MakeMyTrip offers offline travel agents a platform to digitalise operations

MakeMyTrip offers offline travel agents a platform to digitalise operations
Photo Credit: 123RF.com
25 Aug, 2020

Nasdaq listed online travel firm MakeMyTrip has rolled out a platform to help offline travel agents digitalise their operational processes and improve customer services.

Called myPartner, the B2B2C platform will offer local travel agents an online booking engine to make post-booking modifications, cancellations and other last-minute itinerary adjustments, a statement said. It will also help them offer customisation and personalisation solutions to their customers.

The company said it will provide real-time access to an inventory across travel segments besides helping offline agents bring transparency to the booking process and offer more travel options to their customers.

The travel ecosystem demands deeper and wider collaboration among all stakeholders in the value chain in order to make a sustained recovery as the sector has been hit hard by the pandemic, Rajesh Magow, group CEO of MakeMyTrip, said.

“Through our new MyPartner offering we are very proud to give access to our content and inventory of domestic and international hotels at best prices to travel agents in the country. This will help them in making a faster recovery as travel restrictions are lifted gradually,” he said. 

The online travel agency (OTA) segment was among the first ones to be impacted by Covid-19, with international travel taking a hit early on in February. While many users had to cancel their bookings, online travel agencies extended credit on their platforms while airlines provided clients open PNRs to reschedule their travel. Hotel bookings subsequently took a hit due to reduced travel for work and suspended vacation plans.

In April, the leadership team at MakeMyTrip announced a pay cut of 50%, apart from graded reductions for other staff, even as the firm laid off nearly 350 employees in June for cost rationalisation. The company has now begun to restore the salaries of its frontline staff, and looks to do the same for its mid-level management from September.

On Monday, the company said that it secured credit and guarantee facilities to the tune of $100 million as a backup source of liquidity for contingencies and potential investments. It recorded $173.8 million balance as cash and cash equivalents as well term deposits on its balance sheet for the first quarter of the financial year 2020-21, ended June 30. The comparable figure for the last quarter of FY20, ended March 31, was $168 million.

Of the $100 million, $70 million came from an affiliate of the company’s largest shareholder, Chinese online travel giant Ctrip. The remaining credit was sourced from a commercial bank in India, according to MMT’s earnings report. 

It reported adjusted operating losses of $21.3 million for Q1 FY21 compared to $29.2 million for the corresponding quarter in the previous financial year. The company lost 95.5% in reported growth for the quarter, owing to travel restrictions induced by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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