Let Go Of Plush Job, Took Risk & Revolutionized The Way We Travel Today

Many of us tend to think that having a revolutionary idea will lead to an overnight success. The belief that having a good capital investment is a sure shot way to creating a multi-millionaire business is also faulty. But each and every time we delve deep to actually find out the process of making a multi-millionaire company, we find out that neither was it an overnight success, nor was it solely a decent capital investment that led to its formation. Such is the story of Deep Kalra, the founder of MakeMyTrip.com, who stepped out of his comfort zone to find himself in a more comfortable position after he put in all the blood, sweat, and tears behind his start-up.

Deep went to St. Stephen’s College, Delhi in 1987 to pursue Bachelors in Economics from where he went to IIM-A for an MBA degree. Instead of going with the general trend al that time of joining IT companies, he decided to take up a banking job. Though he was excited about his first job with ABN AMRO bank, after 3 years he realized that he didn’t want to spend the rest of his life doing the job of a banker. Hence, he quit his plush job and took a break for a year to figure out what he really wanted to do.

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While on his break, Deep got a number of well-paying marketing jobs but, Deep Kalra being Deep Kalra, decided to pick the craziest of all. He took up the job of bringing AMF Bowling Inc. to India. It was a huge risk because during that time (the ‘90s) , no one was willing to invest in a bowling alley. So he went around from place to place measuring places and setting up bowling alleys but the competition was just too tough. There were hardly any returns and competing against the giant chains like McDonalds’ was proving out to be impossible in terms of returns on real estate. Deep ran it for four years but decided to quit.

“It was a great entrepreneurial experience but an acute financial disaster,” said Deep.

Looking out for companies, he got a lucrative offer from GE Capital to head Business Development. The year was 1999 and looking for opening up new avenues, the internet was the obvious answer. Deep met almost all the top players in the Indian internet space and helped GE grow via the internet.

At the same time, he noticed that the internet industry was growing at the speed of fire and held a lot that could be capitalized on. Having said that, he quit his job & began the old-age brain storming session. He saw that, with all the brokers, the agents & middlemen in place, the online travel booking industry was messier than a bachelor's bedroom!

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Hence, with a backing of USD 2-Million from eVentures and along with co-founders like – Keyur Joshi, Rajesh Magow and Sachin Bhatia, deep began his new found journey with MakeMyTrip.com (earlier known as India Ahoy) in 2000. From there on, the rest as they say, was history and Deep and his team had to never look back .

In 2017, MakeMyTrip has merged with Ibibo, MakeMyTrip’s biggest rival. This merger is through in a stock transaction, representing the coming together of India’s largest travel booking portals. The deal that may be valued at $1.8-2 billion has been pegged as the biggest acquisition in India's online travel space.

Today, makemytrip.com has grown to become one of the largest players in the Indian travel industry with Rs 10,000 crore ($ 1.6 billion) in gross bookings last financial year.

(By Shreshthangsha Sayan Biswas)

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