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Yatra board ropes in former India head of Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Yatra board ropes in former India head of Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Nasdaq-listed Yatra Online, Inc. has appointed Neelam Dhawan, former India head of infotech solutions firm Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company, as an independent director on its board from January 1, 2019, the owner of travel portal Yatra.com said in a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

“With thirty-five-plus years of experience, Dhawan is an accomplished leader in the tech industry and brings with her experience in scaling up enterprise technology businesses in emerging markets. This experience is a perfect match for Yatra as we look at scaling up our corporate travel business and expanding it beyond India,” said Dhruv Shringi, chief executive and co-founder, Yatra.

News of the development comes one year four months after VCCircle reported that Yatra had agreed to acquire corporate travel services provider Air Travel Bureau Ltd.

Dhawan has also headed Microsoft India. She has been a member of National Association of Software and Services Companies’ (Nasscom’s) executive council from 2009 to 2017.

She has also been a member of the global supervisory board of Royal Philips, Netherlands, since 2012 and joined the board of ICICI Bank Ltd in January 2018. Dhawan holds an MBA degree from the Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi and is an economics graduate from St. Stephen’s College.

News of the development comes nine months after Yatra announced in February that that it had appointed Sean Aggarwal, former chief financial officer of US-based online real estate firm Trulia, as a director on its board.

Aggarwal, who is of Indian origin, is also a director at US-based cab-hailing app Lyft.

Also, in September, Himanshu Verma, chief technology officer at Yatra, had resigned after three and a half years with the company.

Last year in October, Promod Haque, senior managing partner at a venture capital fund, Norwest Venture Partners, had resigned from the board of the Nasdaq-listed firm.

Yatra was founded in 2006 by former Ebookers Group (UK) executives Shringi, Manish Amin and Sabina Chopra. Amin is chief information officer and Chopra is executive vice-president of operations.

Backed by venture capital, private equity and strategic investors, Yatra in October 2016 sold a small stake to Reliance industries Ltd as part of a deal linked to an existing partnership where RIL pre-installed the Yatra mobile app in its Lyf-branded 4G handsets.

Last year in September, Yatra raised $15.4 million (Rs 100 crore) in venture debt from InnoVen Capital India Pvt. Ltd.

Also, Yatra reported higher revenues for the quarter ended September. Adjusted revenue grew 23.7% to Rs 209.6 crore for the second quarter of the financial year 2018-19 from Rs 169.4 crore for the corresponding period last year.

Additionally, adjusted revenue from air ticketing increased 14.4% to Rs 137.3 crore from Rs 120 crore during the period.

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