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Yatra goes for an image makeover, in rivalry against MakeMyTrip

business Updated: Jan 20, 2017 18:27 IST
Sunny Sen

After 10 years, online travel portal Yatra goes for an image makeover to ward of rivals such as MakeMyTrip(Yatra)

After 10 years since it was founded, online travel portal Yatra is going for an image makeover as competition from rivals such as MakeMyTrip (MMT) has increased over the past few years.

MMT has increased its gap over its rivals, including Yatra, with the $720 million acquisition of GoIbibo. The deal has cemented MMT as the market leader in the online travel business.

Meanwhile, Yatra, wants to stay relevant to the Indian internet users. The image makeover, starting with the new logo is just the beginning, said Vikrant Mudaliar, chief marketing officer of Yatra.

“The logo was 10 years old. What ever the competitive landscape, we had to make it new brand identity in tune of the digital landscape,” Mudaliar added.

Over time, Yatra’s customer base like MMT has diversified. The company calls itself a one-stop destination for anything to do with travel -- be it flight booking, hotels, home stays or even booking an Uber from the Yatra application.

“A lot has changed since we started... We were a flight booking platform. We wanted to refresh the look and feel,” said Mudaliar.

He adds that the logo defines fluidity, and is hand painted. It is to signify the travel behaviour of a Yatra users -- she takes the flight, books the hotel, and reaches the hotel booking an Uber -- all from the same app. If its a family getaway with her husband and children, she books a holiday package, or if she wants to take a break from her busy professional life, she books a homestay at a hill station, again from the same app.

Mudaliar said that while he is aware that some competitors are doing better, Yatra will focus on building its own business. “We are in a category, which is showing healthy growth,” he adds.

The online travel business is estimated to be close to $10 billion. Apart from the flights category, 50% of which has moved to online, most other verticals like accommodation, has a lot of headroom. For example, only 15% of the hotel business comes from online booking.