Indian OTA MakeMyTrip remains committed to growing its market share via brand-building rather than through discounting "as the Indian hotel market opens up to mobile".
It has shared some impressive growth stats for its financial year to end-March16, particularly in terms of its standalone domestic hotel bookings which have grown by 295% year-on-year.
Mobile hotel bookings are up by 695% year-on-year and there is even a quadruple digit increase in the numbers - a 1022% increase in the number of standalone Indian hotels booked on mobile this Jan-March quarter compared with last year.
Group CEO Deep Kalra called this "outstanding".
In volume terms that's 2.4 million online hotel transactions in the year, of which 1.5 million were made by mobile.
On the earnings call bosses explained that MakeMyTrip would keep spending in order to grow its market share in India, while also talking up the importance of its relationship with China's Ctrip. Ctrip invested $180 million in MakeMyTrip at the start of the year.
Kalra said that the investment gave it a strategic competitive advantage in India while India CEO Rajesh Magow explained that Ctrip had impressed upon MakeMyTrip the importance of "investing in brand, technology, customer service and supply, even in the light of intense discounting from competitors."
MakeMyTrip claimed that independent research gave it a leading 29% of the online hotel booking market in India and a 15.8% share of the domestic air market. But Kalra was keen to point out that it was growing its share by building the brand and attracting new customers in new source markets while adding supply. He noted it now has 30,000 domestic hotels on its books, 25% ahead of the same stage last year.
And he noted that in the fourth quarter it sold hotels in 677 different cities compared with 440 in the same quarter last time.
He talked about two campaigns which were driving the growth in share and indicated how it is approaching the market share land-grab. He talked about its App-Fests - intense periods of promotion for app users where the deals come directly from its hotel and airline partners rather than through MakeMyTrip discounting existing inventory.
He also talked about its TV campaign which was specifically aimed at shattering some of the "blockers" which were stopping first-time users from making the offline-to-online move. These blockers include concerns about cancellations, the idea that you can negotiate a better rate at the reception desk upon arrival or the idea that taxi drivers know the best places to stay.
"We used the campaign to explode some of the myths and it resonated well," he said.
Overall, the commitment to shaping its marketing around attracting new customers is being seen in terms of these new customers' lifetime value. "We are making long-term investments at a critical stage in the market," he said.
Click here to access MakeMyTrip's investor homepage where the results can be accessed.
Related reading from Tnooz:Airbnb continues to build presence in India (April 2016)
Ibibo Group lands massive $250 million round to extend travel bookings online (Feb2016)
Ctrip invests $180 million in MakeMyTrip (Jan 2016)