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April 04, 2017 @ 01:15 PM


Success story|RedBus

Publsihed: Tuesday, 3 May, 2016 10:48 AM

RedBus – an amazing story

Management Gurus have always opined that Brand will be born and dying during Brand life cycles and will need push for their sustainability.

MBA students will remain curious to understand Brand phenomenon both in peak and low so that it might help them as wisdom lessons when they will be custodians of Brand in future.

MBA Rendezvous brings you Brand stories under Brand Marquee column. Read today on Red Bus : RedBus – an amazing story

No one can deny the fact that an organisation to succeed needs to be really flexible and courageous to take risks, work on executing its goals, make mistakes in the process and rapidly learn from those mistakes and proceed to its journey of growth and success. But, for this it needs a leader which will show it the path for such a never ending journey towards success.

One such leader is the name – Phanindra Sama, the co-founder of India’s first online bus ticket booking company Redbus.

Although the author of this famous English proverb is unknown to the world, it is the driving force for the entire world and it is, “Necessity is the mother of all invention”.  The story holds true for Redbus and its creator Phanindra Sama as well.

The incident of hunting for a ticket to be able to meet his family and not getting it by any means at the last moment on a particular Diwali made this young mind realise the similar experiences of fellow residents. His problem solving educative mind wasted no time and started searching for answers and solutions to this problem. The best virtue of a true leader is to first find out the questions for which there are no answers currently. Likewise Phanindra began soul searching for answer to questions like why is the nature of booking bus tickets at emergency situations so complex. Why there is no centralised system for making ticket booking for bus services? And why are there no way the end users can get hold of this system?

Redbus did not happen in a day. No product happens in one day. Although, the inception of Redbus began the day Phanindra could not make it to his family on the festival, it took a lot of time for him to understand how to solve this permanently. Initially he took it up as a part time profession. He with two of his other BITS engineering friends began using whatever knowledge they had to make independent transportation booking available for all. The first Mantra of any business is use whatever resource you have. So, did this team.

They researched, read and believed on their instincts to make strong analysis of the entire problem., the web portal which connects routes of more than 15 Indian states was formed. It was an instant success. At first, the beginning was quite modest, just a few seats from a certain bus operator. But today, the company works with more than 700 bus service operators with over 10,000 listed busses making transactions of over 220 million tickets annually. has its access to approximately 40,000 tours and travel agents of the country. This has helped the company to grow itself in leaps and bounds.

Phanindra and his team have not stopped yet. The dream to make online bus ticketing easily accessible has come true. But now the challenge is how to make it better and efficient. Hence, they have expanded their operations in various directions beneficial to the society. RedBus has two aspects to it. The sector acts as a travel agent for consumers whereas SS or Sear Seller gives authentic information about seat inventories to travel agents. Both these products act as a fuel to the other. In addition to ticket booking service Redbus also has its website, call centres and franchises in Mumbai. The ever fragmented sector of bus travels is now consolidated to be working centrally.

The company which started with only 3 talented minds in the year 2005 today is a team of 50 enthusiastic souls. This young team is popular for their fast and reliable service. Today one can easily use their Android, Windows and IOS mobiles to book their journey through Redbus. In the year 2013, IBIBO Group acquired RedBus along with a joint venture with Naspers, a South African Multinational Company. The year 2014 witnessed the company teaming up with Uber, the most popular on call cab service for offering free rides to bus stops. Last year in 2015, the company has spread its wings outside the country in Malaysia and Singapore also.

Redbus has received a lot of appreciation and recognition. It is the most promising and pioneering enterprise of the year 2014. The company won the famous CIO Asia Award in the year 2011 and was nominated in the top 5s. The Forbes today keeps an observant eye on the growth of the company.

The success of Redbus conveys only one thing. A product or a service can only be successful if it fulfils a need. Phanindra Sama was able to visualise the need and take necessary risks and give the world a solution to the problem of bus ticket availability.

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