MakeMyTrip’s Business Travel Offering Gains Traction
One of the segments that has started showing results for MakeMyTrip is its corporate travel platform, MyBiz.
“Pre-pandemic, we were not predominantly playing in this segment. A large part of our business used to be business-to-consumer, but during the pandemic we accelerated our efforts on acquiring new customers on small and medium enterprises as well as for large corporates,” Rajesh Magow, co-founder and group CEO of MakeMyTrip, told Skift’s Asia Editor Peden Doma Bhutia in the latest episode of the Skift India Travel Podcast.
A key reason why MakeMyTrip was not focused on corporate business, according to Magow, was the limited deployment of technology in the segment.
“We always felt there was less innovation in this space and we should wait for our opportunity,” he added.
The intent is to automate the entire booking process for corporate travelers’ domestic and international flights. The platform also offers a range of services, including booking hotels in India and overseas, trains, cabs, bus, among other offerings.
Business travel in India is recovering faster than in other markets.
Despite being a late entrant in the corporate travel segment, MyBiz has already become one of the leading online travel agencies in the space owing to its high level of automation and transparency. The platform has recently crossed the 50,000-client user base within just four years of its launch.
How AI is Powering Travel Experiences
MakeMyTrip’s recent roll-out of a voice chat service, powered by artificial intelligence assistant, is designed to help users book flights and holidays by offering personalized and relevant information without having to scroll through multiple reviews.
“For example, it can summarize hotel reviews and extract individual traveler impressions. We’ve also tried to make it easier by building separate tags categorized under ‘food’, ‘rooms’, etc. to enhance the customer experience,” said Magow.
The generative AI integration, involving simple visual cues and voice commands in native Indian languages, analyzes specific user requirements and sifts through thousands of options to recommend more relevant holiday packages.
The idea, according to Magow, is to learn from some of these use cases through customer feedback and continue to fine-tune them to deliver a good experience.
3 Key Takeaways from the Episode
Despite soaring airfares and hotel rates, the overall consumer sentiment has been positive given the growing inclination towards spending a larger portion of disposable income in travel.
With travelers’ desire to experience offbeat locations, the company is expanding its inventory of alternative accommodations — comprising hostels, service apartments, and homestays/villas.
Seasonality tailwinds and changing habits of the Indian traveler led MakeMyTrip post its highest-ever quarterly gross bookings at $1.98 billion.