I have always maintained that despite the travel industry being one of the most “active” with regard to players and products it’s also a space where “differentiation” is necessary but hard to come by. Every possible sector within Travel now has been covered with respect to website offerings , its going to get harder and harder.
I have been wanting to write a couple of thoughts on Online Bus reservation and specifically Redbus.in for a while now and whether the model , while unique, is really sustainable in the long run. I strongly believe that there is a distinct opportunity here to stand out if they play their cards right. The argument that millions of people in India use buses and hence the potential is great is not valid. The TG is actually more niche than that and will essentially be inter state and city travelers. Within this it will only be people above a certain income strata – if anyone is under the impression that a site like redbus will be able to compete with the likes of local buses , its not going to happen.
State transport buses (the biggest fleet) will not play a big role in this model. I see a site like Redbus essentially targeting or showcasing options from private operators only. If they can crack cities and states which are proactive on tourism , such as Kerala , Himachal it would be a big boost for the site. Pro active states in my opinion would want to reach out to as many travelers as possible , and being one of the only sites in the domain they should be looking at this.
I believe the biggest flow will come from short distance inter city /state travelers who