An introduction to Abhibus
We all love the convenience of getting stuff done over the Internet, don’t we? Be it shopping or booking a ticket for a movie, flight or bus. It is a lot better when you don’t have to go through the trouble of waiting in a queue and shoving through a crowd. Even if you do make it, there is no assurance that you will get the desired seat or bus. Online ticket booking not only saves time and effort but also offers a more enjoyable means of ticket booking. Consequently, platforms like redBus (1), paytm, goibibo, etc. have become very well known. But these are not the only names that are leading when it comes to online bus booking. Abhibus.com was launched back it 2007, and it keeps up very well with the other competitors.
The primary aim behind Abhibus was to bring the inventories of bus operators online. A decade ago, bus tickets were usually booked through agents. However, the lack of efficiency and contact between them led to much confusion. Many times, the same bus seat was allotted to two different people.
Abhibus tried to make the process of bus ticketing simpler for operators by providing them with a SaaS product. In such a method, the whole system was to become more straightforward for the buyers and coordinated for the operators. Abhibus offered an elementary network that would help to manage route plans, fare collections, and survey the performance of managers and operators.
The man behind the idea
Sudhakar Reddy, the founder of Abhibus, is an engineering graduate from Guntur, a town 400 km away from Chennai. After he completed his degree in 2005, he started working at GE. Later in 2007, he let go of his job to establish Abhibus. He was often concerned with the problem of confused communication between bus operators. Since he hailed from a rural area, he could only use agents to book bus tickets. He often had to pay varying prices for the same bus on a different day while going home to Guntur from Chennai. The idea of Abhibus probably sprouted from his own experiences.
Sudhakar focused solely on giving this technology to the operators. It was in November 2012 that he decided to enter the online bus ticket sales. He shifted the focus of Abhibus.com to state transportation. Now the company has offered its technology to more than 100 operators and four state governments.
Early struggles faced by Abhibus
After Sudhakar launched Abhibus, he tried to build a business by selling a share of the bus tickets, but no bus operators were ready to comply with the plan. After he tried to convince some of them and failed, he chiefly focused on contributing the product for the convenience of bus operators. Sudhakar persuaded a few operators to give it a shot, and in the beginning, he loaned out the product on a month to month scheme to the agents. They accepted it as it helped them to deal proficiently with their quota of bus seats.
Sudhakar soon got a referral to one of the transport administrators from some agent and got his first enormous venture of overseeing 16 means of transport with 43 seats each with the help of the product. In the beginning, it was difficult to persuade the bus operators and agents, but Sudhakar soon succeeded. The next hurdle was to connect with the company owner. He could only reach the owner through the manager, and none of them encouraged the idea of Abhibus, presumably because it was a threat to their job.
The agents mostly benefited from the lack of proper communication as it earned them more commission. So Abhibus faced a lot of resistance while trying to convince the agents to utilize their communication channel. The operators were also unaware of the advantages of this technology such as easiness, income, business, etc.
Notable features of Abhibus
The ticket stock of Abhibus is sourced from over 2500 bus partners which cover 100,000 routes. The Abhibus app had more than 5 million downloads on google play. When it comes to bus travel, they are quite popular in their field. Here are some of its excellent features :
- On ‘state transport corporations’ front- They are master franchise (Saas service) for AP, TS, Kerala, Karnataka, and Himachal Roadways but they have direct tie-ups with all others- Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, UP, Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, etc.
- Abhibus has an end to end software and other value-added solutions for the Bus Transport Industry.
- Abhibus provides an e-ticketing system, passenger information system, and a vehicle tracking facility which saves the time and effort of the consumers.
- The end to end software solutions offered by Abhibus includes fleet management and logistics management.
- The users will also have access to an impressive customer service center which is available 24×7.
- Currently, Abhibus is doing about 40,000 bookings a day on our app.
- They have the largest presence on B2B front (we power Airtel app, Ixigo, Yatra, to names a few)
- They are EBIDTA positive (which is rare for any e-commerce in India).
Competitors like redBus, paytm and goibibo
In terms of online bus ticket booking facilities, redBus has always remained a favorite. It was started in Bangalore in 2006. RedBus is a more established website as compared to Abhibus. Besides India, they have a network of business operators in various countries in South East Asia and Latin America. Paytm is an e-commerce payment system and they offer a wide range of facilities in addition to bus ticket booking. It can also be used to transfer money, recharge or pay bills online. Even amidst stable platforms like these, Abhibus is nonetheless an able competitor.
When Abhibus was launched in 2007, it aimed to help the bus operators and developed the technology for them. It was a time when redBus was surging on sales, and Abhibus was focusing on the technological aspects of bus ticket booking. In fact, both the companies we’re on rounding out each other. In the first round of business, Abhibus acquired 640 seats and shared the outline to redBus. Even after Abhibus has entered the online bus ticket selling industry, it thrives very well amongst the opponents.