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Dec, 22 2009

Online biz with offline payments

Kolkata-based I-Nova group has forayed into travel and tourism segment with its latest offering, Travo. Moving on, the group now plans to target franchisees to partner in its growth.

Kolkata-based I-Nova group has forayed into travel and tourism segment with its latest offering, Travo. Moving on, the group now plans to target franchisees to partner in its growth.

In an interview with TFW, Rajeeb Mukerjee, MD, I-Nova Group, reveals how Travo is a complete travel and tourism solutions provider for the masses.

What are your product and services offerings?

We will be providing 360 degree travel solutions at affordable prices. The products include airline tickets, rail and bus tickets, car, cruise and hotel bookings, including budget hotels and guest houses, passport and visa services, medical insurance, forex, etc.

Being an online player, what led to your entry in the offline segment?

In our country, majority of the people are not net savvy. They don’t want to use credit card for online transactions. Hence, we will be gaining advantage of online facilities with offline payment options.

How many offline centres do you have and what are your expansion plans?

Right now, we have two offline centres and are planning to have at least 500 centres within the next financial year.

A lion’s share in the travel market is already held by major players. What are your key differentiators?

According to the market report, the top 10 major players only occupy 15 per cent of the travel business, rest 85 per cent is fragmented. Please note, the industry is also growing at 40 per cent per annum, hence there is enough air to breathe.

How big is the travel services segment in India and what is its growth rate?

The size of the Indian travel industry is estimated around USD 67.3 billion in 2009 and expected to reach USD 187.3 billion by 2019, despite short and medium-term setbacks, while tourism revenues are expected to rise by 42 per cent from 2007– 2017. The contribution of travel and tourism to gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to be at 6 per cent in 2009.

What led to your entry in the franchising business?

Since 85 per cent of the market is fragmented, the business potential of this trade is huge, which inspired us to enter into this trade. We are planning to open our 6,000 travel and tourism stores across India by giving the franchise and targeting Rs 4,000 crore business within 2015.

Are you willing to partner with existing travel agents to bring them under the Travo brand?

Yes, why not. We have a solution of keeping the existing travel agents name but using the Travo services in their backend, which no other travel company offers.

What are the current plans and strategies followed by Travo to execute company's business plans in the Indian market?

We are going to distribute our business through various channels like franchisee (offline), Travo portal (online), corporates, white level solutions and medical tourism. Apart from these, we are planning to market our business through hotels, airlines, cars and bus ticket booking segment.

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