Chasing a golden goose in the bus transport sector

Aiming to disrupt the bus ticketing and transport market with a slew of value-added services and differentiating features,, an end to end bus ticketing portal and aggregator, based out of Chennai, is now making its presence felt in a big way in the state.

The company, founded in 2007, has partnered with close to 2,700 bus operators, with 20,000 buses operating as part of their fleet. With as many as five lakh active users and 7,000 agents who use the portal for booking tickets, is now planning to expand its business through various modes. Karthi Easwaramoorthy, President and Co-founder of says, “The Indian travel industry is growing at the rate of 30 per cent year on year and bus transport services, are a big part of that growth. This year, we have been concentrating more on our bottom line than our top line – by qualitative filtering of our bus operators, rationalising our B2B partners, attracting new customers through innovative e-commerce solutions and products.”Focussing on value-added services, the company has now tied up with bus operators in Tamil Nadu, such as Madurai Radha Travels and Hebron Transport to offer passengers travel options in a Smart Bus. Karthi tells us, “As part of a pilot project, we have equipped a few buses from these operators traversing the Chennai to Bengaluru, Madurai and Coimbatore routes with a Smart Box facility. The system allows passengers to access high-quality entertainment, content and high bandwidth Wi-Fi services on one’s smartphone or tablet itself. It eliminates the need for installing seat-mounted personal screens or a generic single screen inside the bus. We will also be introducing an app shortly so that Ticketgoose customers can log onto the Smart Box as soon as they enter the bus.”The company is also in discussion with a start-up, assessing the feasibility of developing a bio-toilet solution that can be incorporated into buses. Karthi says, “One of the biggest reasons why buses are only the second most-preferred modes of transportation in India is due to the lack of toilets or even properly maintained restrooms on the highways. It will take the concentrated efforts of both the government and private parties to build the latter. However, we can certainly look into the former aspect and see if it’s a workable solution to install a toilet in a bus, considering the space constraints and other factors.”Diversification is also on the cards for the ticketing aggregator as it is now eyeing the office crowds keen on weekend getaways. “We are now coming up with a new product called Get Together and Get Away (G&G) targeting the millennials – from the age group of 20 to 35. Our product will be similar to that of end to end travel/tour operators, the only difference being our focus on short trips and treks. A lot of corporates have shown a keen interest in this product now.” Talking numbers, Karthi says that company expects to do a turnover of Rs 80 crore this financial year. In the next six months, the portal also plans on adding another 300 bus operators to its network in the East and North Indian sectors. “By mid-2017, we are hopeful of securing funding worth $10 million, and we are in talks with angel investors for the same,” he signs off.