Bus ticketing made easy
If you hate standing in long queues for bus tickets, redBus, an India-based startup focused on providing consumers with the convenience of booking a bus ticket over the internet, promises to make it easy for you. In a chat with us, Phanindra Sama CEO, who
If you hate standing in long queues for bus tickets, redBus, an India-based startup focused on providing consumers with the convenience of booking a bus ticket over the internet, promises to make it easy for you. In a chat with us, Phanindra Sama CEO, who was recently selected by Endeavor as a high impact entrepreneur and also voted as one of the top 3 most promising entrepreneurs in India by Business World, shares his success story.
Seema Seth(SS): When did you start the company?
Phanindra Sama(PS): We started this company 4 and ½ years back in August 2006. There is a very interesting incident to it. Once I couldn’t get a bus ticket and that prompted me to start this venture.
SS: Who are your co-founders?
PS: Sudhakar and Charan are my co founders. They were my classmates. We studied together.
SS: How did you do the initial funding?
PS: We put our own money , about 5 lakhs initially and then raised the seed fund and then from investors and other sources as the business started to grow.
SS: How was the experience of building the first team like?
PS: Since this was a unique business, I went on introducing myself to get the right kind of people. I asked my friends and relatives for referrals. For middle management, we advertised in newspapers etc. I have another interesting incident to tell here. Mr. Zacharian, VP Bus Dev. walked in because he had a similar idea and he thought it is wise to join me than to have me as a competitor. Then people started to hear a little more about the company, words spread and then people started to come to us.
SS: What is your product?
PS: We are travel agents who sell bus tickets. We leverage technology and we are country’s largest ticket selling company. We have three products; the first product is called BossTM (www.boss.travel) i.e Bus Operator Software Service. We give software to bus operators, and we have access to their inventory. This way, we know the seat availability etc. The second product is redBusTM, which has website, class centre and outlets etc which is a consumer brand and the third product is SeatSellerTM which is GDS to bus ticketing. We give access to bus inventory so that anybody can get attached to it, sell tickets and start making money.
SS: What are the website features?
PS: There is seat selection: The site lets customers choose their preferred seat(s), Home delivery: Customers who don't have any online payment mechanisms can order for home delivery and pay by cash. However, this service is limited to only certain areas within the cities, IVR payment: The site and the call center also have the option to pay over an automated IVR system, mTickets: Unlike other sites that require a print out of the ticket, most bus services on redBus accept an SMS ticket as the boarding pass instead of a print out, Mobile booking: Bus tickets can now be booked over SMS or using a mobile application too and Mobile payments: The site is one of the first few to have started accepting mobile payments.
SS: Where all are you present?
PS: We have offices in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, Vijayawada and Vishakhapatnam. Recently, we have extended our services to Goa Govt. Transport and DTC.
SS: How many offices you have and what is the number of employees?
PS: We have 10 offices and 300 employees. We are planning to enter many more cities in 4-5 months.
SS:When did you break even?
PS: We are a very conservative and traditional company. Every 6 months, we break even and then we go ahead with investing.
SS: What’s your turnover like?
PS: We are doing 150 crores which is three times of last year. That will double next year.
SS: What are your expansion plans?
PS: We want to reach all cities and make life easy for the masses.
Please add your comment
nikhil sadhwaniApril 27, 2011 at 11:58 am
hi, went through ur plan..found it very interesting,plannig to do it in kanpur UP pls comment on what are the possibilities for the same.
srinuvasu bandaruApril 22, 2011 at 8:04 am
hi sir iam interested,do you have any business opportunity in north andhrapradesh((visakhapatnam region)
KAILASH SANKHLAApril 15, 2011 at 4:39 am
DEAR SIR, WE ARE AUTHORISED AGENTS FOR AIRLINES, AND ARE DEALING IN PACKAGE TOUR INTERNATIONALLY. WE WOULD ALSO LIKE TO TAKE THE FRANCHISE OF RED BUS. DO INFORM US THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS AND OBLIGE
bharatApril 03, 2011 at 12:00 pm
Hi Its very interesting can you please send me details of franchise if you have any plans to expand this business in hyderabad, Andhrapradesh area. I will be able to reach by this e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org.
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