BookMyShow : An Online Ticketing Brand
“Sorry Sweetheart, I went to the cinema hall and stood up in line for 1 hour for tickets, but when my number came, all tickets were sold out. We’ll go next Sunday.” You would have said these lines definitely in your past. There was a time when you went to the theatres only to find out that the movie is houseful or not and if you were the god of sheer bad luck then you would realize after reaching the theater that the movie is not being played there. But now you don’t need to say these lines. Because there is an online service, which will help you to book your movie or any event tickets online without wasting your time. You can also check whether tickets are available or not.
Today in the series of startup stories, Themedots presents to you the success story of BookMyShow. BookMyShow has changed the face of ticketing system for movies and events in India. It has brought cinema or rather movies, in the pockets of masses. It has also largely contributed in getting masses closer to movies. BookMyShow is like a complete package or a one stop destination for any and every update about movies, from movie releases, show timings, theater availability and its details, movie details, movie songs, trailer, movie reviews to booking tickets. BookMyShow has it all.
It is India’s biggest online movie and events ticketing brand. The website caters to ticket sales for movies, plays, concerts and sporting events via the online platform. It is a privately held company which was founded in 2007. It is headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra. It also has offices in New Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Kolkata. The persons whose names come in the list of founders of BookMyShow are- Ashish Hemrajani, Rajesh Balpandeand Parikshit Dar. BookMyShow is providing its services in Asia and Oceania at present. BigTree Entertainment is the parent company of BookMyShow.
BookMyShow reaches about 800 to 900 cinemas in 200 cities and towns. About 60 percent of its transactions take place via its mobile app which is a most successful mobile e-commerce app in the country, according to experts.
Early History of BookMyShow
BookMyShow was founded by Ashish Hemrajani, Parikshit Dar, and Rajesh Balpande, all three are passed out from Sydenham Institute of Management, Mumbai University. They had been working for J.W. Thompson, SPAR, and Chatterjee Soros Group, respectively.
Ashish has taken many knocks in his journey as an entrepreneur in the past 16 years. But each time he gets punched, he gets up and moves ahead in pursuit of loftier goals. Here we share what inspires him and what keeps him going, after a detailed analysis. There is a lot to learn from their story for all early stage entrepreneurs looking to build long-term businesses and deliver value.
In the sixteen years of his journey, he has seen and faced every bitter truth of life. From Rs.25000 as capital to Rs.1000 crore in valuation from Bigtree Entertainment Pvt Ltd to BookMyShow.com, he and his company have faced it all.
This journey started in the year 1999 when he went for a trip to South Africa. During that time he was working J.W. Thompson, an advertising firm, after completing his masters in business administration. This trip changed his life and an idea struck him while he was sitting under a tree and listening to radio promoting rugby tickets (Newton reincarnated). He came back, quit his job and decided to start his own company.
At the age of 24, he launched his first ever internet venture: “Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd.” with its head office being his bedroom. Soon other co-founders joined him. It wasn’t as easy as it is now, to get investors and with internet and technology not that prevalent it was even more difficult to present your proposal. You would not believe this that they got their first investor (JP Morgan- Chase Capital Partners) in their kitty by sending their proposal through “FAX”. And not just any proposal but a one-page fax stating just the business model and with that they were convinced and agreed to fund them with 2.5 crores. A less known fact is that they ran their business under the brand name “GoForTicketing” which later they rebranded to “IndiaTicketing” in 2002, before finally being called BookMyShow.
Now it was not an easy task to sell tickets online during that time because of obvious reasons such as no credit, debit card and net banking penetration, poor broadband connectivity and lack of e-commerce software in theatres and single screens and with 21 other competitors in the market it made it even more difficult. They literally bought tickets in bulk and sold tickets to customers by sending 100s of people to deliver tickets on motorbikes.
With all the difficulties also they were doing a good business and accounted for 150 employees. The Dot Com industry was booming as well. Then the unthinkable happened in 2002, the Dot Com market crashed and their downfall started. Their business went down to an all-time low. All the investors pulled their hands back. They had to cut down on many employees’ salaries. They shut down all the offices along with their operations and only focused on the major cities of Mumbai and Delhi. Their team strength literally shrunk from 150 to 6.
This fall made them realize a lot of things. It made them see things very differently. There were only two options left for founders: either to shut the business down and go for jobs or keep hope in business, invest all savings and start all over again. Ashish’s confidence was not completely lost and he decided to stick with the business only to do things a little differently and mind you smartly as you.
Between 2002 and 2004, the number of multiplexes across India also grew largely. With desperation to get back on their feet, they became software solutions providers that sold automated ticketing software to these multiplexes.
They started approaching fresh investors and finally luck favored them in March 2007 when Network 18 invested INR 14.5 crores in their business giving them a 60% stake in their business. Now the boss was back in business and found it the perfect time to launch the ticketing business again which gave birth to a never ending “BookMyShow.com” (A name suggested by an intern developer), but only this time they were more prepared, cautious and organized.
BookMyShow quickly gained momentum and was literally everywhere. They in fact played it so well that the global financial crises didn’t affect them much.
And from here onwards there was no stopping to the success of BookMyShow.