The major challenge faced by the e-ticketing portal when it was conceptualized was lack of availability of credit and debit cards and almost non-existent net banking facilities in India.
They also faced issues like poor broadband connectivity and lack of e-ticketing softwares in cinema theatres.
The biggest hurdle for the company came in 2002 when the Dot com market suddenly crashed.
The Mumbai based e-ticketing portal Bookmyshow has changed the way India books tickets. It revolutionized the old cluttered method and made it more organized. The website also made it much easier for the common populace to book tickets and provided solutions for problems like long queues and houseful theatres. Today almost 85% of the tickets sold in cinema theatres around India are booked on Bookmyshow. It has certainly emerged as a market leader in the market of online entertainment ticketing. However, the journey that Bookmyshow has had to reach to this point hasn’t been easy. The company has faced numerous challenges along the way. Here are some of them discussed in detail.
Bookmyshow was actually started by Ashish Hemrajani in 1999. That time the company was called “Goforticketing” and operated majorly offline or via their 12 call centres. They literally used to buy tickets in bulk and hand deliver them to the customer in person on bikes. However, this business model wasn’t scalable and led to huge losses for the company. Thankfully a change in the laws provided the company with a little ease.
The major challenge faced by the e-ticketing portal when it was conceptualized was lack of availability of credit and debit cards and almost non-existent net banking facilities in India. They also faced issues like poor broadband connectivity and lack of e-ticketing softwares in cinema theatres.
Bookmyshow also faced stiff competition. The market was overcrowded with 21 players. This made things for the online ticketing portal even more difficult.
However, the company was still going strong with a team of over 150 employees. The dot com industry was going strong. Bookmyshow’s capital partner “Chase” further sold their stake in the company to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.
However, the biggest hurdle came in 2002, when the Dot com market suddenly crashed. The e-ticketing platform’s business hit an all-time low. They even had to buy back their business from News Corp. The situation was extremely dire and was getting even worse as the days passed.
Bookmyshow had to shut down its offices in many cities and focused only on operating in metros like Mumbai and Delhi. They had to scale back on the salaries of many employees. Their team size went from 150 to mere 6. Every single rupee that was earned was invested in the business. The e-ticketing platform had to cut down on every single cost.
From 2002-2006, Bookmyshow had no investors. They didn’t even have enough capital to pay the salaries of their employees. Only two options were available to the founders at that time, either to shut down the business or invest in it again and start from scratch again. Ashish Hemrajani ,however, choose to put his faith in the latter.
He decided to go ahead with his business and soon the tide turned for Bookmyshow. The hard times faced by the company taught them valuable lessons. When Bookmyshow was relaunched in 2007, the company was better prepared, more cautious and better organized. They even went great lengths to save capital. In fact, the company had tweaked its operations in such a way that the Global financial crises of 2008 didn’t affect them much. The momentum gained by Bookmyshow through the challenges faced by it doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon.
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