Is a web based ticketing aggregator, BookMyShow, an ecommerce mannequin like no different?


The G7 multiplex within the suburb of Bandra in Mumbai shouldn’t be actually a multiplex. Constructed subsequent to the Western Railway tracks, between the Bandra and Khar Street stations, it’s really a bunch of seven theatres, with separate field workplaces. When in Bandra, don’t search for G7, if you wish to discover it. As an alternative ask for Gaiety-Galaxy and you’ll be simply directed to a lane off Swami Vivekananda Street.

All of the seven theatres have names beginning with the letter G (The opposite 5 are Gem, Gemini, Glamour, Gossip and Grace). Inside, the advanced is a maze with slender stairways resulting in the theatres that had been constructed within the early ’70s, Gaiety and Galaxy being the larger ones.

The G7 theatres had been additionally a black marketer’s paradise. For well-liked exhibits, extra tickets are bought by touts on the pavements exterior at a premium than on the counters. So, when BookMyShow (BMS), a web based ticketing aggregator for film and occasions, introduced in mid-January that it had signed up G7, it was certainly a shock.

Behind the Glitz

Bringing G7 onboard might be a much bigger achievement for BMS than a deal signed with PVR Cinemas again in 2013. PVR had been the final main multiplex chain to not provide its tickets on the BMS platform. The 2013 deal between the 2 assured Rs 1,000 crore of enterprise for PVR Cinemas in 5 years.

G7 then again is manifestation of a conviction of the BMS administration that there’s development lurking within the much less glitzy and infrequently dusty avenues of Indian cinema.

In January 2016, together with G7, BMS additionally introduced the approaching on board of Maratha Mandir, the long-lasting 1,000-seater single display theatre close to central Mumbai which nonetheless runs a each day 11:30 am present of Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge.

The tickets for DDLJ are priced as little as Rs 15. The best value at G7 or Maratha Mandir on any common day (for a film like Airlift) hovers round Rs 100. BMS sometimes fees a charge of 10-30% on tickets from the consumers. For the Rs 15 ticket at Maratha Mandir it fees Rs 3. Multiplexes like PVR are in a special league with premium choices typically commanding greater than Rs 500 a ticket.

Despite the low costs exterior multiplexes, development for BMS hinges much less on multiplexes and extra on single-screen and conventional cinemas. And never simply in large cities however increasingly more within the hinterland. BMS as we speak has 2,500 screens on its portal and cellular app, with all main multiplexes on board. India then again has round 12,000 screens of which solely 2,000 are multiplexes.

As a development avenue it doesn’t appear a profitable path. First, ticket values and due to this fact margins are even decrease and as one goes into tier II and tier III cities, on-line fee turns into an issue.

Second, film ticket pricing is a extremely regulated regime with completely different guidelines for various states, and ticket pricing must be introduced upfront to the authorities. BMS, on high of that, is already a digital monopoly within the Indian market.

All different vital opponents in film ticket reserving that accounts for greater than 60% of its revenues (88% by quantity) have both folded up or have been acquired (in 2013 BMS acquired Chennai primarily based on-line movieticket vendor TicketGreen).

KyaZoonga, which claims to be India’s first on-line film tickets aggregator, having began promoting in April 2007, has over time moved away from film tickets and centered on higher-margin sports activities and different reside occasions, significantly unique partnerships.

“The stress on the margins in film tickets didn’t make sense. Not solely had been multiplexes not paying us to promote their tickets, in addition they needed a share of the comfort charge,” says Neetu Bhatia, cofounder, Kya-Zoonga. The portal, which was the unique ticketing associate for the 2011 Cricket World Cup, misplaced the bid to promote tickets to this’s yr’s Rio Olympics to CTS Eventim, a German firm.

In 2014-15, the primary full yr with PVR on board, BMS recorded revenues of Rs 127.6 crore, a development of 51%. Though the corporate completed the yr within the pink, with a web lack of Rs 13.5 crore, it was the second consecutive yr of fifty% plus development for the corporate. In June 2014, SAIF Companions, a non-public fairness agency, valued the corporate at Rs 1,000 crore when it invested Rs 150 crore; that quantity has until date been largely untouched.

Ashish Hemrajani, Parikshit Dar and Rajesh Balpande based Bigtree Leisure, the corporate that owns BMS, in 1999 after the trio took a trip in South Africa. Bigtree began by promoting a ticketing software program known as Vista made by a New Zealand-based firm to multiplexes that had been developing on the time.

(Even as we speak Bigtree manages PVR Cinemas’ on-line ticket reserving portal.) Then, in 2007, after a significant funding by Network18, BMS was launched. “When you take a look at us as we speak, the issues we do are just about the identical that we had been doing a decade again,” says Hemrajani. Sticking to the core is the corporate’s secret sauce, insists Hemrajani, one thing that ensured they survived a few downturns.

Hemrajani is obvious that he’s not going to supply reductions within the hunt for valuations. He remembers very nicely the times in 2001-02 when the corporate needed to let go of employees, was diminished to 6 individuals and didn’t have cash to even purchase air tickets to Delhi.

And even because the likes of Paytm, a fee pockets and an ecommerce market with permission to launch a fee financial institution, has declared its intention to supply discounted tickets for motion pictures, Hemrajani insists that BMS has no plans to transform its personal closed-loop pockets into anything to compete.

Not Actually Ecommerce? “If your corporation mannequin is to collect distinctive identities and cellphone numbers and construct up an inventory that you could promote, you would possibly as nicely stand on the road and provide Rs 100 for each particular person keen to share his quantity. You can find many takers, however we’re not on this recreation,” Hemrajani says. “We reside and die by the worth we offer to our customers.”

Hemrajani and Dar met ET Journal in a gathering room designed like an open air theatre on the BMS workplace in Andheri in suburban Mumbai. The balcony exterior usually doubles up as a much bigger assembly area and a strategically-placed bicycle embellished with LED lights provides to the optics. The foyer chairs all appear to be lifted out of a cinema and the partitions are literally ripped out of huge transport containers.

BMS has round 4 containers which were fabricated to work as entry gates to occasions with turnstiles, and transports them on massive trailer vans every time it’s managing an occasion. Providers like managing entry to massive occasions and managing entry for safety personnel are a few of the different income streams, as are ticket sale for occasions, performs and a few of the Indian Premier League franchisees.

(It lately bought Filmfare awards tickets, providing an opportunity to consumers to rub shoulders with stars). Sreedhar Prasad, associate and head of ecommerce at KPMG, feels all this isn’t sufficient for BMS to leap into the large league of Indian ecommerce. “The truth is they don’t seem to be actually an ecommerce firm. They haven’t any management over the stock and haven’t any method of influencing gross sales,” says Prasad. He explains {that a} Flipkart or a Snapdeal clocks revenues from at the very least seven or eight completely different streams, together with vendor fee, logistics fee, fee fee and promoting.

“There isn’t a proof of any transformational considering at BMS. Why can’t they tie up with Uber and Ola and provide a trip to the cinema and a trip again dwelling together with the ticket?” Prasad asks. He additional means that there might be some ways of pushing gross sales like location particular inputs. “If I’m going previous a cinema or an occasion venue I may get an replace from BMS telling me that there are unsold tickets out there.”

Providing a bit additional to customers is one thing BMS is starting to do. The web site as an example now permits customers to search for occasions which are taking place in and across the metropolis, and even group occasions for youths in a single place. It has additionally created a brand new service for scores of flicks and urges precise ticket consumers to price a film. The scores have shocked the workforce (see Film Rankings) and good scores particularly for regional flicks have spurred on distributors to guide extra screens for a few of them.

“There isn’t a proof of any transformational considering at BMS. Why can’t they tie up with Uber and Ola and provide a trip to the cinema and a trip again dwelling together with the ticket?” Prasad asks. He additional means that there might be some ways of pushing gross sales like location particular inputs. “If I’m going previous a cinema or an occasion venue I may get an replace from BMS telling me that there are unsold tickets out there.”

Providing a bit additional to customers is one thing BMS is starting to do. The web site as an example now permits customers to search for occasions which are taking place in and across the metropolis, and even group occasions for youths in a single place. It has additionally created a brand new service for scores of flicks and urges precise ticket consumers to price a film. The scores have shocked the workforce (see Film Rankings) and good scores particularly for regional flicks have spurred on distributors to guide extra screens for a few of them.

Numbers Sport Hemrajani insists that the expansion technique could be extra vertical than horizontal; transferring deeper into the nation and discovering extra screens and on the identical time in search of openings into markets overseas. The corporate already has a presence in New Zealand as an extension of Bigtree’s earlier relationship and is taking a look at a attainable entry into Indonesia, which is a market just like India, says Hemrajani. There may be additionally a merchandise play within the offing and the web site might promote merchandise constructed round a film’s theme or characters. It lately bought 600 T-shirts across the film Star Wars: The Power Awakens.

Nonetheless, the query raised by Prasad of KPMG finds an echo within the numbers of BMS and Bigtree Leisure. For 2013-14, the three ecommerce majors of India, Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal, recorded revenues of Rs 179 crore, Rs 168 crore and Rs 154 crore respectively, as per knowledge from Techcircle, an entrepreneurship and know-how startup portal; and all of them on the identical level had been incurring losses that had been way more than their revenues. In 2014-15, the losses grew manifold, changing into much less of an indicator of the profitability of the enterprise and extra of the quantum of reductions are being doled out. The present yr will see one other humongous development in losses.

Alternatively Bigtree’s 2014-15 revenues at Rs 127.6 crore are just like the income of the large three in 2013-14, however its lack of solely Rs 13.5 crore signifies that firm is enjoying in a special and smaller league. Its worth of ticket gross sales (round Rs 1,000 crore) additionally can’t be in comparison with the gross merchandise worth of the ecommerce biggies. Hemrajani says: “We might be worthwhile in a short time. The truth is in some quarters of the yr we’re worthwhile.” Clearly, BMS is content material being a sizeable fish in a smaller pond — reasonably than in a sea of pink.



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