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SPARK OF THE CORPORATE

Opportunities most often come packaged as problems — the bigger the problem, the higher the potential of the opportunity’ - is the mantra that drives Ashish Kashyap, the young, energetic, sporty, and highly successful CEO of the ibibo Group. Ever since it started operations, Ashish has lead from the front and has taken into his stride all the adversities that confronted him. This has only helped inspire people – both within (ibibo) and without. The man’s marathon 19-hour-day is full of action (sleeps at 4 a.m. & wakes up at 9 a.m.!) – beginning with sports as he is a very enthusiastic squash player, drives the 10-minute distance to his office from home, plans for the day and, perhaps, ends it with the thought as to which horizon to scale next – all this with the primary intent of creating value for customers

The 39-year old, who is very much into river rafting, movies, music, and travel, has in his relatively short entrepreneurial life, seen almost everything that the so-called new media in India had to offer – internet, mobile, radio, and even television! With passion being his biggest strength, he continues to chip away. That is why perhaps, he almost detests people who are afraid of failure

Education

He holds a Bachelor’s degree (Hon.) in Economics from the University of Delhi and a diploma in International Master’s degree in Practicing Management (IMPM) from INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France.

Career Stints

Kashyap started his career as the general manager (e-commerce) at Indiatimes.com, where he built and architected several innovative applications (e-commerce applications and businesses) for the portal ranging from online auctions and travel to shopping - most of them were first of their kind in the industry – and he drove them to a profitable and scalable position.

Then, moved to the Times Group, where he architected the first of its kind "Reverse Auctions" platform called "Tell Your Price"; created India's first "Travel Auction" platform and also launched 'fixed price market places

Then came the big exposure to internet and its capabilities when he joined Google. He was the country head, India sales and operations, and was instrumental in setting-up the domestic business operations for the company

The idea

An Apple aficionado - Apple MacBook and Apple TV are his favourites-, Kashyap firmly believes in letting consumers unlock great value out their experiences – be it gaming, socializing or, ticketing and booking. The two professional stints afforded him the luxury of gaining huge insights to explore his entrepreneurial bent as well as exposed him to two of the best practices that were going to grow big, really big. That, in the process, opened up his mind for the innumerable possibilities the internet would present to him – especially in a country like India whose net density was improving by the day. That besides the fact that the demography of India had a greater chunk of children and youth in it, gave vent to his vision: That digital economy is going to be the order of the day to which social network games brand on internet and mobile platforms would contribute greatly!

The man who had dabbled into radio and television (as an actor) wasted no time in making good of this opportunity to tap into the (potentially) billions of dollars market.

The company & its success

The period when he was contemplating to throw caution to the winds and let the entrepreneur in him fly, was a period of transition, perhaps transformation even – for the online space. The power to create content and applications to let them be consumed by consumers had shifted hands – it was now with the consumers who had started to decide what to see and where to see and how to consume. Then, there was the concept of bonding with an online brand – which was also defined by the customers themselves

Thus, when Kashyap bid adieu to Google, his last employer before founding ibibo, and launched ibibo in January 2007 - he named it “ibibo” which apparently comes from “i build” & “i bond”). In the 7 years or so since, ibibo has emerged as a fast-growing, social network games brand on internet and mobile platforms

It started as a social network; then pivoted into games, and again into e-commerce and transactions. Realising that experimentation, trial and error are the key tenets of building internet businesses, he experimented with Goibibo (India’s leading B2C Online travel aggregator) – which worked well and grew very fast

The company with a philosophy “enabling trusted transactions” ventured into many areas such as travel -redBus.in (# 1 online bus ticketing platform) & YourBus.in, travelboutique (ibibo has 51% stake in the leading B2B online travel platform), TBOGroup; PayU India (The fastest growing payment gateway in India); Tradus (mobile & location-based marketplace - one of the top ranked shopping apps on Android, Windows and iOS), gaming (ibibo games), and One Family, etc.

It now owns minority stake in South Africa’s Naspers Global Payments Business – PayU Global

Acquisitions

Redbus.in – (For a reported cost of Rs.800 Crores)

YourBus.in

Awards & Recognition

Included in the exchange4media's "Impact Power 100" of technology business leaders
Under his leadership, the ibibo Group was named one of the top five most trusted ecommerce brands in India in The Brand Trust Report India Study – 2013
Quotes
  Change is imperative 
  Competition is excellent and more than welcome 
  Wherever there is a big problem there is an opportunity.” His favourite quote. 
  I had essentially spent my entire life, creating products and building businesses. I realised that I enjoyed that and led to me founding the Ibibo group in 2007.” - Referring to his stints at Times Group & Google. 
  I must confess that I hate follow-ups and chasing people to expedite tasks and assignments. I hate being patient. I also don’t like wasteful and unproductive meetings.. 
  We tend to look at failure as an end game .. 
  Tradus is still a small experiment amongst various projects. This is the usual culture of our company. Always run small and many experiments.. 
  My dream is to have a tech set up wherein I can manage all my residential gadgets remotely and have all devices go wireless. 
  I don't like doing jobs in a boxed environment. 
  The response has been tremendous on the aspect of having services active on the mobile. We are seeing a lot of traction coming our way from the mobile consumers 
  Paranoid to succeed; adapt to change; intuition; lead by example; innovating at the edge of chaos. 
  Define the problem that you want to solve, Create a clear plan to solve, Develop a minimal Viable project, Execute, Execute, If it does not work : Fail fast! If it works: iterate fast, always choose the right team/ partners. 
  ibibo’s philosophy has been to evangelize the tastes of the consumer always, and keeping this in mind, it has launched a set of different and state-of-the-art services such as playing the immensely popular game called ‘Great Indian Parking Wars’..
  One of the big changes that happened in the last few years is the quality of talent and the emergence of a large number of people moving from their jobs towards entrepreneurial journeys. 
  We always remain open to opportunities and entrepreneurial teams. 
  When the quality of talent improves, the quality of engineering talent improves, people thinking about applications and value propositions for customers gives birth to a vast number of digital assets in the market. And usually, these digital assets are solving one problem or the other. 
  ibibo has certain plans when it comes to the mobile gaming domain. When 3G actually takes its full shape, the mobile gaming domain would also benefit from it. There are going to be certain games that we are going to launch on the mobile so that that particular user-base also comes to us. 
  Domestically I was the first person in 2002 to sell an air ticket online. I understood the nuances of how travel happens on the internet very well 
  Don’t be scared of failing. But fail at low cost and also, fail fast 
  When you are launching a product, ask yourself how you can solve the problem better or differently. This is a very important point. Even if you do a me-too kind of product, you need to know how you are able to solve a customer’s problem differently and better 
  Don’t be scared of changing 
  I really enjoy customer feedback and then deploying the learning for new product developments. Launch of products and mobile apps, etc., is the high point of my work life 
  I think the significant change that has happened in the internet space is more entrepreneurial people coming in and starting businesses solving unique problems 

Hope viewers caught up the spark…

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