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Goibibo’s Vikalp Sahni quits after 13 years, recites heartfelt journey on social media


Leaving any organisation after working for 13 years is tough, but more so if you were a part of a company during its formative years. It was no different for Goibibo’s Chief Technical Officer Vikalp Sahni, who, in a series of tweets, announced his farewell from the company on Tuesday, taking a road down the memory lane of his ‘13 magical years’ with the online travel firm.

Sahni recalled his entire journey with Goibibo, right from the beginning in 2007 when Sahni was a software engineer and built a search platform for a social networking firm OneFamily. This is when he first reached out to Ashish Kashyap, the CEO and founder of Goibibo, showcasing the ‘vernacular vertical search engine’ he built.

Soon after this, Sahni got a chance to build a flight booking engine for Goibibo in two weeks with his colleague, which they finished in three weeks.

Thereafter, Sahni shared the hypergrowth of Goibibo, from shifting to a larger office, working with PayU, to building a flight booking and post-sales engine and witnessing a 110% year-on-year growth.

By the end of 2014, Sahni said that Goibibo had its ‘biggest growth hack’ and built GoCash, the travel booking currency of the company, which led to a massive surge in traffic. This was followed by the company’s virtual interlining project, where airlines use interlines to sell itineraries of passengers and formation of the hotel review ratings engine. Further, in 2015, in a research conducted by leading investment banking firm Morgan Stanley, Goibibo was dubbed as the largest hotel booking company in India.

In 2016, in a mega deal valued at $1.8-2 billion, Makemytrip acquired Goibibo bringing together top travel brands- MakeMyTrip, Goibibo, and redBus under one umbrella. Sahni mentions how this was another great learning experience for him under Deep Kalra and Rajesh Magow. Soon after this, the company started booking IPL tickets and Sahni proudly pointed out a surge of 40x with no issues during the period.

The journey included building the platform to book train tickets, which became very popular.

Fast forward to 2020, MMT’s earnings showed $200 million in the quarter. Sahni said that when Covid-19 hit the country, hitting the travel industry hit, Go-MMT helped in building Aarogya Setu app.





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