Deep Kalra is the name behind the biggest Indian Online Travel portal – MakeMyTrip. Make My Trip is an end-to-end solution addressing all the travel needs of a customer. The reason for its incredible boom was bringing travel bookings to the online space thus making the whole process super convenient for the customer. This, in turn, was also coupled with price-cut deals and online savings that the customers were kept unaware of before.
Mr Kalra hails from the Nawab city of Hyderabad. Academically backed with only the best – Kalra pursued Bachelors in Economics from the reputed St Stephen’s College, Delhi. He finished his MBA from none other than the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad in 1992.
Post this Kalra has never looked back and gained valuable experience in some of the biggest corporates of the nation. Three-year-long career at ABN AMRO, introducing bowling alleys to India along with AMF Bowling and serving as the Vice President of Business Development at GE capital.
Kalra comes from a work-oriented background with his father being associated with one company for a good 30 years and his mother teaching at the same school in Delhi for a whopping 28 years. He thus too was inspired to have a long-standing stable salaried career.
So how was it then that Kalra embarked on this unknown entrepreneurial journey?
It was actually while he was at GE (1999) that he first got introduced to the astonishing powers of the internet.
“Every time I did anything on the internet, it was five times more convenient than the offline model”
Coincidently, he had also been booking for a trip to Thailand at the time. He ended up saving around 100$ via online deals. This was quite a moment of Eureka for him.
He was already sure of entering the online space, but the roads in front of him were that of either a stock-brokerage business or a travel-oriented market. He and his wife already had a great affinity towards travelling and he found the industry more exciting than that of a financial one.
Moreover, Kalra thought “the online travel model was working in the US and Europe, so, how difficult can it really be?”
Thus came into existence MakeMyTrip in the year 2000, Kalra leading the company right from its inception. The company went on to become a mammoth of success and a familiar name in every Indian household.
By August 2010, the firm was listed on NASDAQ. Since 2013, Kalra serves as the Group CEO and the chairman. He has a total experience of 26 years + across domains such as finance, management, e-commerce and marketing.
In, fact Karla has been awarded many formal recognitions of applause. In 2011, Karla was ranked the No. 1 most powerful digital influencer in India (KPMG list).
Giving back to society, he has co-founded the ‘I am Gurgaon NGO’. Kalra is at heart, a family person. He craves to spend time with his daughter, Manya, son, Armaan and his wife, Amrita (who he married in 1995) and enjoys every minute of it.
More recently he has co-founded the Ashoka University and acts as part of the governing body.
Kalra is a passionate soul who loves to swim, travel and indulge in adventurous activities. He, in fact, is a well-versed scuba diver. When asked about his favourite holiday destination he says –
“If there is one place I love going back to, it is the Maldives. For a scuba driver like me, it is paradise.”
Apart from these, Kalra adores yoga and partaking in fun quizzes.