Musafir.com appoints Vijay Kesavan as its CEO for India operations

7 Feb, 2014

Online travel services firm Musafir.com has appointed Vijay Kesavan as the chief executive officer (CEO) of its Indian operations. As part of his role, Kesavan will be responsible for devising and driving the company's business strategy in the country.

"With the ever increasing demand in travel and tourism industry, India offers tremendous business opportunities for a new brand like Musafir.com. I look forward to the new challenges and great experiences that the brand has to offer," said Kesavan.


He has over 15 years of experience in the travel and distribution industry and prior to Musafir.com, Kesavan was the senior vice president for online travel at Thomas Cook India Ltd. Before that, he was the CEO of Akbartravelsonline.com. He had also earlier worked at companies like Indigo Airlines, Interglobe Technology Quotient, Abacus International, and Amadeus India.

Founded by the trio of Sachin Gadoya, Mohammed Al Thani, and Albert Dias in August 2007, the UAE based premium-experience travel portal had entered into the Indian online travel agency (OTA) market in Oct last year. The Indian venture is promoted by Viva Holdings, retired Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, and Universal Travels and Tourism LLC (UAE). Tendulkar, who is also the brand ambassador of the company, holds a minority 7.5 per cent stake in the company through a global endorsement deal.

Musafir.com offers flights to over 3,000 destinations around the world through 276 airlines, besides offering domestic and international hotel deals. In the near future, it also plans to launch tailored holiday packages for consumers, however, the main focus in the initial quarters will be flight bookings.


At the time of the launch, Mehul Thakur, director, Viva Holdings, had mentioned, "Online travel in India has been witnessing significant growth. By 2015, the market size is expected to reach Rs 55,000 crore and OTAs are expected to account for a 40 per cent share of this market. We would like to establish our footprint in this market."

In terms of competition, the other leading players in the space include NASDAQ-listed MakeMyTrip, Yatra.com, Cleartrip.com and Ibibo Group's Goibibo.com.