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Yatra launches self-booking platform for SMEs

Online travel portal Yatra on Thursday launched a self-booking platform for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) as part of which the companies would get corporate deals with minimum or no cancellation and rescheduling charges.

SMEs can now manage their company and employee profiles, travel policy compliance, and approval workflow, using this platform.

Yatra co-founder and CEO, Dhruv Shringi said the platform will “empower SMEs to control their travel needs, while at the same time making easier for their employees to make bookings.”

A press note from the company mentions that the service will allow the user to search through a range of flight and hotel options as per the company travel policy and follow the in-built trip approval process to seek their supervisor’s approval.

Moreover, as part of this offering, SMEs shall get curated hotel options, corporate deals and nil to economical cancellation and rescheduling charges. The SMEs shall also have access to real-time Management Information System (MIS) reports to enable them to monitor their travel expenses.

Competing for SME clients

Note that MakeMyTrip, announced in August last year the launch of a new service known as “MyBusiness”, which like Yatra’s service, looked at the growing small and medium-sized enterprises’ corporate travel business.

The company had highlighted that the main objective of MyBusiness is to make the payment process smoother while reducing any chances of corporate card abuses. This would be facilitated by dedicated corporate help desks available at the company’s service 24×7.

Yatra’s finances and competition

The online travel company posted losses Rs 77.74 crore for the quarter ending September 2017 (Q2FY18). Losses at the company expanded from Rs 4.83 crore in the preceding quarter and from Rs 41.9 crore in the same quarter previous year.

Following a reverse merger with Terrapin 3 Acquisition Corporation Yatra began trading on the NASDAQ stock exchange. Yatra’s primary competitor is MakeMyTrip. MakeMyTrip and GoIbibo group had announced a merger deal in October 2016. MakeMyTrip also raised $330 million in May 2017, by private placement of shares and issuing fresh stock to existing investors Ctrip and Naspers.

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