The online travel company has reported strong revenue growth in the past year, driven by its focus on hotels and packages, consistent marketing strategy, and new product offerings.
MakeMyTrip leads the online travel market in India
MakeMyTrip, the Nasdaq-listed online travel firm, has emerged as the leader in the online travel market in India, with a revenue of US $593 mn (IFRS) in the year ended March (FY) 2023. This is a robust recovery from the Covid-induced slump in the previous two years, and also higher than the company’s FY 2020 revenue of $512 mn.
The company has seen a significant increase in its hotels and packages segment, which contributed $259.8 mn to the revenue in FY 2023, almost equal to the air ticketing segment, which added $280.1 mn. In the quarter ended September 2023, MakeMyTrip raked in $168.7 mn in revenue, with hotels and packages accounting for $75.7 mn and air ticketing for $80.3 mn.
According to Raj Rishi Singh, CMO and Chief Business Officer (Corporate Travel), MakeMyTrip, the company has been investing in building the hotels and packages category for the past five to six years, as it was previously known mainly for its flight product. The company has launched several campaigns featuring actors Alia Bhatt and Ranveer Singh, who have been endorsing the brand since early 2016, to drive hotel bookings on the MakeMyTrip app and target new users.
Singh said that the company has maintained a consistent marketing approach, using the same celebrities and creating fresh advertisements from ‘one universe’. He added that this has helped the brand break the clutter and deliver the message clearly to the consumers, who are bombarded with advertisements on various platforms.
MakeMyTrip taps into the post-Covid travel trends
Singh also revealed some of the post-Covid travel trends that the company has observed and leveraged. He said that travel has become an essential spend for the top households, rather than a discretionary one, and that people are expressing themselves and developing themselves through travel. He also said that people are taking more short breaks and nearby holidays, driving to new locations, and opting for alternate accommodation or homestays.
MakeMyTrip has tailored its product offerings to cater to these trends, by showcasing offbeat destinations, partnering with the Ministry of Tourism to promote 600-plus lesser-known tourism gems within India, and providing a wide range of hotels and packages on its platform.
Singh also said that international travel is recovering and expected to grow faster than domestic travel, as household income in the mid and top segment is growing, supply is increasing with direct flight connectivity to new destinations, international tourism boards are investing in India, and several countries are becoming visa-free for Indians.
He said that the company is bullish on the travel sector’s future and will continue to build its domestic and outbound segments, as well as its corporate travel product, MyBiz, which has over 50,000 companies using it to manage their travel.
MakeMyTrip balances its media mix and dual brand strategy
Singh said that the company has been active on cricket, which aggregates Indians, and has also moved its media spends from linear TV to connected and digital platforms, and from reach-driven media to impact-driven media. He said that the company’s strong brand recall makes its spends and performance very efficient, compared to its competitors.
The company also has a dual brand strategy, with Goibibo, which it acquired in 2016, targeting the budget and younger segment of travellers, while MakeMyTrip caters to the more affluent and frequent travellers. Singh said that this makes the marketing easier, with a sharper focus for each brand, and that there is hardly any overlap between the two brands’ users.
The company is also expanding its presence in the international markets, especially in the GCC, where it started with targeting Indians, but is now eyeing users beyond. Singh said that the company will also start playing more strongly in the inbound opportunity, specifically targeting the Indian diaspora across the world.