After completing his MBA from IIM Ahmedabad, Deep Kalra had successful corporate stints at ABN Amro Bank, AMF Bowling Inc and GE Money. He decided to don the entrepreneurial hat in 2000, a year of contrasts for the dotcom industry.
Kalra and co-founder Rajesh Magow launched MakeMyTrip as an online travel portal focused on US-based NRIs. The big pivot happened in 2005 when Sanjeev Aggarwal, co-founder of Helion Venture Partners, agreed to invest in MakeMyTrip if it would change focus to the domestic market. Kalra thought the timing was opportune as low-cost carriers such as GoAir and SpiceJet were beginning to light up the skies. Eventually, MakeMyTrip emerged as the largest player in the OTA space in India. It went on to raise $70 million from its initial public offer on NASDAQ in 2010. Its IPO ranked as one of the best performing IPOs in the US in 13 years, with shares soaring over 80 per cent after listing, catapulting its valuation to over $800 million on day one.