Agoda has recently made significant moves in the Indian market, including appointing Ayushmann Khurana as their brand ambassador, launching their first TV ad in India, and forming a partnership with Snapdeal.
Rathi explains that one of Agoda's key strategies in India is to collaborate with various partners, given the rich startup ecosystem and the large number of users already online. They aim to tap into Snapdeal's user base to offer Agoda's services to a wider audience, particularly in tier two and tier three cities.
On the impact of celebrity endorsements on brands in India, where film and cricket celebrities have a significant influence on consumer trust and brand recognition, Agoda's collaboration with Ayushmann Khurana is seen as a way to make the brand more endearing to Indian consumers.
The conversation delves into the changing travel trends in India, with an increasing number of people, including the middle class, traveling more frequently. The post-Covid era has seen a surge in domestic and international travel, driven by a newfound love for travel and the economic stability of the Indian market. India is now a focus market for various countries, including those in the subcontinent.
Rathi also emphasizes the role of family travel in India and highlights how Indian travelers often explore destinations closer to home. He notes that the frequency of travel has increased, and international tourists are also showing a growing interest in India.
Regarding Agoda's alignment with the Indian market, Rathi explains that Agoda recognizes India's strong tech focus and has set up a global tech center in the country. India's mobile-first approach and smartphone adoption have positioned it as one of the largest markets for mobile app adoption.
The Agoda India chief acknowledges the importance of delivering value for money and high standards of customer service in India. Agoda invests in understanding customer feedback and continuously strives to provide the best deals for its customers.
In terms of future developments, Agoda is working to make it easier for partners to list their properties on their platform and is also focusing on promoting sustainable tourism. On the consumer side, it aims to continue offering the best prices and is expanding its advertising campaigns to reach more Indian consumers, like the one with Ayushmann Khurana.