WHO Ashish Kashyap is the CEO and founder of Ibibo Group, which owns several online travel portals such as Goibibo.com, a hotel and air aggregator; redBus.in, an online bus ticketing platform; and ibibo Ryde, a car and cab sharing app.
Today, more than three million unique users transact in Ibibo’s websites every month, making it one of the largest travel companies in India. In a recent report by Morgan Stanley, Goibibo.com is India’s top OTA in terms of hotel booking volume.
For the October-December 2015 period, Goibibo grew its hotel bookings by 400 per cent year-on-year with roomnights crossing 1.6 million. Some 71 per cent of hotel bookings on Goibibo take place on its mobile app.
Prior to launching Ibibo Group in 2007, Kashyap was the country head of Google India, where he established the domestic business operations from ground up, and had also founded an e-commerce business at Indiatimes.com.
WHAT In March 2016, Goibibo.com launched GoTime Guarantee, promising to deliver the fastest refunds in the country. The site guarantees refunds will be processed within two hours from the time a customer cancels his/her travel bookings with the portal. Goibibo also shares the exact time − in minutes and seconds − taken to process the refund with the customer.
If the company fails to meet the two-hour guarantee, the platform promises to credit Rs100 (US$1.48) into the customer’s GoCash wallet for every hour of delay. GoCash is a virtual wallet on the portal which can be used to book travel services such as hotels and flights.
WHY According to Goibibo, more than 15 per cent of travellers make amendments to their trips, bringing about the need for refunds.
“We often see that refund is a big problem in India no matter the segment. By guaranteeing a specific time period to process the refund, we get more credibility and customers who can rely on Goibibo.com,” says Kashyap.
During the first-week launch of GoTime Guarantee, Goibibo processed 99 per cent of applicable cases in 30 minutes.
TARGET Kashyap said that GoTime Guarantee is an industry first introduced after the company conducted research to understand the user psyche. Through this service, the OTA hopes to increase trust and reliability among its users and eventually offer this ‘time guarantees’ to customers for all processes.