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EaseMyTrip Does Not Wish To Create More Hotels; Plans More Acquisitions Across Verticals: Co-founder, Prashant Pitti The company has no plans to go asset-heavy and is mulling a set of organic and inorganic acquisitions

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Prashant Pitti, co-founder, EaseMyTrip

Online travel service provider Easy Trip Planners, popularly known as EaseMyTrip Ltd, has said the company has no intention of creating more hotels. Earlier, the travel platform acquired a 50 per cent stake in Jeewani Hospitality to develop a luxurious 150-room Radisson Blu hotel in Ayodhya, expanding the company's portfolio with high-quality hospitality offerings to 1.5 lakh daily visitors. However, Prashant Pitti, co-founder, EaseMYTrip has mentioned the company does not wish to enter into any asset-heavy business. "This was a one-time investment. We got a great deal to have a five star around 400 meters away from the Ram Mandir, Ayodhya. This property is going to be strategic because a lot of people would want to come and stay here, and that's the reason we wanted to bring exclusive offerings. However, we do not want to further enter the hotel business," the co-founder said.

In the fourth quarter of FY24, the platform reported a loss of INR 15.75 crore in comparison to a profit of INR 31.15 crore recorded during the fourth quarter of FY23. For the full financial year ended March, the company reported a profit after tax(PAT) of INR 103.46 crore down from INR 134.10 crore in the previous fiscal, the company said in a regulatory filing.

The company attributed the latest quarter's loss to write-offs of amounts that were supposed to be recovered from now-defunct Go Airlines (India) Limited, which operated Go First carrier. On Saturday, EaseMyTrip's founder and CEO Nishant Pitti said the company has decided to withdraw its bid for the airline. "After careful consideration, I have decided to withdraw from the GoAir bid in my personal capacity. This decision allows me to better focus on other strategic priorities and initiatives that align with our long-term vision and growth objectives. Our commitment to delivering exceptional value and service remains unwavering as we continue to navigate new opportunities and challenges," Nishant Pitti, founder & CEO, EaseMyTrip.

Business expansion

Although, flights are the top revenue generator for the travel platform, its hotel business is also picking up. During the quarter, the company's non-air segment saw a growth wherein the total hotel night bookings were 1.4 lakh, up by 39 per cent and the other bookings were at 2.7 lakh, a 53 per cent jump. For FY24, the hotel night bookings were at 5.2 lakh, up by 49 per cent and the other bookings at 10.4 lakh by 67 per cent.

"Our non-air segment's total business grew by almost 50 per cent in this year; and the bus train railway business grew by almost 66 per cent this year. The company is well on its way to improve the non-air business and we are taking proactive measures to make our hotel (booking) vertical stronger," the co-founder said.

Sharing the firm's expansion plans for 2024, Pitti said they are looking into more acquisitions, "Last year, the company did about five, six acquisitions and this year too we have multiple acquisitions planned. I may not be able to speak about it right now; the company is growing both organically and inorganically. We are looking at companies which are highly efficient, disruptive, asset-light companies and technology-based firms. These are the kind of businesses we are looking to acquire," the co-founder said.

On trends dominating the travel industry, the co-founder highlighted that people are spending more on their travel plans; the number of bookings for 4 stars and 5 stars have almost doubled on the platform compared to pre-covid numbers. "We do see an expenditure rise primarily from Tier II, Tier III areas; their contribution to revenue is increasing significantly," he said.

The backstory

Established in 2008, EaseMyTrip was founded by brothers Nishant Pitti, Rikant Pitti and Prashant Pitti; the company's inception was rooted in their earlier venture, Duke Travel. In its early days, EaseMyTrip operated from a modest space, in 2011, EaseMyTrip transitioned to a customer-facing model, adopting a 'no convenience fee' policy.

The company offers a comprehensive suite of travel services, covering flights, hotels, buses, trains, cabs, cruises, and holiday packages.Supported by a robust infrastructure and strategic acquisitions, including Spree Hospitality, Eco Hotels and Resorts, Dook Travels, CheQin, Guideline Travels, TripShope, YOLO Bus, Nutana Aviation, and ETrav, the company expanded its presence across Indian cities and international markets.

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