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Yatra.com acqui-hires Travel-logs, hires Vikrant Mudaliar as marketing head

Vikrant Mudaliar

Vikrant Mudaliar

Gurgaon-based Yatra Online Travel Pvt Ltd, the company behind online travel agency Yatra.com, has acqui-hired intra-city trip planning startup Travel-logs India Pvt Ltd for an undisclosed amount.

As a part of the deal, Travel-logs founder Dhiresh Sharma will join Yatra.com as head of a new segment Metro X, which will curate theme-specific travel experiences from different cities, a company official told Techcircle.in.

The acquisition was first reported by The Economic Times in a news report quoting Yatra.com president Sharat Dhall. A formal announcement is expected next week.

Acqui-hiring refers to the buy-out of a company primarily for the skills and expertise of its staff, rather than for its products or services.

Travel-logs, which was founded in 2012 by Sharma, curates experiences within the city around themes such as heritage, culture, art and architecture. It curates cycling tours, walking tours and food trails besides other travel experiences.

New marketing head

Yatra.com has also appointed former Lenskart executive Vikrant Mudaliar as chief marketing officer.

Mudaliar will be leading marketing activities across all business lines and group entities, the online travel portal said in a press statement.

“Travel as a sector has always intrigued me and to work for Yatra at this pivotal time, when the industry is seeing customer empowerment like never before through innovative e-commerce platforms, is absolutely thrilling,” said Mudaliar.

Mudaliar previously served as chief sales and marketing officer at Lenskart.  He has also worked at Tata Sky, General Motors India, Jumbo Electronics Dubai and Pepsi Foods.

Competitors

Yatra.com competes with OTAs such as MakeMyTrip, Cleartrip, Goibibo and Ixigo, besides other players. Recently, MakeMyTrip Ltd said it had signed an agreement with fellow NASDAQ-listed firm Ctrip.com International Ltd where the Chinese travel services firm would invest $180 million (Rs 1,200 crore) through convertible bonds in India’s largest online travel agency.

Trans India Holidays Group, a New Delhi-based offline travel agency, recently forayed into the crowded online travel segment with the launch of BigBreaks.com.

Increasingly, budget hotel aggregators such as OYO Rooms, Zo Rooms and ZiP Rooms are also competing with OTAs on the hotel booking side.

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