MakeMyTrip scouts for acquisitions in Asia Pacific

June 8th, 2011 - 11:41 am ICT by IANS  

Phuket (Thailand), June 8 (IANS) Sensing opportunities in the growing Indian outbound holiday segment, travel trade major MakeMyTrip.com is looking to acquire companies to expand its presence in the Asia Pacific region.

“We are looking for expansion. The mode would be through acquisition in Asia Pacific and other places,” Keyur Joshi, the chief operating officer and co-founder of MakeMyTrip.com, told IANS at the southern Thailand province of Phuket, where his firm recently launched holiday packages inclusive of charter flights.

According to Joshi, the expansion plans of the NASDAQ-listed company would be funded through fresh issue of shares. The company expects to raise $126 million through the process.

“The funds generated would be used for expansion and some part for our operational requirements like offering holiday packages inclusive of direct charter flights to exotic destinations in Asia.”

The company bought a majority stake in Singapore-based luxury travel segment company Luxury Tours and Travel for $3 million and followed it by opening MakeMyTrip’s new office there.

“We need to have offices, presence in these places where we find tremendous growth potential. Synergies which will emerge out of our new initiative would allow us to grow our operations, increase savings and provide customers with more value-added services.”

The company currently claims to have a majority market share of the Indian online travel trade for services ranging from online ticket, hotel and convenience reservation in India and abroad.

The company reported a net profit of $4.8 million in 2010-11 as compared to a net loss of $6.2 million in 2009-10.

“New services are very important to stem up growth for our company. And for this we need a base in some of the focus countries where we do like to start new, innovative and affordable services,” Joshi said, adding that focus on affordable travel packages would allow the company to penetrate into India’s first-time traveller segment.

The uniqueness of holiday packages does not lie in the cost factor alone, claims Joshi. Packages need to be customised to attract travellers like direct access to off-beat, exotic destinations like Phuket, where no Indian carrier provides direct connectivity.

“Seasonal travel packages are a major revenue source for us. But the new trend in providing direct connectivity to a single destination which is off-beat in nature will grow in leaps and bounds in the coming times.”

Joshi’s confidence in his firm’s new product model can be assessed from the 100 percent bookings till mid-June on the twice-a-week charter flight to Phuket and Bangkok.

“The charter flights from New Delhi are on Saturdays and Tuesdays, operated on hired Kingfisher Airlines Airbus A-320 aircraft,” said Joshi.

The company is currently offering travel packages, inclusive of flight tickets, from New Delhi to Thailand ranging from Rs.33,000 per person to Rs. 44,000 per person, with stays at four-star to five-star hotels.

(Rohit Vaid can be contacted at rohit.v@ians.in and biz@ians.in)

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