Building Robust Teams, When Network Effects Work & The Late Mover’s Advantage with Prashant Pitti, Co-Founder EaseMyTrip

Prashant Pitti, Co-Founder EaseMyTrip chats with Amit Somani, Managing Partner Prime Venture Partners.

Listen to the podcast to learn about

01:00 - My Margin is My Opportunity

13:30 - Network Effects & Late Mover Advantage

23:00 - From Risk-Aversion to Bias Towards Action

33:00 - “It’s always better to be curious than cautious”

Prashant also hosts a popular podcast Decoding Unicorns with Prashant Pitti .

Read the complete transcript below

Amit Somani 00:50

Welcome to the Prime Venture Partners Podcast. This is your host, Amit Somani, and I am delighted to have with me today Prashant, co-founder of EaseMyTrip. Prashant, welcome to the show.

Prashant Pitti 01:00

Thank you, Amit, for having me on the show. Pleasure is all mine.

Amit Somani 01:04

Prashant, you guys just had a blockbuster IPO just a little while back, and you obviously built this company bootstrap. And I’m sure you have millions of customers tuning in and listening whether to the podcast or generally to you guys talking. So can you just take our listeners through a little bit of the founding of EaseMyTrip and how you got to this lovely milestone, being a bootstrap company?

Prashant Pitti 01:25

Yeah, of course. So Amit, our journey has been quite unique. I would probably say that most of the entrepreneurs would say that, but each one has its own journey. For us, we started from a very, very humble background. We created a small time travel agency called Duke travel agency in 2007. Why did we get into that? To be honest, that was one of the easiest accessible things which we could do back in year 2007. So we started a very small time travel agency to help people who are living nearby us. A lot of airlines were coming in at that time, as you would know. So for about a year we ran that travel agency. And then the idea of EaseMyTrip came about where we thought that we could use the technology to make the lives of travel agents simpler.

So the very first version of EaseMyTrip was not actually fighting against the big giants, the MakeMyTrip, Cleartrip, Yatra. They all existed at that time. They all had raised tons of money by then. So the first version of EaseMyTrip was very simple, which was, it was a service to travel agents so that they can serve their consumers better. So this is how we got into this industry. We started as a B2B play. And for the first three to four years, we were a 100% B2B company. Almost three and a half years later, we decided to pivot to become a consumer company. And now we are 90-95% consumer company. So over the period of time, the company has pivoted from a B2B company to B2C company. And that was primarily one of the reasons why we were able to do whatever we were able to do without much funding, because we didn’t start fighting against the big guys from the very first go.

Amit Somani 03:15

Very helpful, Prashant. This is an interesting thing, very few companies successfully make the transition from B2B to B2C. Number two, on B2C itself, marketing and consumer marketing and consumer access is a very, very critical thing. And I know that you have many tricks up your sleeve in that area, so can you talk to us a little bit about just how did you build the brand on B2C and how did you get reach and distribution? Because B2B, I’m assuming, taught you about the business of travel, but not really how to get to the consumer.

Prashant Pitti 03:45

Oh, no, absolutely. So I’ll give more color on the B2B part and then explain on how did we get into the B2C part. So B2B basically business was very simple, we created a technology using which travel agents can book the air tickets for their consumers. There was a very strong moat by which we got good distribution all across India. Between the three of us, we must have visited 4,000-5,000 travel agents ourselves to sell them what we were offering. So with the B2B business, we got the volumes, we got the relationship with the airlines, we got the technology. And we were growing at break-even pace. We were not making money at B2B. After everything, our net margin was around 1-1.5%, and that was our cost. So we were not losing money. So that’s how we survived for the first three to four years.

Now, then in year 2011, we saw a slight opening for us to enter the market, which was at that time everybody had started charging convenience fees from the consumers. The convenience fees came at the last very leg of the booking. Now we thought that, hey, we anyways are getting some commissions from the airlines. Now instead of spending money on marketing, why don’t we just open up ourselves for regular consumers at easemytrip.com? And if anybody wants to book air tickets, they can book without paying any convenience fees given that we will not be doing much of a marketing and continue to focus on our B2B side. So from year 2011 till 2013-’14, we probably did not even spend a dime on marketing on the B2C side. We let it grow organically where consumers stumbled upon EaseMyTrip.

And when they stumbled, they recognized at the last page that we were cheaper because we were not charging convenience fees. Convenience fees, for the listeners, I must tell, is basically nothing but a service charge which is basically a multiplier per passenger. And right now it’s anywhere between 300 rupees to 500 rupees, 600 rupees per passenger. At that time, it was anywhere between 100-200 rupees per passenger as a convenience fee.

So our thought process was… See, what was our business model from the B2B side? Let’s say if we were getting 5% or 6% commission from the airlines, we were passing on 4%-5% to the travel agent while keeping only 1%-1.5% for ourselves, for our operations. So from our perspective, the thought process was very simple, which was that, “Hey, if we are getting 5%-6% from the airlines and everything put together, GDS, airlines, everything put together, if we were getting 5%-6%. And even if you have to spend 1.5% on MDR, which is basically in the travel agent side, you don’t have to spend money on the MDR. But on the consumer side, you have to give money to the payment banks, right? They are payment collecting companies. So even if we have to give 1.5% plus, let’s say, even if we have to give 1.5% additional as a discount to the consumers, net it still comes to only 3%.

So our margins jump up dramatically. Instead of 1%, it dramatically becomes 3% right there and then. So the thought process was that let’s take it easy. Let’s see if this thing goes well or not? So mostly, it was just let itself grow by itself. And not surprisingly, we did not see much momentum happening for the first three to four years from year 2011 till 2015. I do not think our B2C business grew dramatically just because there was not too much focus as well. There was no marketing expenditure as well. And we were okay with our B2B business. So one thing which worked really well for us was that the lack of focus on the B2C part and allowing people to grow it organically worked really well for us. And from year 2015 till 2020, we have seen our B2C business grow by more than 60% to 70% year on year.

So the growth curve which we have is actually very different compared to other VC funded companies to say the least, which is, in the beginning our growth was very little on a smaller base, while our growth started really, really well even on the higher base. And primarily the credit would go to offering our services consistently, which is not charging convenience fees to the consumers in the beginning part of the year. Now there’s so much more to it, but this was primarily the key why we grew to become the second largest travel portal in India.

Amit Somani 08:10

Great. In fact, I was at MakeMyTrip and heading product and revenue when the convenience fee was started, so it’s a nice ironic complete circle.

But before I talk about how it started growing, it’s very fascinating that you said that, “Look, because you started at a low margin level with the B2B business…” And I’m also going to read a quote from you that I was researching for this podcast, which it’s attributed to you. I hope it’s true. It says that you believe that in a commodity business, you should keep your cost low and you should give the maximum value to your consumers, and pass back the maximum value. And that’s how you build loyalty. That’s how you build a brand. That’s how you build trust. Right?

And I’m just wondering if you had not started with B2B and come into it straight from scratch, perhaps you would’ve been again caught in that, even if you’re bootstrap. And the quote that I’m reminded of again is from Amazon, Jeff Bezos, which says, “Your margin is my opportunity.”

But in this case, your margin was your opportunity, right? Saying, “I’m at 1%-1.5% margin, maybe I can double it to 3%.”

Prashant Pitti 09:15

Absolutely. So, no. Yeah, of course, that is a quote by me. See, at a fundamental level, I believe that a lot of internet novelty is a commodity now, a lot of internet novelty. What was a novelty 10 years ago is a commodity now on the internet. And one thing which a well funded company does really, really well is create the market. They are actually very good at creating the market. But I believe because of the abundance of the money, a lot of well funded companies are extremely poor in efficiency because that’s not what their focus area is also. Since the money comes easy, the efficiency is not on the card to be played very well. And I really, really believe, and I’ve seen companies who are doing very well in terms of growing the market, struggle tremendously on efficiency.

And once a company has remained inefficient for more than a decade, it becomes part of your culture and it becomes extremely difficult for a company to change to become an efficient company. I’ve seen enough companies struggle to become an efficient company from an inefficient company because the culture is already set in. So I guess, our opportunity basically lied in where we thought that we could be profitable even without charging convenience fees while others were loss-making even after charging convenience fees. We thought that the opportunity lies in the efficiency part. Thankfully, we didn’t have to create any market. The market was getting created by other people by spending money on branding and other activities. We just had to be more efficient. We had like one job, and I think one job was to be more efficient than the others. And offer consumers better value, better consistency in offering.

See, one thing which we have realized over the period of time is… I’m not specifically saying about the company where you have worked, but a lot of companies run weekly offers, right? Thursday maniac for that matter where you’re getting flat 700 rupees off on your flight tickets, or XYZ. There are various companies who run weekly offers. Now we, as a company, have realized that these weekly offers not necessarily really work. The reason is because it’s a travel as a category. You have consumed a weekly off on Thursday. Now it’s basically, let’s say, Saturday today and you have decided you want to go to Leh, Ladakh. Now, are you going to wait for next Thursday to come to get that additional 700 Rupees off? Most likely not because travel is such impulsive as a purchase. And also the rates are dynamic. There’s no MRP set. The rates are dynamic.

So one thing which we have realized over the period of time is that offering consumers consistent behavior is far, far better than offering consumers great discounts on a particular day of the week or a particular week of a month. And the consistency which we have been forcing ourselves over the period of time is basically not charging convenience fees. I’ll give one specific example, in year 2014 or ’15, I was sitting at the call center and one lady called up and she needed some refund help, and I helped her with the refund thing. But then I saw her usage on EaseMyTrip. And for the last one month, she had used EaseMyTrip multiple times. But before that, she had not used EaseMyTrip at all.

So I asked her, “Ma’am, you started using EaseMyTrip a lot lately, but you had never used EaseMyTrip before. So what were you using otherwise?” And she told me something which struck me very well. And I still resonate so much with that, is that she said that, “Prashant…” She knew my name, but she didn’t know if I was co-founder or not.

But she said that, “I’ve been using an XYZ website for a long period of time, and every time I would realize that the prices change at the last minute, and I thought that the airlines are doing it. I thought that the airlines realized that I have a need for this flight and that’s why they’re changing the price, not knowing that that price was actually charged by the OTA, not by the airlines, because it’s kind of hidden. You cannot clearly see whether convenience fees are added or not. But in the last transaction I realized that money is not pocketed by the airlines. That money is pocketed by the OTA in between. And that’s when I felt cheated that I thought that this is the game which is played by the airline, but it wasn’t the game which was played by the airlines. It was played by the OTA. And then I started looking forward to an alternative which does not charge me this additional money because…”

The theory which I have is that whether you feel cheated for one rupee or one crore rupee is the same thing. The feeling is the same. And that is what I think people avoid by using EaseMyTrip.

That’s one thing which I think has worked really well in our favor.

Amit Somani 14:10

Coming back… Yeah, coming back to the market creation, so this kind of strategy, if there are young, early stage founders listening to this, the being a second mover, or even if I may say so, last mover or late mover advantage is there, right? Because the market creation, like you said, has already happened.

Consumers are already buying online, et cetera. Because if you are the leader of creating the market, you do have to drive awareness, usage, and engagement, and so on, right?

Prashant Pitti 14:35

Agreed.Yeah. I mean, just sharing some more thoughts around this. See, basically every stage has its own value advantages as a first mover, as a second mover, as a last mover. There’s distinct advantages in every stage of the company. It actually depends a lot on which industry you are eyeing for. If there is a lot of network effect in any particular product, then being a first mover makes tremendous value. For example, WhatsApp, Facebook… Well, Facebook was also not the first one. But at least WhatsApp was, in its category, the first one which got famous as a messaging app. Wherever there is a lot of network effect required, I think as a first mover or a second mover you gain a tremendous amount of advantage. But in companies like ours, which is an OTA, there is very little network effect.

What really matters is basically… and in the companies where there is less network effect, it’s mostly a commodity business. There’s very little IP can be protected in India, at least on the software technological part, which we all are aware of. Hardware is a different thing altogether. But in software, there’s very little IP which you can protect on. So I believe that in the companies which are not extremely network effect oriented companies, they would tend to become a commodity over the period of time. And if you become commodity, the biggest creative part that you can bring in is basically in your efficiency, how operationally efficient you have become. And that becomes actually a strong moat over the period of time. Everything else can be replaced, but your P&Ls cannot be replaced. The P&Ls remain the same way as what it is. And it becomes a huge value add for the period of time.

At EaseMyTrip, we believe we are resistant to any cycles of the money which come in and go. There are a lot of cycles which happen. A lot of things are cyclical. Sometimes the VC fundings is happening. Sometimes they’re not happening. At EaseMyTrip, we believe that we are free of that. And in fact, we grew the best in the times when there was a lot of VC crunch. In year 2015 to ’17, there was a crunch and we grew tremendously well. And I’m actually looking forward to the next couple of years.

Amit Somani 16:50

I’m sure many of the founders who are looking to get funding may not be thinking about that, but I couldn’t agree with you more. I disagree with you on one thing, but I agree with you on the second one, which is that a strong P&L and a strong lean operation is going to stand you in great times. Whether the market is up, down, doesn’t matter. And so if you can build that mentality of being a very cost effective, cost efficient company from day zero… And by the way, this cannot be inherited later on. Either you are born that way, or… It’s very hard to suddenly say, “Let’s become lean. Let’s become lean.” It’s just sort of your DNA gets set. That I agree with you.

The one that I don’t agree with you on, which is not related to EaseMyTrip but in general, is I think there’s going be a lot of software IP driven companies, whether or not it’s defensible in court or otherwise is okay, I think we’re just getting to the point as an economy in India where people wanting to do deep, interesting things with tech, even to cite ShareChat as an example. We recently had Farid from ShareChat on the podcast. I think to imagine being able to do something like that at scale requires deep IP to be able to do that. It’s not necessarily you’ll define the IP-

Prashant Pitti 17:55

So I agree on that part, but let me share another perspective on this. So yes, there would be a lot of IPs which will be built, let’s say on machine learning, AI algorithms. And of course, ShareChat is a different example altogether. I think that’s actually a network effect related company. So a lot of things can be easily protected by a network, that’s my fundamental belief. But if you give a decade as a time, my intrinsic gut feeling is that there are going to be a lot of software as a service companies, which are going to provide you with these ready made ML tools, AI tools to be used in your systems. I believe that there will be a new sort of services which will come, which will already have very stable learnings which are coming from the past experiences of various organizations and which can be provided to a new startup, to the newer companies. And hence, might become extremely difficult to defend, if it is not difficult to defend right now.

Amit Somani 19:05

Yeah, let’s move on. Let’s agree to disagree because we get into a rat hole there. In fact, I would submit that even for increasing cost efficiencies, technology can play a good role. If you see at Amazon, Amazon’s cost of doing logistics, delivery, scheduling returns, et cetera, is extremely powered by technology. But anyway, let’s move on. I’d love to know more about EaseMyTrip, and travel, and so forth, some of the other cool stuff. So, can you talk a little bit about the journey of the team as well both from the B2B, from the B2C, and now as you’ve gone into an IPO phase? Because I know you’re also quoted widely as saying you tend to hire a lot more from NITs, and BITs, and so forth as opposed to the usual IIT, IIM. So can you talk to us a little bit about team building and how that has panned out over the last 10-12 years, 15 years?

Prashant Pitti 20:00

Sure. See, basically one thing which will strike out tremendously when you visit the EaseMyTrip office is that a lot of people have been promoted internally in our organization. Almost 50% to 60% of the managers at EaseMyTrip are actually coming from our call centers. We have moved people from call center department to product department, to quality analyst department, to operations department, to VPs, AVPs of operations in fact. So, a lot of managers at EaseMyTrip, or senior people at EaseMyTrip, come from a call center. And I think that gives us a very distinct advantage because as far as I know, the remaining five or six OTAs have outsourced their call center. So for them to find these gems is extremely difficult. For EaseMyTrip, we manage all our call centers. And the ones who are performing extremely well, we tend to move them up the ladder. And they turn out to be one of the best product managers, because they actually have been speaking to customers for a really long time.

That gives us a twofold advantage. One is basically that, of course, the usual salary bracket of theirs is much, much lower than what you would hire from outside. We are moving them from, let’s say, 20,000-25,000 rupees per month employee to 80,000 rupees, 90,000 rupees per month employee, which is great for them because this is how we… And that’s the second part. The second part is that it keeps the kind of energy and the momentum we have in our call center. It’s tremendous because everybody’s trying to perform not for their bonuses, not for the incentives, but to change their lives. And the third thing which it has done is that the kind of loyalty and the retention which we have been able to build in an organization is unparalleled. See, if you hire somebody from outside at 2 lakh rupees per month and you give them an increment to make them 2.5 lakh rupees per month, they’re not going to be there because you’ve given them an increment, right? You’re giving them better salaries. They’re going to be there if you have given them better work, better culture, and other things.

But these people, when you move them up the ladder from being at that salary to 80,000 rupees, 90,000 rupees, or one lakh rupees salary, they actually really, really believe in your organization and your cause. And at EaseMyTrip, of the 20 founding members in year 2009 and ’10, I believe 16 and 17 are still with our organization. That’s one thing I think we have been able to do extremely well is to be able to retain our talent and keep them excited with the newer problems to be solved. We believe that people really, really crave for autonomy. And if you give them that autonomy to perform, to do well in their lives, to do well in their careers, and if you can delegate a lot of work to them and give them the responsibility, usually they live up to it. That’s one.

The other thing is that… It is actually drawing from my own, to be honest, learning. Being from IIT Madras myself, I believe that I was a very risk-averse person. I think maybe I, and most of the other people from IIT or IIM, have studied too hard so that we can have a set of standard life where we know what’s going to happen. So, there’s a certain level of risk aversion which I had, which I could understand.

And as an entrepreneur, I had to correct myself. I used to get a lot of times in analysis paralysis, where I would overthink about one decision too many times because as a risk-averse person, you just don’t want to make wrong decisions. But then as an entrepreneur, I had to become more of a risk taking person. I had to train myself to do it. I had to learn to have bias towards action. I literally had to learn. And this is one thing which I particularly find people from NIT and BITS very well. I believe that these are the people who inherently had the talent, but they were not extremely risk-averse people. And that’s how they got into the NITs and BITS Pilani. And we have quite a bit of them at our organization.

Amit Somani 24:25

Got it. So two questions, Prashant. One is, what about the people that you do hire from outside? Or is it all fresher-led, that you would only hire freshers and then they groom up, whether they come from the call center or they come from another alternate route? Are there any set of people that you hired from outside at a mid-level or leadership?

Prashant Pitti 24:45

Yeah, that keeps happening, of course. But a majority of the people who come in our organization usually come in via call center, and where it’s the freshers. And then we groom them to make them who they are. But of course, lateral hiring happens all the time too as well in the organization.

Amit Somani 25:05

Got it. And one question on these people that…They’re obviously very good at customer empathy. They’re good on hunger. They’re good on maybe, like you’re saying, risk taking, right? Sort of mixing metaphors here a little bit. But in terms of the skills for what it takes to maybe manage a large team or think about a product, like you said, or think about… I don’t know if you have people move into tech. That’s just a different skill set that they may or may not have.

Prashant Pitti 25:30

Absolutely. So for that, we put them under a training plan. So before moving them from one role to the other role, we have the mandatory training plan between three months to six months. So, we invest time and energy in them. And that also gives them confidence in the organization, that the organization is thinking about them from a long term perspective, not for a short term perspective. So there is, of course, a training program. And then they also undergo the on-the-job learning program. While being in that department, they get mentored by the seniors. For example, I could talk a little bit about our technology team over here. There’s a serious moat which we have around this, which is that our technology is still running on .NET. Now, basically we hire a lot of freshers and we train them on .NET. And then they continue with the organization. See, a lot of funded organizations are fighting for Python employees, for Node.js employees, for Java employees. There is barely any well funded organization which is running on .NET.

Now, for us, what is the disadvantage of running on .NET? Technologically, there is no other disadvantage of running on .NET, except that there is some server cost associated to it. You have to use Microsoft server, and those servers probably cost us 6 lakhs to 8 lakhs rupees a month as additional I could say. But the advantages are tremendous. The kind of retention we have, the kind of the attrition rates in our technology team is extremely, extremely limited, which keeps our technology team extremely robust. And it is working tremendously in favor of the organization. So yes, there’s a lot of hiring at the technology team as well on the fresher side where we train people on .NET ourselves.

Amit Somani 27:15

Got it. I want to go back to this notion that you talked about being risk-averse versus being open to risk and risk taking even for yourself. Let’s forget about other people from other schools and colleges. So how did you evolve in that journey? I know that you started this company, or your brothers had started this company and you’re one of the several brothers that are running this. But talk to us about your own journey of becoming more risk taking from being risk-averse.

Prashant Pitti 27:40

So there were many instances where in the initial part, year 2010-’11, where I realized that a lot of time was wasted in just understanding the problem statement too deeply and doing so much of research, while you could do a very quick A/B testing to see if the results are in favor or against. So that is one thing which I learned maybe in a year or two’s time: that a lot of experiments cost you money, but those experiments save a lot of time for you. And it’s better to save time rather than save the cost because time is of essence right now, and we are fighting the battle with so many people who are also competing with you on the time basis. So, there were certain examples by which we realized that, hey, time was of the essence.

And in fact, with that thought, we created one beautiful structure, which I don’t know if anybody else is using or not, but we are three brothers and we all run different departments at EaseMyTrip. So, a lot of times we got into a place as well where, “Okay, so Rikant is running five departments. I’m running four departments, Nishant is running four departments, or vice versa.” We have changed departments as well in between. Now, many times we have gotten to a place where let’s say I am running a department and I am going to take a call for that particular department. And maybe Nishant and Rikant thought otherwise for that particular call. It happens all the time that you have your own thoughts. But the department is under me and I’m the one driving the call.

So we actually created a very beautiful structure by which we could avoid these thoughts. So the structure again was basically something related to time, which is that if you are taking a decision which is going to a certain amount… And that amount can change every year. Let’s say right now that amount is between five to 10 crores. If you are taking a decision in your department which is going to impact more than that amount, then it’s better to just discuss once and take everybody’s opinion. But if that decision is not going to be as impactful as that amount or lower than that amount, then there is no need for anyone to ask any question. You can just go ahead and take that decision. Then there’s no need to even ask or talk around to save the time and energy of the others. And this amount has changed. As our GMV, as our profits have grown, we have continuously changed that amount. And that amount has only gotten bigger every year.

But this framework has really helped because now I know whatever decision Rikant is taking without even me knowing, that decision is not going to be as impactful as that amount. And then we don’t even have to think. And vice versa, right? If I’m taking a decision, Nishant and Rikant don’t have to worry about what decisions I am taking, because they know it for sure that decision is not going to be impactful of anything above. And hence, you’re giving each other that freedom to experiment with that much amount of money and time. So, this framework has worked really well for our organization.

Amit Somani 31:00

Yeah, I think that’s very interesting. You’ve quantified the time value of money and not to mention energy and other kinds of friction. It probably also helps that three of you are brothers. And I would be remiss and not asking you about your very humble, modest beginnings when all three of you grew up together, of course, family and brothers, from where that is to building a large, multi-billion dollar company. So maybe you can talk a little bit about the early days, which is more fun and less about business.

Prashant Pitti 31:25

Yeah. I mean, we grew up together, lived in a small house. Come from a… Father has been a coal trader since forever. And in fact, I used to be his accountant since the sixth grade. I used to keep up his ledger and I used to look at his ledger. So I kind of knew how much money he was making on a monthly basis, and I know it was pretty humble to bring three boys up. So, I had a decent upbringing. Got into IIT after that, and then got a job in the U.S. So my first stint was in the U.S., worked in Richmond, Virginia for Capital One, and then HSBC.

And that was actually almost the first set of money which our family saw come in. And so the job was pretty cushy and it took me a while to quit that job and move back to India and join my brothers who had already started EaseMyTrip. So I joined them about a year later at EaseMyTrip. So the thought process was… And we still live together. We still are together. We are in one house. And the idea is to continuously grow old together and grow this company.

What else is there to say?

Amit Somani 32:35

Yeah. It’s very inspiring. And I’m sure people listening in from everywhere can connect with the fact that coming from such humble, modest beginnings, you guys have built such a large company.

So, as we wrap up here, Prashant, any learnings that you want to share of things that you would advise the Prashant of 2012 or 2011 post overcoming the risk-averse nature that you wish you had done differently or better? And I don’t mean in a regret sense. I just mean in doing better, things that you feel like you would’ve liked to know 10 years ago, or maybe even 15 years ago before you got into EaseMyTrip.

Prashant Pitti 33:15

Yeah. First and foremost, now I believe entrepreneurship is extremely rewarding. It gives you the freedom of time. It gives you the freedom of wealth. It gives you the freedom of thought, which many people believe is the opposite, in fact. I believe that there’s a lot of creative freedom which you get as an entrepreneur which you may or may not have while working for an organization. So, if you are a person who enjoys the freedom of creativity, freedom of doing newer things, freedom of innovating, I believe that entrepreneurship is the right set of tools for you to explore, and which I may or may not have agreed earlier on. And I now believe very strongly about this.

The second thing which I believe is that now I have gotten this taste is that it’s always better to be curious than cautious. I have understood that taste of being… If you’re making 10 decisions, it’s okay to falter in three or four of them, because each of them combined is not going to cost you as much as the positives which you’re going to get from the remaining six or seven decisions. So it’s okay to falter. It’s okay to… You should forgive yourself for all the faults which you have made, and you should just focus on the things which you’re doing right rather than the things which you might have not done well. There is a lot of remorse or there’s a lot of negativity which an entrepreneur goes through each time a decision does not go in the right direction. And I believe we count our blessings way too less than our faults. I believe, as an entrepreneur, we are our biggest critique and we tend to take things very personally if things don’t go in the right direction.

And that is one thing I think I would like most of the entrepreneurs to know that it’s okay to have a few wrong decisions and just remind yourself about the right decisions which you have taken. And it’s also important for us to not take too much credit at the same time. At EaseMyTrip, I truly believe there were a lot of things which happened because we were at the right time at the right place, which were probably manifested by the higher above. And if you take yourself too seriously, then staying humble becomes extremely difficult. And the moment you lose the humbleness, I believe the business can also cripple down alongside it.

Amit Somani 35:50

That is fantastic. I have no more words actually. Lots of interesting tidbits at the end there. Really appreciate the time, Prashant Pitti, co-founder of EaseMyTrip. Thanks again for being on the Prime Venture Partners podcast.

Prashant Pitti 36:05

Thank you so much, Amit, for having me. It’s a pleasure to be having this discussion. Thank you.

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