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Arunkumar Athiappan

Arunkumar Athiappan

CEO

Company Profile

www.ticketgoose.com is an website aggregating bus tickets online. We today aggregate around 7000+ trips to 3000+ destinations from 500+ operators. We also provide our software solution, Vahana to operators in a SaaS model hosted on the cloud.  Using this service, bus operators can manage their entire ticket booking operations.Efficsys Infotech India Pvt Ltd was incorporated in May 2007 and Ticketgoose.com was launched on August 15th 2007.

Leadership Qualities

Our mentor, R.Narayanan(Naru), was the founder CEO of Gum India, whose Big Fun brand commanded a 60% share of the bubble gum market in India at it’s peak. We have learnt a lot from Naru. He made us realise the real potential of the online bus ticket industry. Ticketgoose has benefitted immensely from his experience in setting up distribution networks which has helped us a lot in establishing a scalable model for our channel partner network in a distributor framework.The key leadership skills that I have learnt/still learning from him is the power of delegation, the speed of decision making & execution and thinking out of the box to create innovative solutions/ marketing strategies.

Reaching out Investors
All our investments have come from angel investors known to the founding team. In the initial stages we had some challenges as we were yet to prove ourselves. Subsequent rounds have been easier with us becoming more confident having results to show. Ticketgoose.com has grown 300% year on year and is poised to make the next big leap. We are readying ourselves for a VC round and believe we have a very strong business case. In our group of angle investors, we have entrepreneurs who have built innovative companies by securing funds from VCs. They will be our guiding mentors when we reach out to the VCs.
Work Culture
The culture of our company has been one of empowerment. Empowered employees can do wonders for the company. At ticketgoose.com, we provide our colleagues the room to make mistakes and correct. We empower them to make decisions on behalf of the company to redress any customer grievances. There have been a few instances where our team has provided disproportionately high compensations for problems that were really not ours’. But we are fine with our people erring on the side of the customer and have given them the authority to safe guard our customer’s interest.Empowerment doesn’t work all that well if you do not have the right set of people. People with a passion to work, commitment to the company’s goals and the willingness to learn are the ones who blossom in our culture. Experienced people without passion for the job have turned out to be misfits for us. For a lot of our workforce, Ticket goose is their first job. They are hungry to prove themselves and are willing to go the extra mile to learn new things. We have on our rolls people who had aspired or aspiring to be entrepreneurs themselves. We have created an intrapreneurial climate which challenges the entrepreneur in them and brings the best out of them.
Company I admire
This might be a clichéd response, but it is definitely Apple. The way Apple has been able to chart out its’ own market with its’ blue ocean products under Steve Jobs is unparalleled. The famous quote that ‘the customers can’t tell what they want because they don’t know’ is most visionary statement I have heard. A customer who has all along known only bullock carts can at the best tell you he wants a chariot, but can never come up with a requirement for a Lamborghini. If you want to bring in out of the world products, you need to trust your intuition.
Advice to young entrepreneurs
A lot of entrepreneurs give up after some time when faced with what would seem to be insurmountable problems. Persevering through those problems is the only way to succeed. I have learnt it the hard way when I gave up on my entrepreneurial dreams in my first stint as an entrepreneur. I see peers who have persevered through their hardships having realized a large part of their dreams and are now focussing on bigger dreams.Complementing the skill sets that we do not processes by getting the right people onboard is the key to make sure that we are ready to face the harsh real world outside. None of us have all the skills that is required and only a team with the right people can succeed.Getting involved too much in day-to-day operations and missing the big picture will impact the growth of the company in terms of scale and new opportunities. While being focussed on operations is very much necessary as operations are the heart of any business, it is also very important to constantly stand apart and spot the mistakes we might be making or opportunities we might be missing.

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