DEAL TO BE SPREAD OVER FIVE YEARS; IBM DAKSH TO TAKE TRAVEL PORTAL’S 500 STAFF ON ITS ROLLS
Harsimran Singh NEW DELHI
IN A MULTI-million dollar contract, Travel portal Makemytrip.com is all set to outsource it’s entire contact centre operations to IBM Daksh. As part of the deal, which will be spread over five years, IBM Daksh will takeover about 400-500 employees from MakeMyTrip.com on its rolls, industry sources said. When contacted by ET, both IBM and Make-MyTrip declined to comment. The IBM Daksh employees will perform travel-related BPO work for MakeMyTrip.com such as offering airline tickets, hotel reservations, car rentals, travel packages and holidays in India as well as in the UK, US, and Australia. It’s a first such deal by a travel portal in India. Other major travel portal offering airline tickets and travel booking are Indiatimes Travel, Cleartrip and Yatra.com. Launched in September 2005, MakeMyTrip was funded by Helion Venture Partners, headed by Sanjiv Aggarwal who incidentally started Daksh and later sold to IBM for approximately $170 million in April 2004. The travel company is targetting NRI population settled in the US, UK and Australia. NRI travel market alone is estimated at $2 billion annually while the VFR (Visiting Friends & Relatives) and foreign tourist travel market from the US, UK and Australia is worth about $600 million. Most recently, MakeMyTrip.com launched India Ahoy.com, an initiative for promoting tours to India by providing a B2B platform to facilitate holiday, hotel and car rental bookings for international tour operators. Other companies like Interglobe are focussed on developing solutions for the travel market like airline distribution system, departure control system, revenue management, e-ticketing implementation apart from managing the airline contact centres of various airlines. Apart from Interglobe, WNS is one of the largest in travel BPO verticals with clients like British Airways, United Airlines. WNS also does BPO work for Travelocity, one of the largest US travel portals.