BookMyShow.com is an online ticketing platform for the entertainment industry where consumers can search and book tickets for movies, plays, concerts, entertainment performances and sporting events and various other events across many cities all over India.
Ashish Hemrajani is the Co-founder of Bigtree Entertainment (parent company of BookMyShow.com) has a Masters in Business Administration from, Mumbai University, Ashish started his career in 1997 at J. Walter Thompson (JWT) and worked with brands like Hindustan Petroleum and Ceat Tyres.
One day Ashish was on a break and was backpacking in South Africa along Storms River Valley when he struck upon idea of ‘providing cutting-edge digital solutions to the entertainment industry’ sitting under a big tree. So quite like Buddha who was enlightened, he realised to start his venture. So company was named ‘Bigtree Entertainment’. After working at JWT for two years, Ashish decided to start his own venture and set up Bigtree Entertainment in 1999, with a clear focus of providing cutting-edge digital solutions to the entertainment industry. He has been a pioneer in bringing the concept of online-ticketing to India. Parikshit Dar is the Co-founder Bigtree Entertainment. With an Engineering degree in Electronics and MBA in Marketing from the University of Mumbai. After working with leading worldwide groceries chain ‘SPAR’ in Southern Africa for a period of 2 years, Parikshit helped set up Bigtree Entertainment in 1999, with a clear focus of providing cutting-edge digital solutions to the entertainment industry.
The biggest challenge for founders was to create an ecosystem for the business. When founders first started they weren’t allowed to sell tickets outside of the box office. So they had to meet the government officials to convince them of the business plan before they even got off the ground. Eventually 18 months later they got the required permissions to automate the counters and sell tickets outside the box office. Also they started at a time when there were more single screens than multiplexes. The idea of watching movies in theatre was almost dead because the overall experience wasn’t very pleasant.
Initially they would buy inventory in bulk or do block booking. So effectively during weekdays they suffered an actual loss and on weekends they suffered opportunity loss because the booking wasn’t real time. Also, during that time Internet did not exist in a way it does now. The credit card and debit card culture was yet to catch up. However during Dot-com bubble they were poster boys of online ticketing and were riding high. When they started the brand was called Goforticketing and then later it was called Indiaticketing. (Rupert Murdoch’s) News Corp and Chase Capital Partners had invested in them.
In 2000 they had a team of 150. But when the dotcom bubble burst they were down to six people. They changed their set up and moved to a small office. Only when they earned money they paid salaries, spent it elsewhere or put it in reserve. In 2006 and they had seeded an online brand called movietel.co.in where you could telephone them and buy a movie ticket. For the year that it existed they got good volumes. That’s when they decided to make a foray into a real-time movie ticketing system. Later they got re-invested by Network 18. In August 2007, on the ‘Chak De! India’ movie weekend, bookmyshow.com went live.
Within a decade of its inception, Bigtree Entertainment’s Bookmyshow.com, which has been invested by the Network 18 group, today holds a major market share in the online entertainment ticketing space. In March 2013, Bigtree Entertainment, which runs the online ticket company BookMyShow.com, acquired a Chennai-based entertainment ticketing portal, Ticketgreen.com.