How BookMyShow reinvented its business to create new avenues for growth

The last two years have been a time of reflection for BookMyShow as the ticketing company realigned its business strategy to close non-essential businesses.

A Your historyThe flagship event for tech startups Tech sparks 2022Ashish Hemrajani, founder and CEO of BookMyShow, said the company transformed its technology to take charge of the stack and focus on four actionable ideas.

“We boiled it down to four actionable ideasour right to win, the total addressable market (TAM), the blue ocean strategy, and where we can get to market really fast,” Ashish said.

The platform has also reduced the number of employees from 1,700 to 550 since the pandemic hit. Aside from the layoffs, BookMyShow’s core business of selling movie tickets took a hit when theaters were closed across the country during multiple waves of the pandemic.

While the company’s financial statements for fiscal 2022 have not yet been filed, the pandemic has begun to affect net sales for fiscal 2021.

Ashish Hemrajani, Founder and CEO, BookMyShow

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Ashish Hemrajani, Founder and CEO, BookMyShow

“We closed our consumer business in Indonesia, Malaysia and Dubaiit was a distraction. We moved the Singapore business, which is a downsizing subsidiary, to a SaaS (software as a service) business model for entertainment,” she added.

The built-in B2B SaaS platform under BigTicks in Singapore will soon be rolled out in Dubai.

In addition to the SaaS entertainment business, BookMyShow launched its live events business under the name of BookMyShow Live, which recently signed up for Lollapalooza India. The platform also launched its movie-on-demand platform, BookMyShow Stream, in February 2021.

“The other thing that we innovated was… movie streaming,” Ashish said. “Investment bankers were citing Rs 30-40 crore as the budget to acquire a platform. We built it in-house for Rs 8 crore. We didn’t spend anything to acquire customers and we didn’t pay for content as it was pay-per-use.”

Ashish said the company’s customer acquisition was down by an eighth and revenue was up 2.5 times. “We’ve been showing profitability (after taxes) for the last three quarters,” he said.

Discussing the ongoing funding winter, Ashish said that while valuations were down, it was humbling for the founders. “The wind and the tide wait for no one. All I can do is adjust my sails,” said Ashish, who is known for reserving his weekends for sailing.

“There’s nothing wrong with keeping your head down and staying in the wake,” Ashish added, closing his speech with a pitch to the crowd gathered at TechSparks to “keep buying tickets.”

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Edited by Megha Reddy

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