Founders: Rikant Pitti & Nishant Pitti
In today’s world, travel has not only remained a choice or matter of taste; rather it has become a requirement of every individual. EaseMyTrip was started with the vision to be a one-stop platform offering hassle-free travel solutions to all customers.
The company was started with a small team of 4 members in 2008. Over 8 years of its existence, it has become one of the leading travel companies in India. Last year, the company’s turnover was around Rs. 1100 Crores. Presently, it is comprised of 42,000 travel agents, 3 Million direct customers, 1800 Corporate Companies and 640 White label solutions.
The founding team of EasyMyTrip are,
- Rikant, a B.Tech graduate from Kurukshetra University. He majorly contributes towards the technical developments, marketing, innovations and the streamlined operational processes of EaseMyTrip.
- Nishant, a commerce graduate from Delhi University and is one of the youngest entrepreneurs in India. He has also been the honorable secretary of the Travel Agents Federation of India (TAAFI) from the year 2012 to 2014 and has co-produced film “Madaari” and “Freaky Ali”
The company is targeting to expand its business to Tier – 2 and Tier – 3 cities of India by opening its branch offices. They also have plans to open EMT Holiday Hubs in all major cities for increasing revenues from Non-Air Products including hotels, holiday packages, and car rentals. The company has its overseas branches in Thailand, Singapore, Maldives and Dubai and they have plans to open branches in London, Hong Kong, Australia and the United States to serve the customers traveling to & from these locations with efficient & cost-effective services. Their idea is to promote India as a major tourist destination in the overseas markets.
Highlights of discussion with Rikant about his journey with EaseMyTrip
- What’s inspiration behind starting EaseMyTrip?
The idea of starting this company came when Prashant (my elder brother) and I found that a travel agent conned us. We became very keen to save on the journey of our family members and ended up establishing our own travel agency. After becoming a travel agent, we identified the key concerns of customers and travel agents. This gap persuaded us to start EaseMyTrip.
- What is the biggest challenge you faced as an entrepreneur while establishing your startup?
After establishing the company, we also started providing services to the agents and the first challenge that we faced was our age. Prashant was 19 and I was 17 years old that time, and none of the agents were taking us seriously. We found difficulties in convincing the agents to rely on us. Another big challenge was the growing competition in the travel business market.
- How did you overcome it?
As far as our age is concerned, it was not easy, but we tried our best to pursue them on believing us. We also reduced our margins and made flight tickets, hotels and packages more affordable. Some challenges are still there but we are moving on due to our hard work and vigilance.
- What is the biggest learning so far in your entrepreneurial journey?
As an entrepreneur, I have always learnt that a businessman should never be afraid of failures or challenges coming on his way. Facing challenges will sharpen your skills and make you stronger for achieving success.
- Who is your mentor/role model?
I can’t take one name as my inspiration because time has been the biggest inspiration in my life. Successful people are always a motivation factor for me, but to be specific, there are few people whom I would love to call as my inspiration.
One is my eldest brother, Prashant Pitti who has always appreciated my positive decisions and corrected me if I did something wrong. Despite being an IITian and working with multinational companies, he chose to set up his own business.
From the corporate world, I admire Ratan Tata, his contribution to the world makes me amazed. I always wonder how a person can be such charismatic and working actively at the age of 78. You can hardly find any person of his age who has such energetic personality and philanthropic efforts.
- What’s funding status of EaseMyTrip?
The company has not received any VC funding so far and runs only on the money invested by me & Prashant. It’s a bootstrapped company which is yielding profits.
Bootstrapping a travel company is not hard, one can easily get into travel business by taking its franchise. But if anyone wants to start the business in other field and if VC turns hands, they can always go for a loan from the bank. Our prime minister Mr. Narendra Modi has introduced Startup India scheme, and one can easily avail the loan amount from there to start their business.
- Who are your competitors and what’s your plans to outpace your competitors?
EaseMyTrip is one of the leading travel companies in India and all other leaders in the travel industry are our competitors.
We are taking every initiative to make our products and services better so that our customers can turn into our potential clients. We walk that extra mile to make our customers totally satisfied with our services. Travel experts in our EMT office are working hard so that our clients can get the best value for their money and beautiful experiences on their journeys.
- What’s your tip for newbie entrepreneur?
Any newbie entrepreneur should be very much focused and work things perfectly. They should know that it’s not only essential to create a profitable business, but it is also important to manage and grow it happily every day. When they are new, they should concentrate on managing cash and maintaining a low overhead. They should take care of their health and then go on for progress.
The article was first published in The Cofounder. The Cofounder is India’s first print magazine which writes about early stage startups and entrepreneurship.