Rajesh Magow, co-founder and CEO, MakeMyTrip
Rajesh Magow, co-founder and CEO, MakeMyTrip

A click moment for us was the decision to go app-first: Rajesh Magow

There was one moment when fate turned their way, a moment that they can look back upon and say, that was when it started

In the consumer internet space, it’s very hard to build real intellectual property on product features as once they are out there, you will see copies or variants of it mushroom in no time. That’s why it is critical for high-growth internet businesses to build execution capability which can be scaled up as the business grows, without missing a beat. As a business leader, there are two core elements that you need to focus on to build this strength—stay ahead of the curve in learning and adapting to new technology and market trends; acquire and retain high-quality talent that will drive organisation agenda with full ownership.

In that context, a click moment for us was perhaps our decision to go app-first. As we decided to make travel as simple as a few taps on the app, we geared our product, technology and people leading it to deliver execution excellence for this big leap. While the move was important to match the changing consumer behaviour with overall time spent habits shifting to mobile, it was equally important not to go app-only to ensure we provide consumers with the flexibility around choice of device. As a high-ticket purchase item, the consumer may like to switch between multiple devices like phone, laptop, office desktop as one plans and books travel.

While mobile is clearly shifting behaviour, there are many micro-moments that get people ready to put their money behind decisions. We wanted to make sure we are present and providing options where people are narrowing down their choices to influence their decision-making journey.

The decision to become app-first but not app-only has helped us grow the pie further and has clearly paid back well. Even today, while the app has become the preferred consumer choice for travel booking, it’s far from being the only channel for business growth.