UAE e-travel firm enters Indian market
Dubai, October 27, 2013
Sharjah-based Musafir.com, a premium-experience travel website, has announced its foray into the fast-growing Indian online travel agent (OTA) market backed by the parent company, Universal Travels and Tourism, which pioneered the e-commerce platform in the UAE with Musafir.com in 2007.
Musafir.com will offer complete travel solutions to Indian travellers with exceptional customer service and several product innovations lined up during the year, said a statement from the company.
Founded in the UAE by Sachin Gadoya, Albert Dias and Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani in 2007, Musafir.com’s foray into India forms an integral part of the company’s global expansion strategy.
Musafir.com India has an initial investment commitment of Rs100 crore ($16.2 million) backed by parent company, Universal Travels & Tourism from the UAE and Viva Holdings from India, said the statement.
By 2018, Musafir.com aspires to be among the top 5 OTAs in India leveraging their strong investment capability and expertise in the travel sector. This, coupled with India’s favourable economic outlook and demographic profile, will propel growth of the e-commerce company in India.
The brand aims to enhance the way people plan their holidays. The travel website offers flights to over 3,000 destinations around the world on over 270 airlines, domestic and international hotel deals at over 75,000 properties, and lots more. Shortly, the brand plans to launch unique tailored holiday packages for consumers while the main focus in the initial quarters will be flight bookings.
To reiterate its commitment to the India market, the company has brought on board Indian cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar as its brand ambassador.
Commenting on the announcement, Gadoya said; "India’s online travel market is expected to cross 55,000 crore by 2015 and OTAs are expected to account for a 40 per cent share of that market. Our aim is to leverage our expertise and experience to maximize opportunities in this burgeoning market by focusing on the B2C leisure travel segment and offering Indian travellers a suite of exciting products, no-nonsense convenience and a premium experience."
“We are extremely excited to have Tendulkar on board as our brand ambassador. His consistent and superlative performance in the sport, huge fan-following, credibility and love for travel make him the perfect ambassador to encourage more Indians to travel across the globe.
Through this association, Musafir.com aims to strengthen brand recall to meet the company's ambitious growth plans in India. Sachin Tendulkar personifies expertise, reliability, consistency and integrity. Musafir.com’s synergy with these values coupled with Sachin’s tremendous appeal that cuts across masses and classes make him the ambassador of choice” he added.
Speaking at the launch, Tendulkar said, “Musafir.com understands the business of travel and has been successfully catering to the emerging needs of travellers. I look forward to this exciting association as we encourage India to plan their travel with Musafir.”
The partnership with Sachin Tendulkar covers a major global marketing campaign that includes radio, television and outdoor media, in which Tendulkar is seen showing the travellers ‘a new way to go ghoomne’ wherein Musafir.com is a new enabler encouraging ‘people to stop dreaming and start travelling’.
As part of the launch campaign and also to encourage the customers to try out the new website, Musafir also announced zero convenience fee, which is now a standard charge by all OTAs, for an initial period of 30 days.
Musafir.com now operates from 10 offices across India and the UAE with 8 new locations in the pipeline.-TradeArabia News Service