MakeMyTrip, India’s largest online travel aggregator, has bought majority stake in Mumbai-based corporate travel company Quest2Travel. The acquisition marks Nasdaq-listed MakeMyTrip’s maiden foray into the corporate travel segment, which has seen intense action over the last few quarters.
Commenting on the deal, Deep Kalra, founder and group CEO of MakeMyTrip, said that the buyout will help the online travel aggregator extend its offerings to large corporates for their travel requirements. “With this investment, we are making a decisive foray into providing travel solutions for corporate customers as well,” Kalra said, declining to disclose the size of the deal. Recently, in a share-swap deal with South African internet giant Naspers, China’s largest online travel agency Ctrip increased its share in Nasdaq-listed MakeMyTrip to about 49 percent, along with 4 percent of total voting rights.
Quest2Travel, which boasts of large corporate clients such as Tata Motors, Aditya Birla Group, HDFC Ergo and Thermax, offers workflow of travel procurement, including an employee’s travel request approval, corporate policy compliant online booking, invoice generation, expense management, reimbursement and final invoice settlement.
The Indian corporate market, which is pegged to reach $51 billion in 2021 from $32 billion in 2017, also happens to be fastest growing corporate travel market in the world. Over 60 percent of India’s travel spend comes from more than 8,000 large corporations and 100,000 SMEs, according to estimates. While MakeMyTrip is taking its first major bet in the segment, rival Yatra has transformed itself into one of the biggest corporate travel player in India over the last few years. Recently, Yatra got a buyout offer from Ebix.
Marked by high fragmentation and the absence of big branded players, more than 70 percent of travel spend in the Indian corporate travel market comes from companies under Rs 10 million-spend. More than 1,900 companies across eight industries (telecom, bpo, auto, finance, energy, pharma, engineering and IT) account for over 70 percent share, according to industry estimates.