Startup Startup Stories

How SanKash Eased The Burden Of Dream Vacations For Indian Travellers?

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What’s In A Name?

Have you ever wanted to go on a vacation but stopped due to financial constraints? 

It is estimated that around 35-40% of middle-class Indians cannot realise their vacation dreams due to financial woes. Many people who cannot make the transit from Domestic Tours to International Travel switch from Asian Holidays to holidays in Europe. 

Travellers make sacrifices that limit themselves to taking vacations in cheaper places or taking it once a year instead of two. What if travel enthusiasts could afford to take their desirable vacations without having to be short-changed?

SanKash, “San”, derived from the French word SANS which means No, and “Kash”, a representation of the English word CASH, is the answer for which travellers in India are looking. 

They are a unique, concept-based lending solution that offers services to anyone who wants to travel; established in April 2018. In the end, good memories are more important than financial struggles, and SanKash aims to bridge the gap between Money and Memories.

They identified a massive gap within the Indian travel market between travel experiences and the availability of money on time. The company shares that many reasons stop a traveller from taking a vacation. Still, they give them” A reason to go” and take that much-desired vacation without borrowing money or burning a hole in their pocket. 

The AI & ML driven SanKash platform has been designed by a team of travel technologists and fintech experts leveraging financial technologies & their experiences to enable success for the world’s fastest-growing travel market and brands.

The Itinerary For A Successful Journey

The travel Industry in India sees an approximate transaction of 200 million on an annual basis. This number is humble as the payment options are restricted to Debit Cards/Bank transfers, and credit options are limited to credit cards. This means that nearly 35-40% of middle-class Indians could soon become travellers with the help of SanKash. 

SanKash intends to create the best-in-class customer and partner-focused affordability solutions for the travel industry. The company is a revolutionary travel FinTech company that aims to make holiday trips a part of the simple and accessible pleasures of life. They focus on helping Travel Agents and Tour Operators (Offline and online) provide pay-in-parts/monthly solutions for their customers. 

SanKash improve important travel marketing metrics, including conversion, booking value, channel loyalty, cross-selling, and ancillary revenue for their travel partners. They also help process travel packages without hassles and flourish the operator’s business. Additionally, they provide end customers with an alternative to standard payment options. 

The idea is to empower the travel ecosystem’s stakeholders through its pay-in-parts solution. With SanKash, its travel partners can get their customers to make travel decisions faster and increase the trip value, thereby augmenting their sales. 

By implementing and integrating SanKash’s technology, travel operators can boost conversions and drive double-digit growth. This benefits small-time travel operators who are struggling to meet their daily needs. 

As for customers, SanKash is making travel more accessible, affordable, and fulfilling by offering flexible, pay-over-time payment choices.

What Sets SanKash Apart? 

The Indian Travel sector has witnessed over 3000+ BNPL (Buy Now, Pay Later) providers over the last few years. While this has made travelling more manageable and accessible for customers, it has proven difficult for merchants when choosing the BNPL provider partner. 

Currently, a merchant chooses its BNPL partner basis the commercials offered by the service provider. There are gaps in this arrangement. Every BNPL operates and underwrites only a segment of customers, and the process is dissimilar for each service provider. There is no control and no insights into customer data.  

The proprietary AI and ML-powered logical engine by SanKash solves this problem by aggregating all BNPL service providers to offer a seamless single Pay Later button to the merchant’s customers while keeping other cross-selling opportunities unique to the merchant. For more information on the product by SanKash, follow the video in the link here

SanKash’s logical engine is not a marketplace for customers or merchants but does all the heavy lifting for the customer. With the customer’s basic information and travel data, the engine decides on the financial provider to approve the case. The customer doesn’t need to know all these workings in the background. 

SanKash, Revolutionizing FinTech Industry 

SanKash plans to validate the solution and consolidate its position in the travel market initially, although they are an industry agnostic company. Fast-moving inventory and dynamic pricing are what make the travel industry unique. 

For example, the price and availability of an airline ticket can change in less than 3 minutes, which means that the Pay Later decision should be arrived at within that period. 

What does the market have in store for SanKash? 

Market Insights: Presently, the total Indian travel industry size is approximately USD 40 Billion. The industry is projected to grow at about 7% CAGR. The travel loan/BNPL segment contributes roughly 1% to 2% of GMV of the travel transactions. By FY 2022-23, the travel loan payment option will reach approximately 5% of the total GMV. Analysis shows that offline transactions contribute 60% of the total travel market. And online transaction has a market share of 40%. Nearly 70% of spending is on leisure and holiday while the rest is for business and other travel.

Offline transactions are done by travel agents and tour operators such as Thomas Cook, SOTC, Veena World, Picky Your Trial, etc. The market has around 750 large travel companies, 60,000 mid-size agents, and 2,50,000 small agents. 

SanKash is the largest BNPL aggregator in this space, with 6000 travel brands. With headroom to grow, SanKash will consolidate its position in the offline transaction space while working to acquire digital portals and airlines directly.  

SanKash had acquired the country’s largest airline, hotel chain, and cruise liner with the Fly Now Pay Later, Stay Now Pay Later, and Sail Now Pay Later options. These services will be available to customers in the next 30 days. 

Business insights: SanKash’s target audience is anyone who wishes to travel. Some prominent players to whom SanKash offers its services are Thomas Cook, SOTC, Pick Your Trail, Veena World, Cordelia Cruise, Indigo Airlines, Royal Caribbean cruises, and TBO.

SanKash is:

  • Present in 240 cities across 15 states and 158 PIN Codes 
  • 6000 travel partners and 9500 points of sale (including branches) 
  • 100K Customers worth INR 750 Crore processed thus far are received

Also Read: How This Startup Kickstarted A New Era For E-sports In India? – Sportzchain

Scale New Heights 

SanKash benefits the entire travel ecosystem, including travel partners, financing partners, and the end consumer. The travel partners target new customer segment, converts them, and provides them with the tool to upsell to the identified customers. 

The platform runs on a B2B2C model, providing access to a large customer base via travel partners, thus managing a lower acquisition cost. Once customer acquisition occurs at the travel agents, SanKash processes the data and decision management through its proprietary logical engine routed through NBFC partners. 

The financing partners can target the unpenetrated market through SanKash. By integrating with SanKash as a platform, they can now acquire more customers at almost ZERO acquisition costs. SanKash’s proprietary algorithm around travel helps them penetrate deeper without taking any additional risk on the portfolio.

Customers are awarded the option to take their desired vacation without scouting for other funding options like Credit Cards. Credit cards, while a great financing option for meeting short-term goals, can run up expenses. Financial institutions offer it as a means to acquire new customers and can generally be used with no specific purpose. 

Users can use credit cards any way they want; this means that the usage of the card can become uncontrollable. With the high-interest rates of nearly 3% per month on repayment after the initial 30 or 45 days of credit, using credit cards can be detrimental to your financial goals. On the other hand, a travel loan is specific and less expensive. 

Behind-The-Scenes Of All The Highs & Lows

First mover player, adoption rate, time to convince partners, and business development cycles are some of the toughest challenges. So far, the challenges have been remedied by being persistent and staying on top of the challenges. 

SanKash generates its revenues in two ways; a) in the form of commission from NBFC partners and b) platform fee per user from travel merchants. SanKash has seen revenue growth of 50% month on month so far.

What does SanKash have in store for you

Instalment payment options and plans are unheard of in India, even though it is popular in many countries. It is a special category of loan available at the Point of Sale. It is easier on the pocket as travellers can stagger payment when it’s too burdensome. 

SanKash intends to create a niche for itself by helping customers. 

  • Use their savings for some urgency instead of travel.
  • Not wait for the prices to drop for their dream vacation.
  • Upgrade their experience to what they couldn’t afford previously (like a 5-star hotel or business class travel).
  • Make travel affordable by making the payment small, monthly, and spread out over time.

SanKash aims to onboard all large airlines operating in India, a minimum of 50% offline agents, and three large hotel chains by FY 2023. They are aiming to expand their services internationally and have ongoing dialogue regarding this. 

They’re staying true to their vision of increasing market share incrementally by onboarding 1% of first-time travellers to take air travel and converting 30 % of once-a-year travellers to travel twice a year.

Mr Akash Dahiya, Co-Founder, SanKash, sums it up beautifully by sharing, “Our mission has always been to make travel one of the most affordable and accessible commodities of life. Our collaboration with travel partners and BNPL partners can help not just the merchant’s existing customers. Still, new customers too to tailor their budget to their needs, by paying for it over a period.”

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