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redBus eyes revving up bus ticketing revenues from overseas operations

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Press Trust of India New Delhi
redBus is planning to expand its bus ticketing business globally and aims to garner 35 per cent revenue of this segment from overseas operations over the next 3-4 years, a top company official said on Wednesday.
The company, which is part of the Nasdaq-listed MakeMyTrip group, currently garners just around 10 per cent of its bus ticketing revenues from five international locations -- Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Peru and Colombia.
redBus's overall annual revenues from the bus ticketing vertical, including India and international operations, stood at around USD 85 million.
"We are looking to scale up international business and expect around 35 per cent of the revenues to accrue from overseas locations in the next 3-4 years," redBus CEO Prakash Sangam told PTI.
He said the company is currently focussing at Latin American and Asian countries to expand its base globally.
redBus launched operations in Singapore and Malaysia in 2015. It acquired a majority stake in Peru-based bus ticketing platform Busportal in the subsequent year. With this acquisition, the company launched operations in Peru followed by Colombia.
When asked to comment on the domestic bus ticketing business, Sangam said the segment faced some slowdown since September last year but expressed hope that things will improve in the next fiscal.
"If there is improvement in the economy over the next 3-6 months it will be beneficial for us as well. On the positive side though, with new expressways being built and overall road infrastructure getting better, we expect growth to continue," he added.
Besides, favourable regulations on the part of the government would also help in the growth of the sector, Sangam said.
"There has been talk about contract carriage permits and one nation one tax regime. If such things happen then it would help the sector," he added.
redbus, which is the world's largest online bus ticketing platform, saw its bus ticketing business grow by 38 per cent in the third October-December period of the current fiscal.
Sangam said the company is also eyeing incremental growth in the bus ticketing business with the expected increase in online bookings going ahead.
"We have tie-ups with 23 state transport corporations. Online booking segment currently remains very small. It is just around 12 per cent of the overall bookings. If online bookings grow, it will automatically help us," he noted.
redbus, which came into being in 2006, till date has globally sold more than 180 million bus tickets and has customer base of around 20 million users.
The Bengaluru-based firm on Thursday launched rPool, a car pooling/bike pooling platform for intra-city commute in Delhi-NCR region. It has already launched the service in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune.
As part of the initiative, office goers can avail and offer rides in their personal cars and bikes while commuting between home and workplace.
rPool can be accessed directly from within the redBus mobile app.
"We would focus on 8-10 big cities in the first phase. These cities have huge population of people who commute on daily basis," Sangam said.
He further said: "If we can get to one lakh rides in next 1-2 years, it will be a significant figure."

When asked how the company would generate business from the vertical, Sangam said they would charge a small commission in the future as they are yet to figure out the amount.

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First Published: Feb 27 2020 | 6:02 PM IST

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