers to actual bookings.
Similarly it works with traditional travel agencies. Travellers who want to get packages through a travel agent, the website connect them to these agents, who then compete and sell packages to the travellers. The third one is the hotel advertisements, through it’s section called featured hotels for them.
Managing User generated content: A challenge in itself?
The website has millions of pages and has to reach out to the audience of 500 million people so the technology becomes very complex. India is very early in the user-generated content paradigm. So, the other expense is on the content.
“For us 100% of the content comes from travellers. So we spend a lot of effort, therefore capital, creating awareness among the travellers,” added Hari.
Currently, 35% of HolidayIQ.com’s audience use mobile devices to access content and the company expects that this trend will grow further over time. To manage this, it is also upgrading its m-site on to a more robust platform that can massively scale up.
At present, it is getting monthly traffic of about 5 Mn, with 50 lakh travellers using it to plan their holidays every month, taking the transaction value generated through HolidayIQ.com to INR 4800 Crores annually. For next three years, it want to get 2.5 Cr Indians to plan their holidays using its platform.
So, as I mentioned above, entrepreneurship is a rare art. The world will be a happier place to live as more and more people work towards making their dreams come true.