Neetu Bhatia, Co-founder, KyaZoonga, is an investment banker turned entrepreneur, Neetu is credited with creating the Web 2.0 movie-ticket aggregator market in India. Prior to co-founding KyaZoonga, she was a senior media & telecom investment banker on Wall Street. Most recently, she led Bank of Montreal’s U.S. Internet Media practice as a Director in its Media, Communications & Technology Investment Banking Group. She has over nine years of experience originating and executing several strategic advisory and financing transactions in these sectors. Neetu's transactions include over $40 billion of executed deals for Time Warner, Google, Comcast, Cablevision, Verizon, Cingular, AT&T and others.
KyaZoonga is India's first and largest entertainment and sports ticketing company. Launched in early 2007, KyaZoonga has sold a few million tickets to consumers both in India and in several other countries. The company provides access to all forms of ticketed entertainment with multiple payment options through our online, mobile, box-office and retail distribution channels. It consolidates information in one user-friendly place and enables customers to search, find and transact in a central location. KyaZoonga is backed by a $15bn New York-based hedge fund that has multiple investments in cutting edge e-media companies.
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Neetu Bhatia says, " Online ticketing is no longer restricted to younger generation but there is an increase in traffic from older age groups as well."
What led you to get active in the Web 2.0 movie-ticket aggregator market?
During one of my visits to India in 2006, we wanted to go out to watch a movie – however, there was no service that offered up show times, schedules, availability and tickets for all theaters in a city. That’s when the idea struck my brother and co-founder Akash to bring all the movie theaters in India onto a single common platform. Thereafter, we went about doing our technical due diligence, market research and finally creating a business proposition and model for our cinema partners. We launched the service in April 2007. Since then we expanded rapidly from movie tickets to cricket tickets, concert, other live events and sports tickets. We began with several innovations including pioneering a centralized ticketing system in the country and fully developing our own state-of-the-art ticketing system and platform, thereby owning our own technology and the intellectual property, the only company in the Indian subcontinent to do so. We are also the only company in the Indian subcontinent to not only have ticketed all forms of International cricket and multi-sport Olympic style events but also a major international event such as the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 along with movies and live events.
Explain to us your business model. What kind of margins do you command here?
KyaZoonga is the only end-to-end entertainment Ticketing Services Company in India. KyaZoonga has created and then vastly expanded the ticketing marketplace in India by bringing tickets to consumers who traditionally have not been able to access major events. We pride ourselves on being the revenue-generator on our clients’ P&Ls. Before we came along, ticketing revenue in India was non-existent. With the economics of all live events and sports changing, our value-add drives our clients’ top line and our efforts drop straight to their bottom line.
Being the pioneer in ticketing services, we have opened new gateways in this space by introducing multiple payment options through online, mobile, box-office and retail distribution channels. Our revenue model differs in each vertical and from client to client and depends on the type of services provided. Largely, we are a service fee and commission driven offering.
What were the initial challenges you faced.
Breaking new ground and charting a new path is always an interesting experience. We created a marketplace that did not exist prior to our launch. And along the way, we may have encountered a few small bumps, but the ride has been a great one. Our ability to continue to innovate and follow the highest business standards have repeatedly delivered sold-out stadiums and venues.
What are the changing trends in the way movie tickets are booked?
Since we created this market, we have been witnessing a shift from traditional way of booking to online bookings. We also see tier- 2 markets increasingly joining the league to use online medium to book tickets. Online ticketing is no longer restricted to younger generation but there is an increase in traffic from older age groups as well.
What could be the game changers in the industry?
The industry is still in its nascent stages in India. Innovation and making things convenient for the consumer will be key. Ability to deliver high quality service while maintaining very high business standards will ensure long-term success.
What is your geographical spread and which are the new markets you are looking at?
Our presence is pan-India. We sell movie tickets all over the country and given the purchase flexibility of all our sales channels we have been able to successfully get various people to travel for concerts and events being held in any city in India. We went International when we sold tickets to the Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune in 2008, and continue to build on that with the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. We are the only ticketing company in the Indian subcontinent to have several thousand customers from India and various other countries around the world including the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Austria, Germany, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, UAE, Malaysia, Hongkong, Kuwait among many others.
What is KyaZoonga’s USP? How is it different from competitors?
KyaZoonga is the first and only ticketing services company in India that has brought entertainment and sports on a single one-stop shop platform. We are a full-service ticketing company and we offer end-to end ticketing – from Box-office to online to retail outlets – from a customer’s standpoint, we bring the ticket to where you want it, how you want it and when you want it. Also, our services not only cover Bollywood and cricket but also other popular forms of entertainment such as amusement parks, theme parks, plays, concerts and sports. For e.g., on a weekend if you are indecisive of what to do and where to go, you can simply log on to KyaZoonga.com and decide which form of entertainment you would prefer. You may buy tickets for a movie show or may even go to an amusement in your city or watch a live concert, depending on your mood and choice. Also, we are the only company in the Indian subcontinent that has successfully delivered ticketing services to an international multi-sport event and to an event such as the ICC Cricket World Cup.