Age of Start-ups: ‘Make my trip’ in our very own India

Kshitij Doval


No one knew that the IIM Ahmedabad alumnus would revolutionize the travel industry with his start-up- Make my trip. The little known fact is that it was first introduced in the US market in the early 2000. It was created to cater the needs of NRIs for making Indo- American trips. Operations in India began in 2005 with flight tickets. But the beginning wasn’t going to be the end any time soon and after that there was no looking back.

Deep Kalra, after his MBA, lead the ever so common life of a manager and did a sequence of successful stints at ABN Amro Bank and GE Money. A meeting with a friend changed his life. His friend, a venture capitalist, meets him at a mall in Mumbai and the duo excitedly jotted down a business plan on a napkin!

Deep Kalra has also said often “”It’s ironical, “we had a course on entrepreneurship at IIM-A and I did not opt for it.” He is one of those rare Indian B-school exes who became a businessman.

Like most entrepreneurs, the lack of sense of achievement from corporate jobs haunted Deep. He was always inclined towards exploring new opportunities. In late 2000, the internet bug got to him too but the timing was wrong. So he had only two choices- begin a stock broking firm or pursue his real passion- travel. Rejection in the former start-up idea led to the birth of . But during that time, travel wasn’t a happening sector. So he focused on NRIs. With the success of IRCTC, which enabled online rail ticket booking, Kalra was sure that this business idea would certainly grab eyeballs and take off.

So after profitably switching to the Indian market, the travel industry saw the entry of low-cost airlines that could be accessed via the internet. The rest is history and has become the largest travel company. It had a sales turnover of Rs.550 crore in 2006-7.

A few years later Make My Trip got listed in NASDAQ and oversaw 3 acquit ions in the following year. It has its headquarters in Gurgaon, India. The company has also been recognized as one of the best travel portals of India and the journey of Deep Kalra never fails to inspire us.

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