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    Yatra launches non-travel B2B offerings for clients

    Synopsis

    Yatra's new B2B services include expense management software, advanced learning and skill development programmes for corporates in partnership with Ronnie Screwvala's company upGrad, an AI based safe space solution, and an online platform for consumable sourcing for its partner hotels.

    The company is also partnering with a nano tech platform called Neodot for body temperature checks and has introduced it to corporate customers and partner hotels.
    NEW DELHI: Online travel services provider Yatra.com is 'rethinking certain parts of its corporate business' and is getting into non travel B2B offerings for its clients, Dhruv Shringi, co founder and CEO of Yatra.com said in a media interaction.

    Referring to Yatra as the largest player in the corporate travel space, Shringi said the company is building an integrated business services platform for corporates with the idea of streamlining procurement processes and helping companies plug leakages, through better automation and compliance using technology.

    Yatra's new live B2B services for these corporate clients include expense management software, advanced learning and skill development programmes for corporates in partnership with Ronnie Screwvala's online higher education company upGrad, an artificial intelligence based safe space solution, and an online platform for consumable sourcing for its partner hotels.

    "We will keep adding more and more services as we go forward. On the consumer platform, we will continue to operate as is and will strengthen our brand presence over there. The way we have thought about it is to think of Yatra as a digital services platform as opposed to just a travel services platform," Shringi said.

    Yatra is servicing over 850 corporates and over 20,000 SMEs for corporate travel, and Shringi said in the discussions with the CXOs of these organisations, in the last 3-4 months, it has emerged that large organisations want to digitise their supply chains for goods and services.

    "Everyone wants to move to a digital sourcing platform. The technology platform that we had built and that has been implemented in a large number of these organisations allows us to scale and be fungible to add more products and services. In the business travel market we would see corporates consolidate towards larger players with stronger balance sheets and better technology that can continue to service them uninterrupted in this difficult environment. We have got a self book tool, a quasi SaaS platform....a lot of work flows arnd spending and procurement is already built on this platform for travel and we are looking at expanding that to include non travel products as well that the organisations might be procuring."

    He said the travel industry is going through a major upheaval and will take at least six months to recover. "We are seeing demand come back on the B2C side. We are currently seeing between 15-20% of pre covid capacity being deployed back by the airlines.With regards to international flights, it is still relatively early days. The government has announced some bubble flights which will start operating. But this is going to be a very gradual reopening of the skies and will be limited to this bubble schedule only for the near term," Shringi said.

    "On the domestic hotels front, there are certain pockets where domestic hotels have opened. However, occupancies and demand continues to be soft. It will be a gradual recovery that we will see over the next six odd months or so. In the interim, while we are recognising that recovery will be slow, we are thinking of how we can capitalise on the Yatra brand and network," he added.

    Shringi said the company has implemented significant cost cuts, which are the 'need of the hour', and has got over $48 million on its balance sheet. "Our burn rate is around $1.2 million a month so we have adequate amount of capital to see this through for a certain period of time," he said.

    Yatra's online platform for consumable sourcing for its 100,000 hotel partners will enable hotels to get a pricing advantage of bulk buying , Shringi said. The company is also partnering with a nano tech platform called Neodot for body temperature checks and has introduced it to corporate customers and partner hotels.

    "Their solution is a dot which needs to be put on the skin, and within 30 seconds it identifies the body temperature and the colour of the dot changes. It can be used in places where there is a high amount of footfall like malls, airports and railways stations. We have taken this to our hotels and corporate customers. There is a high degree of demand and we are getting positive feedback on these live services," Shringi said.

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