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Business News/ Companies / Start-ups/  My passion for innovation has been the driving force behind our success, says EaseMyTrip co-founder Rikant Pittie
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My passion for innovation has been the driving force behind our success, says EaseMyTrip co-founder Rikant Pittie

From the inception of our platform to its evolution into a robust, user-friendly interface, my passion for innovation has been the driving force behind our success,” Rikant Pittie, co-founder of EaseMyTrip, told Livemint.

Rikant Pitti, co-founder, EaseMyTrip.Premium
Rikant Pitti, co-founder, EaseMyTrip.

Online travel aggregator EaseMyTrip has been in the limelight lately but for good reasons. The second-largest travel aggregator in India was the first company in India to suspend all Maldives flight bookings in support of the government amid India-Maldives row in January.

Founded in 2008, the company was started by three brothers Nishant Pitti, Rikant Pittie and Prashant Pitti with a focus on Business to Business to Customer (B2B2C). The online travel agency offers a range of travel products and services and end-to-end travel solutions including airline tickets, rail tickets, bus tickets, taxis, holiday packages, hotels, and other value-added services i.e. travel insurance, visa processing, etc.

EaseMyTrip, which hit the Dalal Street in May 2021, had raised over 510 crore via initial public offerings (IPO). The shares of EaseMyTrip is currently trading at 47.85 on NSE.

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Rikant Pittie, co-founder of EaseMyTrip, in a recent interview with Mint shared insights about his overall entrepreneurial journey and also talked about the challenges the company faced in the initial days.

“Venturing on the entrepreneurial journey, I've always been fascinated by the convergence of technology and travel. I've had the privilege of steering EaseMyTrip’s technological progress, ensuring seamless experiences for our users. From the inception of our platform to its evolution into a robust, user-friendly interface, my passion for innovation has been the driving force behind our success," Pittie told Livemint.

Pittie is a B-Tech graduate from Kurukshetra University and the co-founder of the second largest travel portal of India, EaseMyTrip.com. 

Having more than 8 years of experience in the travel industry, Pittie realized the potential demand for travel portals in 2005 and thus he, along with his brothers, moved ahead to start with their venture Duke Travel Agency, which soon turned into EaseMyTrip. 

“In 2005, driven by a desire to address the excessively high commissions witnessed by our father in his coal supply business, my brother Nishant and I ventured on a journey into the travel industry. Establishing a modest travel agency, we laid the foundation for what would become EaseMyTrip," Pittie said.

Talking about the journey of the company, he said, “By 2008, armed with an IATA license, we officially launched our venture, determined to revolutionize the tourism sector. Despite initial challenges, we prioritized addressing travel agents' concerns and investing in cutting-edge technology. Our sustained profitability, topping in unicorn status post our 2021 IPO, speaks volumes about our resilience."

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What makes EaseMyTrip different from other industry players?

"What sets us apart in the ever-changing travel industry is our in-house Smart Voice Recognition Technology. Fueled by cutting-edge AI and ML, this technology stands out as a game-changer, showcasing our advanced capabilities in technology and analytics," Pittie further added.

MakeMyTrip, Booking.com, Agoda, Trivago, Ixigo are some of the other key industry players in the Indian travel market catering to the demand of the Indian tourists.

Highlighting key offerings of the company, Pittie said, “ Our in-house call center further emphasizes our dedication to superior customer service, promptly addressing their needs. Additionally, our extensive distribution network, strengthened by a hybrid platform, ensures accessibility and convenience for users. Together with our experienced management and the team's proven track record, we lay a solid foundation for sustained success."

The travel company is further focusing on expanding globally and diversfying in non-air segment, keeping sustainability in mind. “As we traverse the vibrant landscape of the Indian travel industry, our focus remains on strategic acquisitions, global expansions, and focusing on our non-air ticketing segments. Collaborating with brands across diverse industries, we're unwavering in our commitment to sustainability. Through mindful global expansion and conscientious business decisions, we navigate the ever-evolving terrain. Our dedication to growth, paired with sustainable practices, empowers us to gracefully adapt to market changes while providing extraordinary experiences for travelers. With an enduring commitment to innovation and excellence, we press forward, enriching the travel landscape and solidifying our role as industry leaders," Pittie told Livemint.

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How does the Indian travel industry look like in coming years?

“Indian tourism aims to become a $3 trillion economic powerhouse by 2047 during the Amrit Kal. Focused on welcoming 100 million foreign visitors and enhancing domestic travel, the vision includes smart infrastructure, diverse circuits, and high-value niche tourism. Religious tourism plays a crucial role, requiring urgent structural reforms to achieve this ambitious mission," Pittie said.

Following the pandemic, the travel sector has spearheaded India's economic revival. It's anticipated to contribute around 16.5 trillion to the country's GDP by 2023, showcasing its pivotal role in economic recovery.

India's spiritual tourism is on the rise, notably boosted by the opening of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. This development is a game-changer, promoting the holistic growth of destinations, job creation, and GDP improvement.

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“The hospitality sector is actively adapting to the increased religious tourism through innovation, combining tradition with technology for an enhanced visitor experience. In 2022, religious tourism activities surged, reaching 1439 million tourists, generating 1.34 lakh crore in revenue. Projections indicate this segment could generate 59 billion by 2028, creating 140 million jobs by 2030. This trend signals a promising future for India's tourism and hospitality, necessitating strategic measures from the government and stakeholders," he further added.

In summary, India's travel industry is on an upward trajectory, driven by untapped potential, strategic diversification, and technological innovations, promising unforgettable journeys for travelers nationwide.

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Published: 25 Feb 2024, 04:46 PM IST
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