A release issued by TV18 Group states, "India is currently
witnessing a tremendous boom in both business and family/leisure
travel. In 2006, the Indian travel market is estimated to reach
approximately US $40 billion, and plans to hit close to US $50 billion
"Although the travel
market is flourishing, the needs of today's Indian travelers are still under-served
due to the fact that the travel industry is extremely fragmented. It is tremendously
difficult for Indian travelers to find, compare and select the best flight and
hotel packages and deals, and make reservations at the lowest cost and finest
service," adds the statement.
To meet this rapidly growing need, India's
online and centralized travel services company, Yatra Online (www.yatra.in), has
been founded. Yatra will help businesses and consumers to book airline, railway
and bus tickets and reserve hotel rooms and car rentals by calling Yatra's call
center, or by going to the Internet website www.yatra.in, or by using their mobile
Yatra will provide travel-related information, pricing, availability
and reservations for airlines, hotels, railway, buses and car rentals across 5000
large cities and small rural areas throughout India.
customer service center will enable business and family/leisure travelers to make
well-informed and cost effective bookings 24 hours a day or night, 365 days a
year, through its online, call center and mobile support.
will benefit from first priority booking and customized travel packages and deals
for multiple large to small hotels, airlines, railways, buses and car rentals
at the lowest prices, as a result of strategic relationships with the leading
travel suppliers. The company will also offer free travel-related news and travel
advisory services to a wide range of people.
"We are very excited
about our investment in Yatra and the market opportunity the company has targeted.
Internet penetration in India is only in its infancy and investing in companies
with sound business models that leverage the Internet to reach today's consumers
is a growing trend for our firm," said NVP managing partner and Yatra board
advisor Promod Haque.
"We are delighted to partner with NVP to back
Yatra's strong management team in fulfilling every Indian's dream of easy, affordable
travel by improving the entire Indian travel experience," said a Reliance
"TV18 Group is in the business of providing critical,
real-time information to over 70 million people each day in India, in addition
to a large Internet franchise that we serve through our leading financial and
news portals. What we have done for delivering the latest news and information
to Indian consumers is the same paradigm shift we believe Yatra will bring to
today's business and vacation travelers," said Haresh Chawla, CEO, TV18 and
Yatra board member.
"Investing in Yatra is an extension of our vision
for the Internet, as we extend transaction services to our audience."
founders of Yatra are non-resident Indians (NRI) and seasoned travel industry
executives who have returned to India to launch the first online and centralized
travel services company of its kind. The founders, Dhruv Shringi and Manish Amin,
bring a combination of 45 years of travel experience and 15 years of online travel
experience to Yatra. Most recently, the founders worked together to help build
and manage one of Europe's largest online travel businesses, Ebookers Plc, which
was recently acquired by travel giant Cendant Corporation (market capitalization:
US $17.98 billion) for US $410 million, adds the official release.