We love people who attempt to disrupt, specially if its the travel industry because we all love to travel, no matter how introvert of a person one may be but even he does want to move out to some place serene.
I believe people love to travel control and worry free, no agents to follow up and no anxiety of budget crossing over, just think of a place, pack your bag and make your own voyage. That’s what MustSeeIndia is all about.
5 years ago 3 engineering graduates planned to cut out the noise created by the TV appearing travel giants, money minting agents and theory speaking guides and let a traveler create his own journey of good times and happiness.
We got an opportunity to talk to Vikas Rana, CEO MustSeeIndia and get behind the scenes of this little team of journey makers.
What are the booking ways and procedures MSI provides that benefits the customers?
Must See India is India’s first and only customized holiday booking website. It allows customers to create and book their holiday package in 15 mins without any call center intervention.
Customers can book their holiday package on their own much like they can order a book online or book flight tickets. We provide door to door services at click of a button.
As the travel industry is becoming a competitive niche what are the innovations MSI is planning out to make traveling more smoother and beneficial for the users?
Travel booking is still complex and we wish to simplify it in a way where it doesn’t take more than a few mins to book all the components. There are lot of websites to book flights, hotels, buses and cabs; but they don’t work in tandem. You still need to hop onto multiple sites to book a trip which takes hours and days. We have first version of our product live which solves many of these issues. But more need to be done. We are planning to integrate more pieces in next few months.
Travel sector in India is very unorganized and there are lot of inefficiencies. We are looking at ways to optimize it by using technology.
If you were asked, the key USPs that sets MSI apart from its competitors and the new entrants, what would it be?
Quality and ease of use has been one of our biggest focus, that’s what we think about every day. We are probably the only one among major players having a separate dedicated quality team which has absolute powers to touch base with customers at various points of their trip and get it resolved asap. It works beautifully and has given us upwards of 96% customer satisfaction.
It has been more than 5 years since you started and MSI is India’s first online travel site to provide customizable packages, How has been the journey so far? What are the obstacles you had to overcome?
It’s been fascinating to say the least. We have learned lot of things. Dealing with various vendors across the country has been a very humbling experience.
However, one thing we have noted is that quality is one skill that is still not rated very high in India. We believe in delivering an excellent quality no matter how big or small the task. You need to emphasize the same with everybody you interact with, every single day. In travel sector, there are lots of touch points with customer and it has been very tough getting everything done the right way from all the parties involved. Realization and implementation of quality standards has been enduring experience.
Your thoughts on the future of travel industry? How travel is taking shape? What do people today prefer most, a more independent type of traveling or a guided one?
Last few years have shown that people in India are becoming more independent and tech-savvy. They no longer prefer to travel in group like in a fixed departure packages of last decade. They want more customization, full control over their itinerary. The industry will have to adapt to this changing trend and give more power to consumers to plan their own trip.
As a travel agent, our job is to inform the customer about various options available and let them organize their trip. “Create your own trip” is going to be the mantra going forward.
Tell us something about the key people behind MSI.
We are 3 founders (all 2002 passout):
Vikas Rana: CEO. BTech in Computer Science from IIT Delhi. Worked in Trilogy Software for 5 years on enterprise software.
Sanjay Goel: COO. BTech in Chemical Engineering from IIT Delhi. Worked in Infosys and Tribal Fusion.
Karan Nahata: CTO. BTech from NSIT. Worked in Trilogy for 5 years in Configuration products.
Apart from the innovations MSI is planning out, any other future plans you would like to share with us?
We want to experiment with our business model this half. We are planning to do a B2B pilot of our online customization product. Next year, we are planning to go international.
Any advice or growth hack tips to the entrepreneurs who have just started their journey.
Measure everything. Even if there’s no way to measure a metric exactly, do approximations. You don’t optimize the things you don’t measure. At MSI, we have tons of dashboards and very nice reporting framework to show real time progress across multiple axes. It helps us in taking relevant decisions fast.