Pixr8 has covered a number of start-ups in a wide variety of fields but today we have something extra special for you.
A story about a bunch of guys who channelled their frustration from a bad life experience and created a great company with a game changing product.
Introducing WTFARES.com – an Online Travel Agency based out of Nagpur, which provides a range of services starting from flights, hotels, holidays, buses and Insurance.
The guys from WTFARES.com have no previous experience in the travel industry. but are out to challenge the big players in the industry like Makemytrip.com, Cleartrip.com, YATRA.com, goibibo.com and bring about a change in the end-to-end experience for the customer involved.
Sounds ballsy right? Let’s take a closer look at their journey:
WTFARES.com – The Founding: An experience and an Idea
“We were cheated by one of the biggest OTAs in the country today. What happened was we booked a hotel that never existed!! Fine, things can go wrong! When we demanded for an alternate accommodation, it was not arranged until the next day (police complaint was followed, only then they took action)!! Finally, we were shifted to a lodge even though we had booked 4 star accommodation! Upon completion, we demanded a full refund, and got to know how monopolies and bad customer experience existed!!”
This was the harrowing experience of Varun Sarda, Founder & CEO, WTFARES.com.
Varun, along with his co-founders Bhaskar Prakash, Vedant Sarda and Gunjan Agarwal, unlike millions of other dissatisfied customers, decided to do something big about it. They decided to offer a viable OTA alternative that put customer experience and comfort first.
Thus was born WTFARES.com
WTFARES.com – Initial Days and the Boom
The founders of WTFARES.com took a year to lay the groundwork and understand the industry. They launched flyvsar.com in the month of Nov 2013, a simple system designed just to test waters in the OTA industry. It received a tremendous response with the month of May 2014 clocking over 800 transactions.
They then decided to make the jump, after a small change to the name of the company.
Flyvsar.com became WTFARES.com
WTF; an apt choice of letters. Trendy, youthful and definitely your reaction when you compare the top notch services provided by WTFARES.com as compared to the industry “leaders”.
WTFARES.com – Technology and Operations
WTFARES.com is definitely one of the most innovative players in the market today with a Travel Platform unique in its technology architecture & implementation based on a dynamic API switch module which differs from the prevailing CRS (Central Reservation System) and web portals.
This model is competitive with both B2C and B2B forms. Till now, WTFARES.com has served over 7500 customers and 50 agents all over the country and abroad in a short span of 1 year. WTFARES.com being a meta-aggregator means that customers find every possible service associated with the travel experience on a single platform.
The biggest focus point for the team at WTFARES.com is the customer experience. Being frequent travellers themselves, they are dedicated to removing the irritations fellow travellers feel using Online Travel portals. The result is that WTFARES.com has a great UI, with an end to end experience which promises to make everything from Air Fares to Refunds to Cancellations convenient.
Quite simply, WTFARES.com takes pride in being the most efficient & transparent in the industry.
Targeting the 23-35 demographic, WTFARES currently offers services in Flights, Buses, Hotel, Holidays and Insurance in India, UAE and USA.
WTFARES.com – Future goals and challenges
WTFARES.com is at present a bootstrapped company facing stiff challenges in the world of Online Travel where the pricing module is even below the CP. The various credit card offers and bank offers means low customer loyalty. In addition, a decent part of the revenue goes to the PAYMENT GATEWAY providers directly. This results in limited revenue because of which they are looking to mobilise resources through rounds of funding in the future.
At the product level, they are currently ramping up the launch of a new mobile app: a Dynamic Holiday Generator for their forte destinations that will ease and discount holiday planning and bring the great WTFARES.com experience to your nearest hand-held device.
So that’s the past, the present, and a sneak peek at what the future holds for this great start-up founded by a group of passionate travellers. Head over to WTFARES.com and check out their great experience yourself.
We, the Pixr8 team wish them the best for the future.
Let us know what you think of their incredible journey in the comments…