Cleartrip hopes to make an operating profit in its core air ticketing and hotel business in 2023–its first since the pandemic three years ago, said senior executives of the online travel company in report in Business Standard.
The improved performance will be led by revenue growth, expansion in business-to-business (B2B) category and lower marketing spends.
“Overall we grew 3x in 2022. Our market share in the air ticketing segment doubled between January-December,” said R Ayyappan, Cleartrip’s chief executive officer.
Ayyappan said the company’s growth has come from customer-friendly initiatives and branding efforts, alongside air travel in India bouncing back as the pandemic eases.
Cleartrip is scaling up its B2B and corporate business that contributes to higher margins. “We hope to make an operating profit in our established businesses such as air ticketing and hotels in 2023,” said Aditya Agarwal, Cleartrip’s chief financial officer.
Flipkart acquired Cleartrip in 2021 as a part of its business diversification strategy. The Adani group later picked up a minority stake by investing Rs 75 crore in the company. In April 2022, Cleartrip’s board approved raising authorised share capital from Rs 1,000 crore to Rs 5,000 crore.
Agarwal, however, said that was more like an enabling provision. Cleartrip is sufficiently funded and is not looking to raise funds immediately, he added.
Over the next few months it will expand into new verticals such as bus ticketing. A pilot project of selling intra-city cab service too will be expanded. It is also collaborating with Adani by offering flight inventory for the group’s digital platform.
“We are now focusing on product related expansion rather than geographic expansion,” Ayyappan said.
The company in 2022 exited West Asia by selling its business to Wego, an online travel marketplace, to focus on the Indian market.