Each ‘Yatra’ begins with the first step taken outside home and ends in nostalgia of ‘Home Sweet Home’!
In any voyage, planning is most crucial, that too taken with an optimistic vision. However, too much optimism may lead to a missing out on practical hindrances that otherwise could have been mitigated! At the same time we don’t want to be a drifter or refugee, a straddler that proves to be a burden to the place we travel to! In today’s fast paced world it’s a drag to foresee all situations in a journey where something might go wrong.
Sabina Chopra, Chief Operating Officer of Yatra Online Pvt. Ltd. Yatra will solve all the aforementioned problems! A collaborative vision of Sabina, and her colleagues, Mr. Manish Amin and Mr. Dhruv Shringi was a key to forming this company in August 2006, and it’s been a joyride ever since! It’s founded on the motto of “Creating Happy Travellers”. Sabina explains perfectly, “We offer customized services based requirement and believe in building a personal connect to ensure the customer return back to us for their next trip. Each and every one at Yatra has been instrumental in helping us reach where we are today.”
Growing up, Sabina was inspired with the likes of independent, responsible, and authentic entrepreneurs Richard Branson and Oprah Winfrey. Sabina holds a BA from Delhi University. She has 24 years of experience including travel BPO industry, heading Operations for RAC(Aviva Plc) and Hewitt Associates. She headed India based Operations of ebookers, Europe’s largest online travel company, and also the sales teams, under her leadership, doubled the targets in less than 6 months. She also has extensive network within the Indian travel community, having strength’s in Operations and Delivery, Customer Care and Retention. The list goes on and on…!
To be on the top and being able to ride the wave, Sabina stresses. “no success can be achieved without facing obstacles on the way and we have faced our own share of them. When we started out, start-ups were still in the nascent stage; hence, hiring the right talent was a major challenge. Also, though we had the required technology with us, but deploying it was another task. Each challenge makes you stronger and more equipped to face the future.” She obviously means what doesn’t kill you definitely makes you stronger!
There’s a Murphy’s Law that states, ‘Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.’ Sabina is well aware of this as she says, “One needs to be passionate, have the ability to overcome challenges, look at everything as an opportunity and not fear failure to become successful. We are very transparent as an organization and ensure people across the company understand our business philosophy.”
When asked about how she manages personal and professional life, Sabina is philosophical, in the sense that she uses two words ‘balance’ and ‘prioritization’. She says life is not mechanical to be explained by a simple empirical equation or a chemical formula. It is you who have to consciously adjust, adapt, and ultimately evolve!
Publicity spread’s through the word of mouth. Today’s customers are like Rottweiler’s that bite first and ask questions later. The modern consumer has rights and is well aware of them with a no-nonsense attitude expecting to see results. Keeping up with all the above is no walk in the park, but today (and as have in past) Yatra manages it beautifully! Sabina theorizes, “the idea has always been that if we have a customer who has come to Yatra, we need to give the traveller a memorable experience. We truly believe in creating happy travellers and for us even if one customer of ours is unhappy with our services, we analyze the reasons for failure and try and plug the gaps. We strive to make our offerings better and more satisfactory; hence, we continuously look at innovating our products based on our customer requirement.”
There is a saying, ‘Where you are today will determine where you will be in future’. Today, Yatra is well established in metro cities with a base in Gurgaon, India and a desire to explore and service the rural areas in the near future. It is a leading provider of consumer-direct travel services in India. Some accolades are, ‘Outstanding performance as a Domestic Tour Operator (Rest of India)’, ‘Outstanding performance as a Domestic Tour Operator in Jammu and Kashmir’ and ‘Outstanding performance as an Inbound Tour Operator-Cat C’.
Over the past 8 years, 3 acquisitions were made namely ticket consolidator Travel Services International (TSI) in October 2010, global distribution system (GDS) provider MagicRooms.in, and Indian events and entertainment portal BuzzInTown.com in July 2012. It acquired 100% stake of Travelguru.com in 2012. yatra.com provides reservation facility for more than 50,176 hotels in India and over 500,000 hotels around the world. New depths have been explored with the company doing 20,000 domestic tickets and 7500 hotels and holiday packages a day.
Customers can access yatra.com through multiple ways: through an user-friendly website, mobile optimised WAP site and mobile applications, 24×7 multi-lingual call centre, a countrywide network of Holiday Lounges and Yatra Travel Express stores. Yatra.com provides booking facility for all the popular as well as exotic national and international destinations.
With travelling as a hobby undergoing a paradigm shift, Yatra.com sees the dawn of a very bright Sun indeed!