MMT only OTA in the world working to reduce carbon footprint: Deep Kalra

MMT only OTA in the world working to reduce carbon footprint: Deep Kalra

As the government encourages role of private and public sector companies in the preservation of monuments, Deep Kalra, CEO of MakeMyTrip said that his company  will surely come forward and “we are ready to be a partner in such a great project, where we could take care of monuments like Taj Mahal etc.”

While talking about the initiative taken by MMT for sustainable and responsible tourism, Kalra said, “The biggest thing that we do is when any customer books a ticket or hotel with us, we actually now ask them for a small donation of Rs. 5 which directly goes towards reducing their carbon footprint. In fact, MMT is the only OTA in the world which practice such an amazing initiative.” He added, “This amount is going into development of green avenue, tree planting and we work with two or three foundations for the same.  So, in a way we are doing crowd funding. People don’t mind paying Rs. 1, 2 or 5 but that together become huge amount as we have millions of customers. Also, to ensure that the money is going in right direction we only work with accredited NGOs. It is our way of adding good for nature besides our CSR funds. There is a place called ‘Seva Mandir’ in Rajasthan which plants trees.”

MMT offers products like airline tickets, holiday packages, etc. “We don’t want to own 100% of the market but I am quite concerned about the middle class component of travel market. I want the middle class to travel and we really want to be the platform for them.”

Kalra said that MakeMyTrip as of now is more focused  on domestic and outbound travel. “Online travel business is on the rise and going up in one direction. Use of  Mobile for online travel services are going fast. In fact, 80% of hotel bookings today  are done online and 60% happen on the airport. Three years ago, when people used to say the app is new but it’s no longer new, it is the future and going forward a lot of things will happen online,” said Kalra.

Talking about new emerging trends in online space, Kalra said, “Clearly Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the future. In our operations, the Chatbot in post-sales interaction  is already available. And our customers will soon be able to book tickets while talking in their native language. We have developed an App where you can speak in Kannada, Malayalam, Hindi or English to book tickets while talking to Alexa that is surely the future. We need a quarter more to develop it and make it ready for public.” Kalra was speaking on the sidelines of recently held CII Annual Tourism Summit in Delhi.

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