Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Neetu Bhatia on e-ticketing

I interviewed Neetu Bhatia, co-founder and Chairman of Kyazoonga.com 
Excerpts from the interview. It was carried in a daily which has special pages dedicated to female readers 

a) What does Kyazoonga stand for?
Kyazoonga — Jump the Q, stands for seamless experience for the end customers when it comes to buying tickets for an entertainment or sporting event in the country. It’s a name, which would initially stand out as a recall factor, but once an association has been established, Kyazoonga would guarantee a hassle-free experience.

b) Why an online ticketing store? And, why cater to only entertainment and sporting events?
My brother Akash, who is also the co-founder of Kyazoonga came up with this idea when he was on a holiday here. He was taken aback to find that bookings for a movie/ play could be done only in person or on telephone. He called me up and asked if I was game for setting up an online ticketing store in India. I agreed and in April 2007 we started our operations in Delhi and Mumbai. We focussed on entertainment and sports because they are anti-recessionary products. Movies are a big thing here and so is sports, especially cricket. These will be our core services, and anything that adds value to our customers, say, merchandising, we’ll take up.

c) Was there any opposition from the conventional mindset?
Change is accepted when there is a compelling value-proposition attached with it. If the end users — the customers / consumers — are going to be benefited, most of them are willing to make changes in how things work. Companies, who understand their business and future growth, will take full advantage of such changes.
I feel e-ticketing is the way forward, because it’s a very democratising exercise. Tickets are delivered at your doorstep; one doesn’t have to drive around the city finding a parking spot, or spend long hours in the queue. We are cash-rich but time-poor, so e-ticketing is here to stay!

d) Will physical stores/ retailers lose out to e-stores?
Stores won’t go away but they will have to reinvent themselves. At the moment, physical retailing isn’t the nicest of experience. Store hands might not be knowledgeable enough or they might not be considerate to your needs. But, with online competition, physical stores might brush up their act.
Also in a bid to woo customers, online stores (for example, book stores) are offering great incentives and discounts. This will eventually lead to rationalising of prices.

e) Do you think online ticketing would reduce black-marketeering?
It would definitely check and minimise black-marketeering. But it’s not something that would go away immediately.

f) As far as e-commerce is concerned, where does India figure on the world map?
E-commerce in India is bound to grow. With just 9 per cent Internet penetration, we still have a long way to go. China is much ahead of us.