Must See India is an online travel guide that helps travelers to plan their trip more effectively and also provides a platform to share travel experiences. It is India’s first and only customized holiday booking website which allows customers to create and book their holiday package in 15 minutes without any call centre intervention. Customers can book their holiday package on their own much like they can order a book online or book flight tickets. Must See India also provides door to door services at the click of a button.
Vikas Rana graduated in Computer Science from IIT Delhi in 2002 and joined Trilogy where he worked for 5 years in enterprise software. Vikas joined hands with two other co-founders– Karan Nahata and Sanjay Goel and started Must See India with an initial investment of Rs. 5 lakhs each in 2008. The trio had a single goal in mind – to solve the problem of Indian travelers and be the one stop travel guide for tourists in India, covering all different aspects of travel from destination research to transportation to hotels. With more than 5 million visits per month, the startup is all set to hit revenue of Rs. 18 Crore this financial year. To explore some more in depth knowledge, we got in a conversation with Vikas:
Tell us how it all started – where did your vision for Must See India come from?
Travel sector in India is very fragmented with a lot of companies with various models. You can book some of the components of the trip, but travelers struggle with many of the items. Quality is usually poor.
We as passionate travelers ourselves understand that pain point and are working to fill this gap by providing hassle free door to door services.
How did you take your first step towards Must See India?
We started out with the goal of building the best travel information website for India. We ourselves travel quite a bit and were sort of solving the problem for ourselves. This ensured that we were able to create a website which was practical and exhaustive. Later, we expanded to helping travelers in bookings as well via online customization engine.
How does it differentiate from the rest ?
Quality and ease of use have been our biggest focuses and that’s what we think about every day. We are probably the only one among major players having a separate dedicated quality team which has absolute powers to touch base with customers at various points of their trip and get it resolved as soon as possible. It works beautifully and has given us upwards of 96% customer satisfaction.
Could you tell us about your revenue model?
We have 3 revenue sources:
1. Package bookings
2. Online ads
3. Affiliate revenue
What is the biggest hurdle you have faced or are still facing?
Quality is one skill that is still not rated very high in India. I believe in delivering an excellent quality no matter how big or small the task. You need to emphasize the same with everybody you interact with, every single day. In the travel sector, there are lots of touch points with customers and it is tough getting everything done the right way from all the parties involved.
What more do you wish to include to take Must See India to the next level?
There’s a long way to go. Travel booking is still complex and we wish to simplify it further in a way where it doesn’t take more than a few minutes to book a door to door service. That’s our vision.
The startup reached half a million users within 18 months and a million users by 2010. By the year 2011, Must See India became the largest travel information website in the country. It has raised funds of Rs.1.5 crores from K Ganesh (Tutorvista founder) and is currently looking for Series A for scaling the model.