Bangalore-based Flightraja Travels Pvt Ltd (Via), an online travel and deals site, has roped in John Kuruvilla as its chief marketing officer. His mandate is to drive the brand Via to greater heights. However, when contacted, Kuruvilla declined to confirm the news.
Kuruvilla, who was the chief revenue officer of Air Deccan and then an executive vice-president at Oberoi Hotels, founded the e-commerce company Taggle.com in 2010, which was one of the first daily deal sites in India. In August this year, Kuruvilla shifted to the role of an advisor and appointed a new CEO, following his differences with the management regarding the company's strategy. The website was recently shut down due to price wars and hyper-competition in the e-commerce space. Soon after, he is said to have joined the Via group.
Kuruvilla is making a new beginning at Via, which is turning into a full-fledged e-commerce company with online ticketing, daily deals and a fast-growing offline tourism network. Via has a network of 20,000 travel partners across 2,400 cities and towns in the country. It claims to have 4 crore customers and footfalls of 20 lakh at its 50,000 offline outlets. The company has recently announced that it is venturing into pilgrimage tourism with a bus service. It also plans to pursue an inorganic growth strategy and has acquired a Jalandhar-based travel agency to expand its network.
Via is backed by Indo US Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital, and has raised $15 million so far. It has presence in the Middle East and now plans to raise $100 million to expand to more countries.