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Travelyaari: Forays In Tier-2 & 3 Cities and Aims to become a Reliable Brand for Road Travel across India

The new Travelyaari Android App is designed to be a friend for “inter city” road travellers for online booking of bus tickets, stays, holidays, activities and other road travel related services The App is the only bus booking app that provides all these services at one place.

BWDisrupt interacted with Aurvind Lama, Co-founder & CEO, Travelyaari and spoke to him about the journey since inception of Travelyaari

A veteran with vital industry experience, Aurvind Lama is the Co-founder & CEO of Mantis Technologies Pvt. Ltd which owns Travelyaari. Organising the unorganised bus industry, Travelyaari, through its end to end solution has built India’s largest online bus-ticket bookings platform. He spearheads the crucial responsibility of understanding the need of different stakeholders (travellers, bus service providers, agents and channel partners) and building solutions to streamline the entire industry.

Aurvind graduated as a Bachelor of Technology (Information Technology) from the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad, in 2003, and worked as a Software Engineer with the IT giant Infosys for nearly two years. He then completed his MBA in Business Administration and Management from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, interning at Deutsche Post World Net, Germany, as an IT consultant during his time there. He later joined Honeywell as a Senior Consultant before co-founding Mantis Technologies Pvt. Ltd, the parent company to Travelyaari, in November 2008.

He was not only pivotal in getting the first 50 bus service providers onto the Travelyaari platform, but also scaling it to over 2000 transporters connecting more than 17,000 destinations and facilitating bus ticketing transactions on 6000 high-traffic outlets. He believes the future is mobile, artificial intelligence and collaboration.

Aurvind’s in-depth professional knowledge has also led to the company’s exceptional growth as a market leader. Under his able leadership, not only has Travelyaari facilitated sales worth $52.61 million in the last fiscal and is targeting sales of $90.18 million in the current fiscal, but also powers 55% of the online transactions in the intercity private bus travel, an industry which is estimated to be worth $500 million dollars at present. He is ably supported by a passionate and dedicated team which is working together as a unit to deliver superior product and services, driving Travelyaari’s growth in both inventory supply and sales and building next generation smart road transport network.

With Travelyaari having cemented its position as a pan-India brand with a market monopoly in the Northern, Central and Western regions of India, Aurvind is now looking to build on the platform’s success to expand its geographical regions and footprint to more number of tier-2 and tier-3 markets. His goals over the next five years include facilitating transactions worth $5 billion and building a smarter and more collaborative transport network throughout the country. He believes that by doing so Travelyaari can be instrumental in working with different service providers to deliver superior service and connect different corners of the country.


What is the market size and opportunities for companies operating in bus travel industry?


Travelyaari has a larger offering base with a presence both in B2B and B2C markets, differentiating its business model from others. Southeast Asia’s online travel spend is expected to reach $76 billion by 2025. The region’s consumers will spend $200 billion online by 2025 and online travel spend will account for about 38 percent, according to a report by Google and Singapore-based investment company Temasek Holdings.

What were the challenges while setting up the company?

From the very beginning I was keen on entrepreneurship and wanted to create a self-sustaining business environment. My confidence and self-belief helped me to become an entrepreneur. The minor ups and downs during the initial stages of Traveyaari’s inception and my ability to deal with all of them without losing my momentum and bigger vision made me realise that this was always meant to be.

What is the Monetization model of Travelyaari?


Travelyaari has created tremendous value for all stakeholders in the bus industry.Travelyaari charges on SAAS model for providing technology solutions to more than 2000 bus service providers / transporters. Travelyaari also generates commissionable revenue by selling bus tickets directly to the end customers and also through its channel partners and agents.

What led to the inception of Travelyaari?

I was overcharged by a travel agent in Koramangala on a bus journey. Knowing that the agent was trying to take me for a ride, I decided to explore for more bus options and went to Majestic. This incident, which took place during my days at IIM-Ahmedabad, gave me the idea to build an online reservation service which will make booking a bus ticket more transparent and convenient for travellers.

Moreover, as an avid traveller, travelling to off-beat locations in remote parts of the country, I gauged the reach and the potential of the Indian bus travel industry. Travelyaari was therefore established to create a deep-rooted supply chain model for the bus ticket industry that would penetrate as many big and small cities as possible and help people all over India to book affordable bus tickets without any hassle.

Please elaborate key features/services offered by Travelyaari?

The flagship product of Mantis Technologies Pvt. Ltd, Travelyaari is an online bus booking platform which leverages technology solutions to simplify and streamline bus ticketing processes.

Established in 2008 by Aurvind Lama, the company is looking to make life easier for Indian travellers by bringing in service providers and travellers on to one end-to-end integrated platform. This not only brings in more transparency and convenience but also better collaboration between different service providers to deliver a more reliable service to the end-consumer. The vision is to increase the affinity of the Indian consumer towards road travel, given that most of India still travels by bus.

The company’s USP lies in bringing all the key stakeholders – service providers, agents, OTAs and consumers – across online and offline channels onto a single platform to provide end-to-end ticketing solutions. It has heralded the creation and implementation of a 100% real-time digitalised bus ticket inventory system across India.

It allows customers to view and confirm seat allocation in real-time. Moreover, in order to further enhance the end-user experience, Travelyaari is building reliability/ assurance layer on top of services provided by different vendors through the following features:

•Assured booking: Travelyaari makes inventory “live” for its consumers through live charts, allowing them to browse through available seats and select the exact seat that they want to book.

•Cancellation-proof booking: In case of service cancellation from bus operators, Travelyaari gives its users the provision of alternate means of transport in the same or superior class.

•Timely Confirmation: Travelyaari informs customers of pickup time changes and cancellations and alternate arrangements at least one hour prior to the departure time.

•Refunds: If alternate arrangements cannot be made within the specified timeframe, Travelyaari provides a refund equal to double the booking amount to the customer.

The new Travelyaari Android App is designed to be a friend for “inter city” road travellers for online booking of bus tickets, stays, holidays, activities and other road travel related services The App is the only bus booking app that provides all these services at one place. The bus booking panel in the new app is amply aided by new verticals of hotel, tour and activity maintaining its value for money promise.

Who are your competitors and how do you stand out among them?

The competitors of Travelyaari are the other online bus ticket booking portals and OTA’s.

Travelyaari is not just a regular online travel agency but an enabler of the bus travel industry. Transparent prices, excellent customer service, accessibility, seat guarantee and most importantly 100% live bus ticket inventory available at Travelyaari has revolutionized the industry and helped it to carve a niche for itself. The company is continuously improving its technology products to enhance booking experience and giving them exciting offers.

All these features at zero booking fees make Travelyaari.com a fantastic online bus and holiday booking service delivering the highest level of customer satisfaction that is in line with our philosophy - Travel Assured. The company is looking to make life easier for Indian travellers by bringing in service providers and travellers on to one end to end integrated platform. The company has the following technology solutions for travellers and business partners to make the entire process of booking bus tickets extremely convenient and hassle-free:
Computerized Reservation System (www.BusCRS.com): An ERP platform for bus operators supporting processes like booking, accounting, collaboration, reporting, collection, CRM etc.

Global Distribution System (www.IamGDS.com): The largest bus inventory aggregation and distribution platform for online and offline travel agents.
B2C bus ticketing (www.Travelyaari.com): One of the largest bus tickets market place in India.

Since its inception in 2008, Travelyaari has helped many small providers achieve computerisation and streamline their operations; 55% of the overall service provider base is currently on the Mantis system. The company is also trying to bring in more transparency and reliability into ticketing interactions through the following key reliability drivers:

How much funding amount was raised?

Travelyaari, a pan-India brand is looking to expand its present geographical footprint of over 1 lakh routes with forays into tier-2 and tier-3 markets. Recently the company has raised $7 million Series B Funding from Gujarat Venture Finance Limited (GVFL), Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd (the Times Group) and other investors.

What are your future plans?

A pan-India brand with a monopoly in North, Central and West India, where it holds a 90% share of the digitalized inventory, Travelyaari is looking to expand its present geographical footprint of over 1 lakh routes in terms of both width and depth with forays into more number of tier-2 and tier-3 markets across India. Travelyaari will also be looking to enhance its system intelligence and create a robust ecosystem around road travel, by including pickup and drop services, food, and stays, as it sets out to fulfil its vision of building a reliable brand around road travel in India.


What is your marketing plan?

Travelyaari has recently announced its first Ad campaign and is aimed at highlighting the end-to-end services complimentary to road travel, such as hotels, tours and activities that one can add, on making a bus ticket booking through Travelyaari.com. The ad campaign also underlines the unparalleled service quality enabled by Travelyaari.com through its reliability offering, TYSURE.

By providing an assurance of Guaranteed Travel, TYSURE makes bus journeys booked through the portal more dependable and convenient. This simplifies the travel planning process for the end-user and serves to establishTravelyaari.com as the preferred brand for road travel in India.What is the market size and opportunities for companies operating in bus travel industry?

Travelyaari has a larger offering base with a presence both in B2B and B2C markets, differentiating its business model from others. Southeast Asia’s online travel spend is expected to reach $76 billion by 2025. The region’s consumers will spend $200 billion online by 2025 and online travel spend will account for about 38 percent, according to a report by Google and Singapore-based investment company Temasek Holdings.


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Travelyaari Aurvind Lama startup buses travel agency

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