BigBreaks.com for me is truly a labour of love. Launched in January 2016, it is a comprehensive and user friendly travel portal — a sort of travel super market which offers online bookings for domestic and international flights, holiday packages, hotel bookings at over 50000 hotels in India and across the world.
How did it all come about? Well, it has been a long and challenging entrepreneurial journey.
An Economics graduate from Shri Ram College of Commerce, my entry into the Travel and Tourism Industry was purely accidental and was influenced by my selection in the Oberoi School of Hotel Management as a Management Trainee while I was pursuing Law. Gaining experience from the opportunity, I then moved to Mercury Travels (formerly owned by the Oberoi Group of Hotels) where I worked for several years understanding the basics of the Travel and Tourism business. Following short stints in two other Travel companies, I came up with the idea of starting my own venture Trans World Travels (a corporate ticketing business) in the year 1990. Trans World Travels has grown over the years to become an IATA travel company handling all aspects of corporate travel.
I followed this up by also establishing Trans India Holidays which is one of India’s leading Inbound Tour Companies handling thousands of travellers every year. Trans World Holidays, an Outbound and Domestic leisure business was also established which completed my business with multiple verticals of the travel and tourism space. I continue to be the Managing Director of all these businesses which I founded and have nurtured all these years.Today I own and run a Rs 100 crore brick and mortar travel booking business.
Big Breaks is my first venture into the buzzing world of online travel.
I had been toying with the idea of setting up an online travel company for some time, but felt deterred by big players already in the field.It was finally in the summer of 2015, when on vacation, travelling from Cusco to Machu Pichu, that I sat and did a SWOT analysis of my business idea and figured out that there was room for a hybrid Online/Offline model.
My Trans India Holidays and Trans World Travels experience helped me build up a core team in no time. In fact, a big part of it was constituted people from our brick and mortar company who were given the option of joining the new online business and take on new roles. It just needed a change in the mind set, the domain knowledge of the aviation, travel and tourism industry, was already there. It was easier to function with a team I was familiar with. For Digital Marketing and Fare and Tariff controls, we hired people with experience of the Online world. While hiring, all I looked for was enthusiasm and a customer-centric attitude. In the end, it’s the customer service that sets tell us a part.
Apart from Air Tickets, Hotel Bookings and Car Rentals, and regular holiday packages to popular and highly visited destinations like Singapore, Dubai, Thailand, Maldives etc, BigBreaks also offers travel packages for the more discerning travellers who love to explore unexplored sites and untapped destinations. Our offerings include ‘Self Drive’ Holidays in New Zealand, Holidays to Myanmar, Vietnam and Cambodia, Safaris in South Africa, Holiday offers for Darjeeling and Gangtok etc. with activities planned according to the tastes and likes of the traveller.
None of our holiday package are “as is where is” or “one size fits all”, all holiday options are available in a range of 3, 4 and 5 star hotels and are fully customisable — something not easily possible with other OTA’s.
Having a robust brick and mortar presence to support BigBreaks.com allows us to provide a level of customization that no other online travel site can provide.Our USP is that we give clients three important things — Choice, Convenience and Value. Customers have a wide Choice. No printed brochure can offer the 300+ holiday packages that Bigbreaks.com offers. We are currently focused on Delhi and the NCR, but plan to have a pan India presence in the coming years.
BigBreaks’ growth since inception in January this year has been exceptional. From less than 100 online transactions in the first month, Bigbreaks.com is now recording over 100 transactions a day as far as air tickets are concerned. In last quarter, we’ve sold over 200 holiday packages for over 600 passengers. This makes us very bullish about the potential of the online space.
Bigbreaks.com is completely self-funded, and I plan to keep it that way in the near future. The fact that I run a successful and profitable inbound holiday business allows me the luxury of going ahead with my plans with my own hard-earned money. In the immediate future, we hope to launch Mobile Apps, for both Android and IOS platforms, and add Railways and Cruising to our product portfolio.