Blame it on the King of Bollywood romance, if you may. There is no denying that we all grew up starry eyed about travelling to Europe and soaking in its picturesque landscapes thanks to Yash Chopra’s movies.
For most of us, travelling to Europe remained an expensive affair! Cut to the present, Europe is no longer a distant dream. And if you hoped to get carefully hand picked information on the budget accommodation under one roof, you need to look no more.
Under Hundred, is a travel portal floated by ad man Parveez Shaikh early this year. The website lists budget hotels, bed & breakfast, pensions, guesthouses and private apartments in Europe, all for under hundred euros per night.
An ad guy for over 17 years with rich experience and having won over hundred international and national awards, including two Cannes Lions and the ‘Copywriter of the Year’ award, featured as one among the 16 best Indian copywriters of all time in Indian Copy Book, there came a time in his life when he decided to pack his bags and travel.
It all began in 2008 when Parveez’s travel blog created a buzz. That’s when Under Hundred was born. “I am fascinated with Europe, the people, its culture, cuisine, sceneries. Europe is close to my heart also because it was the first continent I travelled to,” shares Parveez. His friend Maya Cariyappa joined in.
Coming from an ad guy’s stable you’d expect the portal to have advertisements but Under Hundred is ad free! “We want the look and feel of the portal to be clutter free,” smiles Parveez who continue to be the Executive Creative Director & Senior Vice President with M & C Saatchi.
Based out of Mumbai, Under Hundred is the only niche travel portal in India that caters to a specific continent. While it does have the first mover’s advantage in this growing space, Parveez is aware of the challenges ahead. “We have to make the portal dynamic and interactive,” says Parveez.
Since its launch in March this year, the portal offers free information and has been gaining momentum by word-of-mouth. However, in the coming year Under Hundred will offer portal visitors the option to book from the site.
The self-funded venture will look for funding in 2012, when Under Hundred ups its offering and gets on the monetizing route. For now, Parveez is contented with travelling solo for a month, at times more, researching on stay options.Why we bet big on this venture
Travel business dominated the online commerce sector by 80% share, remaining 20% is non-travel.
Fuelled by the online travel industry’s 76% contribution to the total net commerce industry in India, the Indian e-commerce space is estimated to growth at a rate of 47% to over Rs 46,000 crore by calendar year 2011.
Source: Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI)
- Aminah Sheikh