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CASE STUDY: How RedBus cracked all the odds in its way and became leader in bus ticket booking service?

13/04/2016

Case Study

What you will find in this Case Study?

1) About the company

2) Idea behind the company

3) Growth and Revenue generation

4) Company on social media

About the Company

RedBus is India’s largest online bus ticketing platform, trusted by over 6 million Indians. Three BITS Pilani alumni Phanindra Sama, Charan Padmaraju and Sudhakar Pasupunuri co-founded redBus. Started steadily in August 2006 with a few seats from a single bus operator, redBus today is on the forefront of the ticket booking service with a sale of over 6, 00, 00,000 tickets via web, mobile, and various bus agents. RedBus operates on over 80, 000 routes and is associated with 2300 reputed bus operators. Today you can book a redBus ticket at over 30,000+ outlets!

The idea

The founder Phanindra Sama during his Diwali vacation of 2005 was on the way to his home town Hyderabad. Making the plan in last moment left him with a single option to take a bus to reach his home.

Phanindra roamed the whole city and looked everywhere for a ticket, but it was all sold out before he reached the travel agents. He then realized some major issues with the then-existing model:

  • Travel agents don’t have all the information regarding all the possible bus operators. This lead to a gap and customers had to take decisions based on limited information.
  • Most of the agents were not able to sell return bus tickets.
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3) How Big Basket has changed the Online Grocery Marketplace?[/su_box] It was the time when Phanindra thought about the opportunity to solve this issue by laying out all the relevant information on a platform where customers can access it easily and take better decisions. The internet was the best medium to deliver all this information and make possible e-commerce to purchase return bus tickets. Thus this was the beginning of redBus.

Growth and Revenue

redbus-goes-international

RedBus started in August 2006 with INR 500, 000 which was the savings of the three co-founders. Operations and all the work started from a room of his house which was so called their office. They keep other parts of the house closed so that it gives then a feeling of working in an office. Three more relatives joined hands with him to help in the project.

When the prototype was ready, they went to the bus operators and tried selling it to them, but the bus operators were not even willing to take it for free. Then they went to TiE, Bengaluru with their business plan. TiE allotted them three mentors to advice on the project.

The first year was not a full year and we did Rs 50 lakh worth of business in the first financial year. There were no profits.

Second year till the end of financial year 2008, it was a huge success. The turnover was INR 5 crore.

In 2009, the company grew six times and the turnover was INR 30 crore. In March 2010, the company had INR 60 crores turnover.

Today, RedBus has more than 2 crore users, 30,000+ outlets, 80, 000 routes and 2300 bus operators belonging to 24 states apart from road transport corporations of 5 states, and16000 daily uses.

Earlier they crossed 10 million marks in no. of tickets sold in July 2012 and sold of 12 million tickets a year. It has $200+ million Gross Merchandise Value. RedBus has been sold to ibibo group for $110 million.

In mid of 2015, ibibo Group rolled out redBus in Singapore and Malaysia. With this launch, redBus is now available for travelers to book inter-city bus tickets between Singapore and Malaysia, and intra-city tickets within Malaysia.

Social media Scenario

RedBus banks upon a radically different approach as opposed to the sector. The brand uses the line of attack as self-promotion. The posts are not aimed at customer engagement as such, since most of the posts are focusing on the features of the brand. The content bucket includes creative with crisp copies, highlighting the benefits and advantages of using RedBus.

redbus social media

The Facebook page has a massive 1,000,000 fans with an average like of 500 people on a post. It also has more than 5000 followers over Twitter. It engages the customers with various offers through the platform. Over its LinkedIn page, the company sees a crowd of more than 24000 followers.

The strong market research on the idea, strong technical background that can be used for the idea implementation, innovative business plan, mentors, aiming for the customer satisfaction, update of the work process and above all the first ever idea to implement in India made RedBus a successful organization.
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