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Aurvind Lama, Founder,

Thursday January 07, 2010 , 5 min Read

"Making travel easier"

A word about

Booking bus tickets while you travel is a crucial part of your plans. However, it is not such an easy affair. Making that easy is what does. It is so dedicated to the job that it enables you to select the best possible seat option available during the time of your bus ticket booking!

Travel is not only an online travel agency, but has also become a major fulcrum of bus travel industry in India. Travelyaari is the flagship brand of Mantis Technologies Pvt. Ltd, a company setup by graduates from IIM Ahmedabad and industry professionals, namely Aurvind Lama and his friends.

"Wherever necessary, we deploy our own computerized Bus reservation system at the operator's booking offices and agent network to ensure that their whole inventory is made real time or "live". We do this to ensure that 100% of the seats are visible to you when you do the online bus booking," says Aurvind.

"We are trying to democratize travel as much as possible. We do not recommend any travel option and neither do we accept any payment from any operator for higher visibility on our site. We have tried to equip you with a host of tools for sorting and filtering, which will allow you to customize your results and choose the best travel option suitable for you"

How it started

Aurvind lama an ex IIIT, Allahabad student who later did his MBA from IIM, Ahmedabad was always more enthusiastic in working independently. During the second year in IIM-A, he thought about opening an online bus reservation service and approached his friend Partha Sinha with his idea. Partha was intially nervous about launching himself but later agreed to join hands. The duo discussed their plan with their seniors and professors and made the necessary edits.

Next, they needed a coder for their venture but drew blank. They started scouting for their third guy with the aim of launching their website by the time they completed their MBA. Someone suggested them the name of Prateek Nigam who had made his name with his expertise in the feild of IT. So they approached Prateek Nigam who had been in the field for more than ten years. Prateek, who had a similar idea in his mind soon jumped in and the venture was informally conceived in the later part of 2006.

How it grew

Come April 2007 and the booking portal was formally launched for its users. Lama's brainchild gradually shifted the entire bus booking setup to the Internet and thus made it more accessible and organised. The trio started using their personal savings as seed capital but soon made good name with their performance. is currently the largest online bus ticket booking service with the head offices in Ahmedabad and Banglore and its branches in all major states of India. The company has over four hunndred outlets of operators and three hundred direct agents. Tie-ups have enabled Travelyaari to spread its wings all over the country making life easier for travellers. The company's growth has enabled its owners to set bigger ambitions in the future.

What's more to come

Aurvind realises that the ticket-booking industry has a big potential and aims to tap in a big chunk of it with his service. He has very strong feeling in what needs to be done in the coming years and sounds fully ready for it. They aim to break into the government market and even expand to other countries in the coming few years.

Aurvind says, "Our performance speaks for itself.... Given we continue to live up to the expectations, we will soon grow bigger.... People who were not ready to accept the system are now thankful to us. Now we have to live up to their expectations and make the system less fragmented."

Challenges and hurdles

"'To be in business you have to survive the first thousand days' is what my colleague Partha rightly says" says aurvind, who had to go through many challenges initially. The major challenge for him was getting a coder. "Thefts by small level employees and getting trustable clients were some other challenges we had," recalls Lama.They had to storm their brains about dealing with wrong minded employees and wrong price structure. However they soon came out of these fixes and launched their successful journey.

"As this is a seasonal industry and is prone to other external factors like climatic disasters and economic stick-ups.... there were some low periods.... I thought of givin up every month but the respect that we had earned, the change that we had brought in and the fact that the lives of many employees that directly or indirectly are dependent on this now made us stay buckled to this....."

Recognitions and appreciations

Aurvind proudly claims that they have an average of nearly thousand clicks per day which sometimes rises upto the double! They have had numerous compliments and words of praise given to them by the people who have felt a change in the system.

"Once a foreign tourist complimented that she was surprised to see such a system in India. It changed her opinion about India.... It is a big encouragement!"Aurvind humbly adds with a smile.

Entreprenurial tip

For the upcoming entrepreneurs Auvind says "Think twice about your idea, be honest about it and stick to it.... Ideas work only if supported by right people and system. Also it helps if you have a good understanding of the money cycle." wishes good luck to Aurvind and his colleagues for his venture in the coming years. We are sure they will continue to make our lives better and easier.