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PMAR 2018: Ashish Hemrajani of BookMyShow on the challenges and beauty of the Internet business

21-February-2018
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PMAR 2018: Ashish Hemrajani of BookMyShow on the challenges and beauty of the Internet business

Ashish Hemrajani, Founder-CEO, BookMyShow, while speaking during the recent unveiling of the Pitch Madison Advertising Report 2018 warned internet entrepreneurs who see themselves as investors, who start companies only to exit it.
“Isn't that the purpose of any enterprise?" He asked "To take value from society, create value for themselves, give something back and make some profit in between" he continued.

Further while speaking about the almost 20 years of journey of BookMyShow, Hemrajni told how difficult it became at one point for him to keep the company afloat.

“I found it- BookMyShow, about 19 years ago, lesson one that I learnt was businesses are not built as sprints but they are built as marathons. We have been around for close to 20 years and most internet entrepreneurs of e-commerce companies today start thinking like investors, that they want to start a company to exit so that they can make money. I don't think you people have built all these companies to exit,” he said.

Hemrajani also said that he believes that an entrepreneur only leaves a company when he retires.

”Most internet entrepreneurs today start a business because they think that they will make money quickly, if that is the case then they should be in the stock market,” he said.

While narrating the story of how he founded BookMyShow, Hemrajani started by mentioning his trip to South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana with a backpack, and shared how BookMyShow faced a turbulent journey, but belief in himself and being good to people helped him to get the company back on track.

"While on the trip one afternoon something smashed and I sent a text message to my boss and said I am quitting she said 'OK' and here I am running a business for the next 19 years. I got investment from Chase Capital Partners, JP Morgan in 1999 and in 2001 we were invested by News Corp,” he said.

The beauty of the internet business is that as your cost curve flattens your revenue curve keeps growing up and that's why the valuations are so high, he said.

"For most of the businesses, the input cost curve keeps going up as the revenue goes up but that wasn't happening for us in those days, and the reason was that even though we are a website, 98% of  bookings came from the call centre," he said. 

Watch Ashish Hemrajani’s full speech:



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