Phanindra Sama formed Pilani Soft Labs Pvt Ltd in 2006 with two friends to create automation software BOSS, which would aggregate inventory for bus operators. Once operators adopted the software, the team hoped to get agents and customers onboard. But they found it difficult to convince operators of its usefulness. As every operator wanted to sell more seats, Sama decided to launch redBus by taking a quota of a few seats from the bus operators. If the seats were sold, redBus would ask for more seats. The model clicked. Today, redBus is India’s largest bus ticket aggregator. ibibo Group acquired redBus for an estimated $100 million in 2013. And yes, BOSS was re-launched in 2009 as an ERP solution for small operators. Though Sama is no longer part of redBus, he is an active seed investor.
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