In a move to have a greater penetration in the ever growing Indian market, world’s leading community-driven hospitality company, Airbnb, has joined hands with India’s leading media conglomerate, The Times Group.
Airbnb, which is already big elsewhere in the world, has only a small presence in India. By partnering with Times Group, the San Francisco-based company aims to spread awareness about its accommodations and have a more localised presence in the emerging Indian market. It is being reported that Times Group will also invest in the sharing economy platform, though the amount has not been disclosed.
Times Global Partners, that focuses on partnering with established and emerging global digital companies for building their business in India, is the entity that has brought about this collaboration. Their digital arm Times Internet will help Airbnb expand in India by growing their audience, adoption, distribution and monetisation.
“We are excited to partner with Airbnb to transform the way Indians travel”, said Satyan Gajwani, Managing Director of Times Internet. Talking about the strategy, he added, “We will provide support on operations, hiring, strategy and advertising, to make Airbnb’s entry and operations in India as effective as possible.”
A sharing economy platform like that of an Airbnb can penetrate the Indian market more effectively with a partner like Times Internet, which was reported to reach more than 200 million Indians across its digital, print and TV channels a year ago.
Similar thoughts were echoed by Nathan Blecharczyk, the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Airbnb as he said: “We are excited about the opportunity that India presents, and to have one of the most respected partners in The Times Group. We are working on adapting our product for the Indian market so that Indian travellers can live like a local anywhere in the world.”
Recently, United Nations and WTO (World Trade Organisation) reported that by 2020, the number of Indians travelling abroad will increase up to 50 million. It is this travel market that Airbnb eyes to capture, as it believes that outbound travel from India has grown by almost 185 pc in 2015.
The company that was founded in 2008 has already reached a milestone in Europe with the continent alone representing half of company’s business. It would be interesting to see if it can capture the opportunities offered by the Indian market and its fast growing number of clients and travellers.