- In an interview with Business Insider, Deep Kalra, Founder Chairman, MakeMyTrip talks about how the platform is growing.
- MMT is evolving using Artificial Intelligence and vernacular to target the next 200 million internet users in India.
- It wants to be an end-to-end platform.
If you are planning a trip, it’s almost never done without at least researching on the travel booking platform MakeMyTrip.
Over the past 19 years, MakeMyTrip has become synonymous with online travel bookings. As the travel technology sector continues to grow, MMT too is evolving using Artificial Intelligence and vernacular to target the next 200 million Internet users in India.Read more ↓
Selling experiences now
MMT is no more about tickets and hotel bookings alone. It wants to be an end-to-end platform, Deep Kalra, Founder Chairman, MMT, told Business Insider at a TiE Delhi NCR event.
They are also selling experiences. Kalra explains that if they know you are in Goa, they can offer you experiences like yacht cruise, ziplining etc., as per your preferences.
“We can sell you end to end – from research, to buying and in trip experiences. That’s how travel tech has changed,” he said.
Talk to MMT and book tickets
Having been the frontrunner in travel tech, MMT is obviously moving on to the next big thing – Artificial Intelligence.
“With AI, we have the power to learn from every experience so as to give our customers a much more nuanced and better product because the software has been learning for years. We can then proactively recommend you more things based on your likes,” said Kalra.
MMT already has two chatbots, which are currently used for post-sales. But soon, you can use them to book tickets as well.
“We are more than experimenting. Soon, you can chat and buy tickets. You can also talk to us in vernacular and book tickets,” said Kalra.
How the sector has evolved
For MMT founder Deep Kalra, it’s been a long journey which also includes a blockbuster listing in the US markets.
“In the early days, no one was buying online. It was all search online and buy offline. That started to change in 2005, people started to buy rail tickets first,” said Kalra.
The MMT founder has seen the world evolve from web to mobile web and then, an app.
Kalra said that ticketing goes online very fast because it’s unidimensional, determined mainly by price and timing. The challenge, Kalra said, set in with selling hotel spaces and accommodation online.
“It has now moved online with 20% of hotel bookings in the country being booked online,” he said.