The journey of Bookmyshow from being a company valued at ₹25,000 to ₹1,000 crore is certainly inspiring
The hardest times came when the dot com market went bust in 2002, and many investors pulled out of the company.
Faced with such a dire situation, Ashish Hemrajani, the founder, had lost all his hopes. However, he stuck to his guns and didn’t lose faith.
The Mumbai based ticketing website Bookmyshow is synonymous with the phrase “let’s go out for a movie”. Not long ago if we wanted to watch a movie with our friends or family, we needed to physically go to the theatre and book tickets. However, it wasn’t always a guarantee that the movie that you wanted to watch wasn’t houseful. Plus the long lines outside the movie theatre made the process tedious and time-consuming. Many a time people ended up missing on their favourite movies because of these issues. However, Bookmyshow completely changed the way tickets were booked in India.
It contributed to bringing movies closer to the masses. One can now book tickets for their favourite shows with just a single click of the mouse. The website also helped in organizing the previously cluttered ticketing system. Bookmyshow doesn’t just help with the booking of tickets but also gives all updates to its users- from release dates, theatre availability, trailers, show times and even reviews! Bookmyshow is a one-stop destination for all your movie needs. However, the success that the ticketing website has achieved hasn’t been easy. The journey of Bookmyshow from being a company valued at ₹25,000 to ₹1,000 crore is certainly inspiring.
The early days:
Bookmyshow was started by Ashish Hemrajani in 1999. The idea for an online ticketing app struck him when he was in South Africa when he happened to listen to an Advertisement for rugby tickets. He came back to India and quit his job to start his own company, “Bigtree Entertainment Pvt Ltd”. Parikshit Dar and Rajesh Balpande came on board to look after Technology and finance respectively. However, getting investors wasn’t as easy as it as in today’s times. The company’s first investment was ₹2.5 crore from JP Morgan- Chase capital partners to whom they had sent one-page fax detailing their business model. They later rebranded the name of their company to Indiaticketing and finally settled on Bookmyshow a few years later.
The crushing failure:
Bookmyshow was an innovative idea but there weren’t many takers for the same due to issues like lack of credit and debit cards with people and the non-existence of net banking. Also, e-ticketing softwares in cinemas were non- existent and the broadband connectivity was poor. The market was crowded as well, with well over 21 competitors. In their initial stages, majority of the business of Bookmyshow was offline. The hardest times came when the dot com market went bust in 2002, and many investors pulled out of the company. The e-ticketing website had to let many of its employees go and the team size went from 150 to merely 6 with no means of even being able to pay their salaries. With no investors backing them, the company was literally living hand to mouth and faced an uncertain future.
The stunning comeback:
Faced with such a dire situation, Ashish Hemrajani had lost all his hopes, however, he stuck to his guns and didn’t lose faith. He knew things would soon get better and they did for sure. After the dot com fiasco, the market in India went through a makeover. Soon credit cards and debit cards and internet facilities improved in the country and also the number of multiplexes grew as well. To get back on their feet, the company started selling software solutions to firms. Finally, they were able to attract an investor, Network 18, which invested ₹14.5 crores in them and gave a fresh lease to the company. Hemrajani soon relaunched Bookmyshow and the rest, as they say, is history. Today, Bookmyshow is one of the major market players in India with a presence in 1,500 cinemas across 200 cities in India. Thus, the journey ofBookmyshow shows us that we shouldn’t give up even when things seem to be well out of our hands.
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