Archive for December 19th, 2006

Travelport India – Travel Portal with Franchisee Model

Travelport is hitting big in india. They are growing via 2 strategies

– Buy nice travel operators example their was recent news about snapping up travel company in Goa and strategy to offer specialized Goa destination oriented travel portal to showcase its offerings

– Create Associates to increase brand awarness and share business.

Their franchisee business was recently covered by in their  story where they talked about various opportunities available for first time entreprenuers who are looking to mitigate risk by following established model and be cash flow positive by leveraging on existing brand recall.

With Travelport franchisee model its first time travel agency is trying to tie up with smaller player in an official brand name way. The cost of gaining franchisee according to article is just 25K but per month investment expected is around 50K for local advertising and phone charges etc. The idea is to draw business from portal to associates and via brand recall once advertisement starts to flow. Their site already has around 50 associates listed and it will be good to get some feedback on how is it helping them with the business.,,, – Money trail continues

With recent news of recieving another round of funding. Keeping in mind its growth objective to reach project 600 crores revenues by next year. All this based on common calculation ground of indians willingness to choose their portal as first destination for making online air tickets reservations. As rest assure we all know this is what is deriving revenues for any travel portal today.

Though is a brand name in existance for a while the target market has been the NRI segment which means mainly concentrating on inbound traffic. The infrastructure exist and so does strategy and execution experience. hence the funding will be used for creating  brand name in india leveraging on existing customer base vouching/swearing on their services. This is the reason with whatever amount of funding coming in all travel portals have fair shot and doesnt have any first mover advantage as pointed out by many bloggers.

Would be intersting to know some stats provided by airlines on how the business is flowing via portals as compared to their own sites.

Rural India Internet Solution – Broadband via Power Cable

With Players like Realiance and Tata in control of both the largest operators in Telecommunication and Power distribution sector. They can surely take advantage by creating group synergy by making the 2 luxuries of rural india as true basic ammenities.

Try outs are being carried out across the world for successful commercialization of Technology. Following link on wiki  explai the technology concept behind the offering. Not only the internet will be fast but setup cost will be reduced. In india we have been talking about WiMax etc storming to increase internet penetration but with no electricity available often wonder how do they wish to make devices work. This technology could possibly be the solution to all problems. Hope the trial in winchester be successful.

Online DVD Rental – What else could be implemented

With advent of dvd rental stores online have been thinking what different could be done in space. Was thinking about introduction of swapping and barter trade. Good for me before suggesting something to my client do my research well.

Found an existing model in the US . They were recently covered by techcrunch and earlier by gigaom too.But my idea was to cover them from indian market perspective. Now why peerflix is not workable in indian scenario

– First of all their doesnt exist  significant amount of market which own’s DVD’s

– Secondly in india people which own DVD have mainly the one which are collectors editions which they would like to keep for repeat viewing

– Thirdly in india people would use the medium for exchanging stuff they dont need in order to get newer copies.

As the model has just bombed in american market with just $250,000 worth of revenues. I wonder if it would be suitable for online stores to engage community in similar models in india. The online DVD rental stores still sounds as better model ot follow keeping in mind none player is targeting PAN-Indian pressence due to operational issues. After couple of quarters of operations and if model sees healthy revenue we may witness consolidation in this sector.

How Offline Travel Agents can increase business with Internet and opportunity for Travel Portals

In my blog here have been talking about for a while needs for vertical applications and portals. Further study and emails from other bloggers pointed out. How Travel agents across the world have been using internet to promote the destinations and their services to the destination via the power of internet. Few of the techniques travel agencies are using to promote their travel services

# Create One page sites full with keywords and photos which are destination specific

# Link all of these one page sites with each other to fool google page ranking utility on text relevance and number of sites linking them

# Use free online submission tools to list in all possible trade directories to further improve linking

# (New) Buy impression of text ads on google search engine

Above are few of them cheap mentioned techniques. If you are in india,a travel agent and have an online website. 60% chance is it must have been done by Intermesh or people. They know their stuff but they are doing same job for lot of people i dont know how much will it help.

But once you have come up with a website how to convert traffic into sales is very important. Now based on my consulting experience to couple of offline travel agency clients. Following things really increase the conversion rate

# Quick e-mail response – If you respond to a customers query within 24 hours chances are if he is satisfied by the rate and used internet as medium before for making travel plans.They will give you a shot.

# Send via Fax or Post copy of order. To show you are just not an internet company with no back office operations. It also helps with trust building  by just sending documents on printed letter heads and envelopes.

Try to be an Extra Mile person as clients apprecite people who like to go the extra mile for providing extra satisfaction.

#Show prominently logo’s of all associations you are member of IATA, Tourisim board approved etc.

#Create mailing list and advice of other important deals you can offer to client. Sending in flyer once a month. This will help with client refferal.

Again opportunity exist for Travel Portals here to collabrate and provide platform to travel agents opening up their technology at a percentage commission to derieve volumes via the portals. There are lot of small travel agents which will be surely enough interested to join the medium on offer.

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December 2006
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