Wego’s Expansion Plans in India- With Wego Country Manager, Jackson Fernandez

Funded by Tiger Global and News Digital Media, a division of News Corp, Wego is a travel metasearch engine founded in 2005 by Ross Veitch and Craig Hewett. The company has grown over the years and attaines a global stature. On May 29th, 2012, Wego set foot in India and at the helm of operations in India is Jackson Fernandez who entered the startup ecosystem in 2010 by cofounding Grabbon (which got acquired by Snapdeal). Post the acquisition, Jackson worked with Snapdeal looking into strategy for about 2 years after which he recently made the shift to Wego.
The site enables Indians travelling both domestically and overseas to compare the price and availability of flights and hotels across a bunch of different travel sites simultaneously, so they save time and pay less.  It ranks hotels in order of their popularity with users locally and provides aggregate reviews, making it easy to choose from the 350,000 accommodation options on offer. Wego also compares over 600 full service and low cost carriers and illustrates graphically the cheapest days to fly on the most important routes. Having setup its office in Bangalore, Wego has a 12 membered team in Bangalore currently. “We’ve very recently started operations in India but the traction has been great! This is mainly because travel in India is such a big market and having had the experience of setting a foothold globally, it helps a lot.” says Jackson. There are other travel metasearch sites in India like iXigo that’ll give a tough competition but one could argue that there is room for a handful.

Having its marketing team in India, the technical support is provided from Singapore. “We have some very interesting data and inputs coming in based on which we take our decisions to go forward,” mentions Jackson. To give an example, the user behavior off late gave indications of the country’s growing concern over exchange rates. Users have been spending more time to select hotels and flights to get the best deal. “For Wego, this pressure on rates and fares is a boon.” added Jackson.

Going forward, the next line of action is to increase the visibility considerably for which many marketing ploys have been put in place. Do not be surprised if you hear a lot more about Wego in the near future!

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