New Delhi redBus gears up for ambitious growth in 2025

Following a period of post-pandemic recovery, RedBus, the world’s leading online bus ticketing platform, is ready to shift gears. The company has outlined an ambitious growth strategy with significant expansion plans for 2025, fuelled by a steady 25 per cent increase in revenue over the past year.

“This growth is driven by positive signs across the industry,” said Prakash Sangam, CEO of RedBus. “Bus occupancy rates are exceeding a healthy 77 per cent, and we’re seeing a significant surge, well over 20 per cent, in people choosing online platforms like RedBus to book their bus travel,” he said.

The company aims for a significant 15 per cent increase in available bus listings over the next year. This will primarily be achieved by partnering with private operators, building on the successful 10 per cent increase achieved in 2023.

“A wider variety of bus options will cater to different budgets and travel preferences, ranging from budget-friendly AC seater buses to luxurious sleeper coaches,” explained a company spokesperson. This expansion will particularly focus on tier- 2 and tier-3 cities in India, where redBus sees high growth potential.

Global expansion

RedBus is setting its sights beyond its established markets in India and Southeast Asia. They aim to increase their international revenue contribution from 11 per cent to 15 per cent in the upcoming fiscal year. This leverages their existing presence in Southeast Asia (countries like Malaysia and Singapore, where they hold a significant market share) and Latin America, with recent forays into Cambodia and Vietnam. This ambitious target marks the beginning of a global expansion strategy, tapping into new markets with high growth potential and increasing internet penetration.

RedBus will leverage its proven success stories in India and Southeast Asia, where they hold a dominant market share. They plan to replicate strategies that have contributed to their success. This includes offering competitive pricing, ensuring a user-friendly booking experience with a focus on a sub-2-minute checkout process, and providing value-added services like travel insurance and loyalty programmes that offer discounts exceeding 10 per cent on repeat bookings. Additionally, RedBus will focus on building strong partnerships with local bus operators in new territories, offering them access to RedBus’s extensive online platform and marketing reach.

“Partnering with non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) is another key element of our strategy,” said Sangam. “This will allow us to address the micro-financing needs of bus operators, such as financing for unexpected repairs or permit renewals. By offering quick and convenient financing solutions, we can help operators maintain smooth operations and contribute to fleet expansion in the long run.”

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