Cleartrip plans to be a “full-service” travel agency; soon to add buses, train, taxis and holiday reservations


After being acquired by Flipkart, Cleartrip plans to become a “full stack” Indian travel portal by adding new segments such as bus ticket booking, railways, taxis, holidays and vacation activities, said a senior official. Cleartrip has a multi-pronged plan to become the next big online travel agency (OTA) that will take on MakeMyTrip and, among others.

Ayyappan Rajagopal, CEO of Cleartrip, said, “Cleartrip has a clean interface and a good business model. He didn’t even spend that much on marketing. Despite this, it has a strong air transport activity. This leaves us with a lot of potential to do more with the portal.

“For 2022, we have a clear roadmap. We want to be a full-stack player and not a segmented player, but that will be our growth streak,” he explained.

Until now, air travel and hotel reservations have been core to Cleartrip’s business model. “It will continue to remain so. However, we will follow it with buses, trains, taxis, vacation packages, experiences and vacation activities,” as part of the company’s growth plan for 2022 and beyond, he said.

Once these segments are reached, he plans to move into the visa and forex segments, followed by cruises.

A navigation and discovery platform

Ayyappan, who was recently named CEO of Cleartrip, said the company doesn’t want to just be a booking platform. It also wants to be a navigation and discovery platform. He explained that vacation travel inspirations come from Instagram or destination discovery and planning comes from Google.

“This is a very early plan,” Ayyappan said, adding that what he’s looking at is how to get people to travel through Cleartrip itself. “We don’t want our potential customers to go to Google to search for a destination and then come to our platform to book a service. We want the funnel to start with Cleartrip. We want Cleartrip to be seen as a discovery and navigation platform.

Ayyappan’s latest goal for Cleartrip is to ensure that bookings resume faster than the travel industry, thereby gaining more market share.

For this, “we invest in technology and people. Compared to the first half of 2021, we are sitting at a 50% higher talent force. We want to double it by the end of the year. We want to grow it 100-150% overall,” he said.

Published on

February 08, 2022

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