Lockdowns, bans and closed borders: clearly, 2020 was not the best time to do any business. The travel industry has been facing the short end of the stick since the pandemic hit last year. In the face of new customer habits and trying economic times, the B2B segment in India’s travel and tourism sector had to get creative.
This is the story of how TravClan, a young travel aggregator startup that signed up as a Razorpay partner in the middle of a global pandemic, managed to survive the COVID-19 storm.
Taking Travel Operators on a Trip to Global Shores
A recent study by Google and Bain & Company says that although India’s active internet user base is 390 million (2018), most Indians avoid paying for online travel packages. Instead, they rely on offline tours and travel operators to show them the way. In fact, online bookings in tier-II and tier-III cities contribute to only five per cent of the overall transactions (ET Report, 2021).
This is where Arun Bagaria, Chirag Agrawal, and Ashish Thapliyal saw an opportunity when they co-founded TravClan in 2018. At a time when a select few big tourism operators were dominating the travel industry, the smaller agents were finding it difficult to reach their customers. B2C aggregators were also driving lower cost margins and pushing smaller players to compete among themselves, worsening the situation. TravClan rose to the occasion by becoming one of the first B2B travel platforms that brought offline Indian travel agents in India and South-East Asia closer to an online travel market.
We bring in the technology-driven transformation to India and South East Asia’s US $100 billion offline travel market needs, says Bagaria.
Today, TravClan has ushered in a sense of stability to India’s travel market by equipping small and medium travel business owners with financial and marketing solutions. These solutions are designed to help the travel agents grow while helping TravClan earn its revenue through a sustainable partnership model.
How? Every offline tour operator that signs up with TravClan can :
- Quickly build an online presence and generate leads through a TravClan-powered website,
- Manage those leads through TravClan’s CRM,
- And service those leads by buying travel packages from more than 500 TravClan-verified suppliers.
Not surprisingly, the company’s LinkedIn page describes it as “Shopify + Udaan for Travel”. “We are India’s fastest growing B2B travel network that caters to travel agents. We are also a low-cost distribution channel with zero commission for global suppliers like Destination Management Companies (DMCs), destination suppliers, tour operators, hotels, and tourism boards,” says Bagaria.
Powering TravClan’s Mission to Go the Extra Mile
TravClan signed up as an Aggregator Partner with Razorpay in 2020. “We were already using Razorpay’s payment gateway for our B2B collections. So, we were quite confident about Razorpay’s technology and support. That’s why we decided to enrol for the Partner Program,” says Bagaria.
TravClan’s operational ingenuity powered by Razorpay’s support through a pandemic-ridden 2020 helped the travel startup continue to raise hopes for travel agents. By helping the company quickly onboard merchants and address operational challenges, Razorpay’s Partnerships team helped the B2B travel aggregator scale up its travel agent base by 1100%. “Razorpay’s Partner Program promised us real benefits compared to other companies. At that time, no other gateway provided us with a partnership model that was this lucrative,” says Bagaria. “The journey has been exceptionally smooth since then.”
TravClan has achieved an overall 400% increase in MoM revenue today as a testimonial to a truly symbiotic relationship. Razorpay continues to support TravClan’s online community of travel professionals by facilitating each stakeholder across its value chain with the safest and fastest payment solutions.
At Razorpay, we are constantly looking for opportunities to support businesses in their growth plans. Do you think Razorpay Partner Program can accelerate your business’s growth story? Wait no more!