Like all innovations, redBus too has a very
All the founders used to work in Bangalore at the time (sometime in 2005) - all with top IT MNCs - IBM, Texas Instruments and Honeywell. They were friends from BITS Pilani, one of India's finest engineering colleges.
During Diwali that year, one of them wanted to spend the festival in his home town. Since he didn't know his schedule till the end, taking a bus was the only choice.
He ran around town hunting for a ticket, but they were all sold out minutes before he reached the travel agents. Bangalore traffic is notorious and can grip you at the wrong time. That's exactly what happened that day.
That's when he thought of the possibility of providing consumers the convenience of booking a bus ticket over the internet. The objective was two-fold - to ensure that they don't have to leave the confines of their comfort to book a ticket, and to help them get a ticket when they need it the most.
The idea was compelling. And why not? The internet was being voted as a medium people couldn't do without. PC and net penetration was increasing not only in urban areas, but also in rural India with innovative concepts like Shakti and e-Choupal. Also, people were getting used to booking tickets for travel using IRCTC and private airline websites. So, why not buses?
However, the most compelling reason was that no body in India had done this!
So, with these thoughts running through his mind, he bounced initial thoughts off his friends from college. They were excited about the concept too.
However, they didn't want to take the plunge without understanding the feasibility of such an undertaking. They met with various people - bus operators, consumers and venture capitalists - to gauge how well the concept could do.
As expected, they got a favorable response. They started writing the code for the software that would be required to run the operations. Once this was ready, they put together a business plan and presented it to TiE, Bangalore Chapter.
TiE - The Indus Entrepreneurs - are mentors, to say the very least. They breathe lives and hope in to young entrepreneurs who have a working concept. The idea didn't need much selling to TiE members either. That was the beginning of a seemingly long journey. All the founders quit their well-paying, secure jobs and started redBus.
Since those days there have been many ups and downs. It wasn't simple to change the mindset of bus operators who are used to dealing with their traditional brick-and-mortar travel agents. It wasn't easy to market the concept. It needed time and money. It took a few months for things to fall in place.
All that was needed were a few people who used the website. Once that would happen, the user interface was bound to generate word-of-mouth. That's exactly what happened. Those who used it liked it, told others and the dominos started to fall in place.
To cut a long story short, redBus has come a very long way from days of struggle to days of growth. It has the largest number of tie-ups (and growing) with bus operators and a large and satisfied customer base.
Being run by a team of young people, the culture is informal and everyone is ambitious and charged to make it larger than imagined. What started as a team of three grew into a team of 50 within 9 months.
redBus has moved beyond providing value over the
internet by reaching out to customers using all media that provide them
convenience - be it the phone, home delivery, physical outlets or even SMS.
We regularly tie-up with partners that are strong in their domains and distribute our bus tickets through them, thus providing convenience to our customers and adding value to the business of our partners as well. We are open to receiving proposals of partnership at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today you can book a redBus ticket at over 30,000+ outlets!
redBus has the largest network of bus operators in their list (350+ and growing) and very satisfied customers. Some of them have been generous enough to write us testimonials and we have showcased them on our site. It is these compliments that get the whole team working from morning to late at night.
On offer are over 4500+ (and growing) routes across the Indian map.
We regularly solicit feedback from our customers. This
helps us understand what we are doing wrong. This feedback is invaluable for
us. And we have you, our customers, to thank for taking time off to write back
to us. There are times when there are hiccups. It's a learning organization,
but we are learning the ropes like our lives depend on it.
It doesn't stop at that. We ensure that the same mistakes are not repeated. People are encouraged to speak their minds and they don't fear sharing their mistakes, so that everyone can benefit from the learning, no matter how small.
Every other day new partnerships are forged - all with the aim of adding more value and convenience. We have grown organically by opening office in key metros and inorganically through our partnerships. We encourage customers to let us know of any routes or bus operators we don't have in our list. We go right ahead and make sure that by the next time customer logs on, we have on offer what was demanded.
Most importantly, it's a team that has fun at work. It's a team that is close knit. Everyone is on a first name basis and it wouldn't be uncommon to see people exchanging hi-fives on small achievements. Office outings are a regular phenomenon and dancing is a must.
We understand your concern about the security of your transactions over the internet. To ensure a safe transaction, redBus employs the best-in-class security. We use Secure Socket Layers (SSL) data encryption. This ensures that the information exchanged with us is never transmitted unencrypted, thus protecting the information from being viewed by unauthorized individuals. This encryption is done using 128-bit RC4 encryption. In addition the credit card information is processed over secure gateways which are certified by Visa.
redBus is being mentored by the TiE-EAP (Entrepreneurship Acceleration
Program). TiE - EAP is a program by The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE)
To become a member of TiE, click here.
The next time you're in Bangalore, please do visit us
if you pass by Domlur. We love to have customers over. Very often young IT
professionals walk-in with their requirements and we enjoy having a chat over
If you have used our service, you can send us your feedback
We take feedback very seriously and each mail is a source of learning. Feel free to send in your comments / suggestions either by mail or call us on numbers we have listed in the contact us section.
If you want to join us, call us and let us know how you would like to add value. There is always place for talent and enthusiasm.
It has been a pleasure conversing with you. We look
forward to many more journeys with each one of you.
Remember to take the road. India is beautiful. Experience it by road.