We do not think twice before booking flight or train tickets, hotels or package holidays on MakeMyTrip.com. For most educated Indians, this website has become almost synonymous with travel. Meet Deep Kalra, the man who pioneered the concept of online bookings in India. With humble beginnings in 2000, MakeMyTrip is now the go-to website for Indians, for business and leisure travel alike. What started out as a travel company catering to the overseas Indian community in the United States for their travels to and from India is now one of the most awarded online companies in India.

Coming from a management background, a steady climb up the corporate ladder seemed the most justified course. Upon his graduation from IIM Ahmedabad, Deep joined ABN AMRO, where he worked for three years before taking a break for a year. He worked with AMF Bowling Ltd., and attempted to popularise bowling in India, setting up bowling alleys, but it didn’t do too well. He then joined GE Capital in 1999 before the idea for starting an internet business struck him in 2000. That was when he decided to launch MakeMyTrip, after realising the wealth of possibilities the internet afforded him. Deep realised that a lot of money could be saved in travel bookings by eliminating the middleman in booking transactions, while making the transaction seamless and hassle free.

MakeMyTrip was launched in the middle of the dot com crash. Times were so bad, venture capital companies didn’t want to fund any more online companies. MakeMyTrip was one of the last companies that managed to secure funding from eVentures before it itself shut down shortly thereafter.

Deep brought MakeMyTrip to India in the year 2005, at a time when Indian Railways had launched online reservations and when India was in the midst of a low-cost airline boom. He managed to secure further funding, and the future started to look bright again for MakeMyTrip.

Eighteen years on, Deep Kalra has successfully weathered the turbulence he faced in his early years as an entrepreneur. Today, MakeMyTrip has an annual turnover of more than $650 million and employs more than 3000 people.

An entrepreneur who has surmounted formidable odds to make his company come out stronger than ever, Deep Kalra is our Xpert on entrepreneurship. At Xpert he shares with you his journey, the ups and downs, the lessons he learnt and his own tips to anyone aspiring to become an entrepreneur. At Xpert, you can ask him your own questions about his life and journey, as well as seek his guidance and advice.

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