Interview with CEO of Redbus.in – Online Bus Reservation Platform

Following is an email interview which we did with Pahninder Sama, CEO Red Bus.in. We talked more about the industry they are working in challenges faced and whats their unique positioning in market.Q1. Can you  give us some brief on redbus

redBus is the first player in India to launch the concept of online bus tickets. Today, it is India’s largest such service with the highest number of routes (over 3200) and over 250+ bus operator partners. Consumers get some unparalleled benefits that are unique to redBus:

         They can book return tickets

         They can choose their seats

         They can get tickets home delivery

         They have access to the best-in-class bus operators

         They can book tickets over the phone, through their mobile, on the net or in person at our partner outlets.

Q2. Give some background on founders and their experience

redBus was started by 3 friends from BITS Pilani.

Phanindra Sama – Ex Texas Instruments

Charan Padmaraju – Ex Honeywell

Sudhakar Pasupunuri – Ex IBM

 Q3. Why Bus reservation. What is the potential market size in terms of rupee value and how do we segment it.

Bus reservation is a very large market. There is no formal study available to dig statistics. However, approximately the market is pegged at about Rs. 15000 crores. The best way to segment it is geographically, by states. Each state has some busy (priority) routes. One can estimate the market by the number of buses and average load per bus for those routes and add it up to get the state market size.

 Q4. Is this business volume driven or with coming in of luxury buses we will see tour operator using bus as medium also being pushed online

I’m not sure if I understand the second part of this question correctly, but to answer the first – yes it is a volume driven game. Greater volumes change the dynamics of the relationship of the players in this industry.

 Q5. The space at which rail & Air is moving why don’t we see the bus operator segment evolving at same pace.

The bus space is relatively young and you will see it booming in the next few months. We have already started experiencing 30% month-on-month increase and the word-of-mouth will kick start this boom.

 Q6. Keeping in mind low operation standards maintained by smaller bus operators, when you sign them up is their a service level agreement with minimum quality standards being imposed.

We are conscious about the bus operators we tie up with. There have been instances where we have broken our relationship with operators with whom some customers had a bad experience. That’s how serious we are about service levels.

 Q7. What are the main hurdles you face to get scale for your business?

Streamlining the operations with 100s of bus operators throughout the country and building robustness is one of the hurdles to attain immediate scale

Q8. When selecting a bus operator for Delhi-Jammu segment I noticed it threw up 2-3 option with similar fares and originating point. What extra information you tend to provide which can help me to take a decision on bus operator to select as they are not brand names which I have heard of before. Eg data would be performance of operator in terms of number of times bus is running on time and so forth.

We will soon have a discussion forums powered by users. That will give other travelers an idea about experiences of people who have used those bus operators.

 Q9.  Are you looking at other monetization opportunities like advertising as even bigger transaction sites like yatra.com and naukri.com has started to do so and are getting good revenue results.

We surely are. However, that’s not the revenue model of priority right now. We want to master our core business before we can get into maximizing other revenue models.

Q10. What all can we expect in 2008 from Redbus like external integration with travel meta search engines etc.

Of late, some travel meta search engines are showing interest in displaying redBus results. It may come through in sometime.

The market is dynamic and moving at a very fast pace. The operations / offering on redBus.in could be quite different in 2008.

23 Responses to “Interview with CEO of Redbus.in – Online Bus Reservation Platform”


  1. 1 Mahesh November 28, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    Redbus entrepreneurial story is always inspiring for me, since from its inception.

    Good Post. Thanks for presenting interview.🙂.

    Keep inspiring.

  2. 2 Ramu March 4, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Good post.

    dotnetwithexamples.blogspot.com

  3. 3 manimaran June 27, 2010 at 4:25 am

    Hi,

    Redbus is a good concept but can be duplicated very easily.

    You will soon see all coloured buses offering the same services soon.

    So, for redbus to survive, they have use the traffic to drive to bigger services.

    Or they should start providing better services like special bay for customers etc..

    Manimaran

  4. 4 Karthik November 19, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    Really a very inspiring story!!!

  5. 5 Renju December 12, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    RedBus.in story has always been inspiring to me. I however think that they are here to stay.

  6. 6 priyanka bharti March 18, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    i was the part of red bus.. I feel proud to say that I have worked thre.

    • 7 Ashwin Shetye January 31, 2016 at 12:47 am

      Hi Priyanka, i know its very late for this questions but since u said u worked with redbus, can u describe what approach they used to initially take bus operators in their network? What was the initial team, any different agreement with bus operator to keep them in network, any discrepancies in bookings of customers, how did redbus solve problems of ticket unavailability in spite of booking on-line?

  7. 8 Powar May 23, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Hello,

    Thanks for sharing this

    I really like redubs to book bus tickets its really very easy also very very comfortable to book online because we can select bus ac/non ac which seat is available and lots of other information which we can’t get in local ticket counter.

    Did you know you can also get discount while booking tickets at rebus, you have just use coupon codes which you can find here http://www.couponlow.in/redbus.in/ and use this coupon and get discount for bus tickets.

    Regards
    Powar

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  11. 12 vineet kumar May 27, 2013 at 11:57 am

    hi
    Well after going through all the above mention comment it is hard to belive that the red bus service can let his customer so much. Well but its is the fact . The refund amount of the ticket which i booked with red bus is yet to come . They send a mail that the amount would be refunded after 7 working day but it is almost a month and i am not able to get my money. I don’t know for what purpose the there is red bus support. Every time you call to them they ask the same question and at the end they told you to simply address your problem to the support@redbus.in . I am just fed up

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