Jasper Innovative Marketing Solutions' deals portal Snapdeal has launched holiday packages alongside its current discount offers on restaurants, movie tickets, beauty and health packages, lifestyle products and entertainment.
In what is the most crowded segment in the e-commerce space, with established players such as Makemytrip, Yatra and Cleartrip and a host of other smaller players vying for market share, is there place for one more? Founder Kunal Bahl claims he is not competing, but is in a "symbiotic" relationship with existing players. "Our goal is to increase our market. Online travel agencies have 10% distress inventory that they need to liquidate and we are helping them recover costs on their perishable inventory with deals," he said. Jasper has already inked an arrangement with Makemytrip and is now in talks with all the other major OTAs (online travel agencies) to partner with them.
Offering packages overlaps with flight ticketing and hotel bookings, making it explicit competition. Bahl says, "We are not selling air tickets, nor are offering hotel bookings separately - we are selling experiences from Snapdeal. We are constantly increasing our inventory. It is an interesting business as we work across the board. We are focussed on packages and are working with the property owners and local tour operators as well as national travel operators like Makemytrip etc. We want to be a single window service for holiday packages."
Jasper is offering both low-end to high-end packages and domestic and international locations such as Maldives but Bahl says the focus will remain on regional level, short breaks. "We will only do short stay holiday packages, weekend getaways that last 3-4 days. We have operations in 30 cities, so we do physical checks of merchants before offering deals," he said.
Customized trips are not on offer. At Makemytrip's earnings conference call recently, founder Deep Kalra noted that customized packages were in demand. Bahl states this is only for longer, 10 day vacations and not getaways. "People like to modify packages only when it is a longer
vacation. In our case, on an average, our trips are for 3-5 days. There are not many things we can do differently, so we will not be offering customizations," he said.
The holiday packages will not follow the daily deal model, there will be multiple deals offered on the site. They will not be restricted to local users - users from anywhere in the country will be able to avail of any getaway deal. The fine print brings some good news. Jasper will offer the option for users to bundle it with other deals on Snapdeal. "We are planning to do a lot of bundles, combining our local experiences offers with our travel offers. If a user has availed of a getaway in Goa, for example, he can also opt for daily deals on food in Goa," said Bahl.