Manoj Gursahani, Chairman of Travelmartindia, is a known name in the Indian travel industry. Manoj founded Sound Travels in the 1980’s as a leading brick and mortar travel agency and later morphed into TravelMartIndia, one of the top leisure planning travel companies in India. Now, Manoj along with his friend Hari Swaminathan has started India’s first Travel group buying site, Vamoose. Vamoose is the first site of its kind to be introduced in India. We, at YourStory spoke to Manoj to understand the nuances of such a business model in India.
How did the idea of Vamoose come about?
I and Hari Swaminathan are friends since last 30 years and Hari who is currently based in the USA came up with the thought of launching a Group buying site based on the Groupon Model. Then after we brainstormed we decided to have a focus vertical Group buying site catering only to the Travel and Leisure sector and this gave birth to Vamoose.
What is your revenue model?
We make money on every sale. We expect our average deal size to be 15,000 and we expect to retain about 10% margin on the same. We plan to add about 100 people in the next 6 months and offer more than 1000 deals worldwide.
Who are your competitors in India and how are you different from them?
We do not have any direct competitors in India, though there are many travel portals that are very popular here. The difference that we bring to table for our customer is that we cater to them by providing a niche Group buying site focusing on Travel products and services only.
How easy/difficult was it to introduce the group buying model for travel in India?
Initially the key challenge was to make our Vendors and clients understand the concept of Group buying and how it benefits them. And now with Goa, Kerala, Bali and Phuket becoming the sought after destinations on Vamoose, vendors are gaining confidence in the model and we see it getting better.
What are your plans for Vamoose in the coming years?
We have already got more than 10,000 registered users in just the last 4 weeks of our launch. Now we plan a series of initiatives for the future which we will unleash soon. We plan to add about 100 people in the next 6 months and offer more than 1000 deals worldwide. We plan to keep the cost to customer low to encourage them to buy on the group buying network.
How are you funded?
Hari and I have put in the initial stage of money.
As an entrepreneur, what are your joys? What are the challenges?
As an entrepreneur, one has to face many challenges like taking risks and to handle the ups and downs and growing pains of a start-up organization. It is an exhilarating journey and it’s like actually nurturing your own baby and having the satisfaction in contributing to its healthy growth.
We at YourStory wish that Manoj’s baby(http://www.vamoose.in) grows stronger, and we will keep you updated about its healthy growth! Do let us know your thoughts on the story. Feel free to write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org