We spend Rs 100 crore on advertising annually: Prakash Sangam, redBus

Sangam, the CEO of the online ticketing platform redBus, opens up about going global, ad spends and their latest carpooling service rPool

e4m by Shreshtha Verma
Updated: Feb 28, 2020 8:32 AM
Prakash Sangam

Bengaluru-based redBus is known for making ticketing easy for commuters. The online ticketing platform, which is now a part of the Nasdaq-listed MakeMyTrip group, has globally sold 180 million bus tickets till date and has a customer base of around 20 million. With plans to expand its bus ticketing business globally, redBus is targeting 35 per cent revenue of this segment from overseas operations over the next 3-4 years.

In interaction with exchange4media Prakash Sangam, CEO -- redBus shared that the company recorded an overall growth of 38% till Q3.

With redbus’ business in Tier II and Tier III market growing significantly, Sangam feels that the future growth for the company will come from these cities.

"Compared to metro cities, redBus is growing much faster in Tier II and below towns, said Sangam. In the calendar year 2019, for the first time, we recorded around 50% of our overall business from Tier II and Tier III towns," highlighted Sangam.

Talking about their advertising spends, Sangam shared that redBus spends Rs 100crores annually. Out of the total AdEx, Rs 60-65 crore is dedicated to digital marketing, and Rs 35-40 crore go to the traditional marketing channels, especially television. He feels that despite digital booming in the country, TV is still a powerful medium to connect with the common Indian.

Talking about their business in the international market, Sangam highlighted that redBus is the biggest bus ticketing application globally.

Including India and international operations, we achieved overall annual revenues of approx Rs 600 crore from the bus ticketing vertical, according to Sangam.

redBus currently garners around 10% of its bus ticketing revenues from five international markets -- Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Peru and Colombia.

Further, the company is focusing on Latin American and Asian countries to boost its user-base globally.

It was in 2015 when the bus ticketing company, redBus, entered in Singapore and Malaysia. Then, it acquired a majority stake in Peru-based bus ticketing platform Busportal in the subsequent year. Later, with this acquisition, the company also forayed into Peru and then Colombia.

The MakeMyTrip-owned bus ticketing service is not only doing wonders on the national and international forum, but also coming up with networks to make the intra-city commute easier. In June 2019, they came up with rPool, a carpooling and bike pooling service, in three cities- Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune. On Thursday, they launched the same service with some moderations in Delhi as well.

With some high-security features, the shared mobility service, rPool allows local commuters to connect over the app and share their car or bike rides. Unlike the other cab services like Ola and Uber, rPool eliminates the role of a driver.

“It uses advanced technology to connect ride givers and ride takers in the fastest and most convenient manner possible. The matching algorithm ensures that ride givers don’t have to deviate or take any detours from their daily work route and ride takers get to travel the maximum distance of their commute as a part of the shared ride," said Sangam.
The number of rides in rPool has been capped to four so that the service can only be accessed by the professionals and doesn't turn into a commercial endeavour.

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