THE VERY UNEXPECTED AND INSPIRING SUCCESS STORY OF ONLINE TICKETING PLATFORM REDBUS
Redbus is India’s largest online bus ticketing platform
Redbus has won many accolades and numerous trusting and loyal customers
Redbus provide services in 15 states and have around 1000 buses listed as a part of their company
We all have faced the hassle of booking bus tickets at the last moment. Sometimes the tickets are unavailable, sometimes over price and many a time the local travel agencies that are used to book these tickets are simply unreliable. All these problems led to the plantation of the seed of the idea for Red Bus, India’s largest online bus ticketing platform in the mind of three engineers, Phanindra Sama, Charan Padmaraju and Sudhakar Pasupunuri, who were classmates at BITS Pilani.
Started in August 2006 with one bus operator providing them a few seats, today Red bus has grown into a successful brand that has taken the Indian online travel market by storm. Today they provide services in more than 15 states and have around 1000 buses listed as a part of their company and sell around 5000 tickets every day. Redbus was also voted as the most trusted online travel brand and 14 the most trusted internet brand overall in 2015. Apart from this Redbus has won many accolades and numerous trusting and loyal customers.
The journey towards building the brand that Redbus is today was started when Phanindra Sama could not manage to get hold of book tickets during Diwali holidays to go and visit his family in Hyderabad. Since he had ample time to spare during the holidays, he contacted a travel agent who explained to him how the business of online ticket bookings works. Sama concluded that the system was highly inefficient and tedious. Some of the problems that he came across were agents not being in touch with all the bus operators, lack of transparency in the whole process, unpublished fares and lack of a proper system to book return tickets. Sama saw a very good business opportunity in these problems and sought to solve them and the rest is history.
He along with his friends developing software and coding it. This software would be utilized to run the operations and then they put together a business plan. This business plan was presented to TiE, which is an entrepreneurs organization based in Bangalore who acted as their mentors and breathed life into their idea. However, they faced a lot of obstacles on their journey towards success, like changing the mindset of bus operators who were used to dealing with travel agents. This concept did require an investment of both time and money and slowly things started to fall in place in a few months.
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