Bader Al Bader, President, Rehlat talks to TBMEs Charmaine Fernz on intricacies of setting up an OTA for the Middle East traveller, getting the right product mix and plans ahead. The idea of venturing into the online space emerged when a family member of Bader faced problems while booking a personal trip. In 2013 summer, Bader started Rehlat as a proof of concept. The idea of launching a proof of concept was to identify potential technical and logistical issues that might interfere with it future success.
The proof of concept helped Bader gain some traction which encouraged him to take the next step. He explains, “There was a popular website during those days in Kuwait called ‘Indiansinkuwait’, which catered to the Indian expat community. We took a banner advertisement on that portal for a month, which also included eshots sent out to their database. On the first day itself, the advertisement drew in about 7,000 visitors to our proof of concept website and the phone wouldn’t stop ringing.” Finally, a finished product – Rehlat – was launched in January 2016. This according to Bader was their second birth.