Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Traffic Comparison of all LCCs (Low Cost Carriers) of India

With the Online travel gaining popularity, the run is after catching the maximum number of visitors on a website. Similar to the footfalls in a Retail Store, the websites compete each other in gathering these internet users. This, basically, helps in two ways:

1. More visitors and even lesser conversion would still mean better earnings.
2. More visitors would help in attracting advertisers too.
Online Marketing unheard of earlier is an area of specialisation and claims a separate operational division in an organisation.

The Online travel gained pace 3-4 yrs back with the advent of Low Cost Carriers in India which worked principally through the internet. Although Online spending is still low (as compared to the offline) for an LCC, but the business is 100% online!

The first pioneer being Air Deccan in the LCC arena, others followed. Today, there are 4 LCCs fully operational and constantly sharpening their knives for the cut-throat competition. Jet Airways branded its new acquisition of Air Sahara as "Jet Lite" into the Low Cost segment. This has increased the strength of LCCs by 1 and reduced the FSCs (Full Service Carriers) by the same number.
The air travel in India is majorly LCC driven and possess almost 40% of the market share. This share is bound to increase with more sectors being added to the network of an airline. The LCC, which still operate on limited sectors would increase their area of operation and this shall, undoubtedly, boost their market share. Further, regular improvisation of the strategies and services would also help in building more and cutting on some of the FSCs share of the pie too.

While all LCCs operate Online, even the FSCs are looking forward to getting their business shifted to the Online methodology rather than the old brick and mortar style. With more and more Online Travel companies like Makemytrip.com, Yatra.com and Cleartrip.com, things are becoming easier for all - the traveller, the Supplier and the retailer. But this is essentially choking down the businesses of the Offline Travel Agents who percieve this as a threat. The bigger ones, however, would shift to being online. An example is ezeego1.co.in which is the Online identity for Cox & Kings.

Check out more such comparison graphs on Alexa.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Medical Tourism: The Latest Buzz

Very recently I got to know that there is a pretty old form of travel gaining popularity these days. Not that travel for Medical Purposes have been unknown, but the brand-sensitivity of today’s world has endorsed it with “Medical Tourism”.

Fun, frolic, adventure, exploration, hills, lakes, forests, landscapes, valleys are the normal reflex ideas as the term “Tourism” touches your tympanum. But a Patient being classified as a Tourist is something that leaves an immediate pitiful smile on my face. Probably this is something of a black comedy that the world is ready to sensibly adopt for a classification in their economic books and affix further data to commerce.

My ethical sense strongly condemns.
A patient who might just be holding that imperceptibly weak thread of life has to choose from a list of ‘Medical Packages’ that he is mentally doubtful of (at least while he is a patient) and give operators the benefit of the situation he is in. Or possibly the family might choose on behalf of the patient, who are just more concerned of the cure rather than the luxuries attached. Does this justify the operators’ role of slowly rubbing his scalpel onto the patient’s wallet?
Of course it does! The breadbasket is very demanding 

More so, the Doctors find their real fiscal value in such an environment and could easily succumb to their wealth conscious grey cells. Thus, unlike the era-long-forgotten, the doctors have grown a ‘financial-viability-testing’ eye that measures the cases (now projects), above a comfort line. The financial feasibility has to be determined and negotiations are not completely ignored.

But does this really is that dark or has it done more good than harm.
The economic sense,however, sings a different song altogether. It seems to be a win-win situation for both the patients and the operators. The patients are now aware of cheaper medical packages and can easily choose the one matching to their budget and liking. Just as an instance, a heart valve surgery that could cost around $250000 in US now can be performed in India at a mere $16000!! A patient buying once may then sit back and relax and so can his attendants as the purchase eases them of their run on every minute for every little requirement. The package is complete in that it offers you all that is required in a well determined clean packet with all required enclosures.
The unsatisfied patients have more options at hand and can easily read reviews upon a medical help and make decisions accordingly.

The brand building, thereby, essentially helps the patient and opens up their telescopic window which is a product of the promotions done for the brand. The attracting destination may start counting the foreign currency which is always sought for and give a positive thrust on the Balance of Payments.

Also, a new community of Medical Tour Operators is born and we have more specialized areas and increased employment opportunities.

Whether branding Medicine in such a way is fine or not, is a difficult decision to make. But it is already here and India bears a huge potential to en-cash. Err….En-cash or Help?