Sabina Chopra: The Yatra Story Is Full Of Risk And Hard Work

Sabina Chopra, the co-founder, and COO of Yatra.com is not afraid of taking risks and exploring new challenges.

Sabina Chopra took the idea of “If you do what you love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life”, a step further.

As a woman in my 20s, I often feel time is running out and the time graph of when to achieve success is short. More times than not, we tend to concentrate on our luck and opportunities rather than the work that we should be putting in.

Sabina Chopra might be one story that every ambitious woman should keep in her pocket while we do the grunt work.

Sabina Chopra is a household name when we think of the Indian travel industry. She is an entrepreneur, the co-founder, and COO of the Indian online travel company Yatra.com.

Quick Bio

NAME 

Sabina Chopra

NATIONALITY

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Indian

PROFESSION

Entrepreneur

NAME OF COMPANY FOUNDED

Yatra.com

POSITION

Co-Founder and COO

EDUCATION

University of Delhi

MARITAL STATUS

Married

SPOUSE NAME 

Aadesh Chopra

CHILDREN

2

The foundation of Sabina Chopra

Sabina Chopra: A Globetrotter With An Eye For Entrepreneurship

As a fresh MBA graduate, Sabina stepped out and started her career as a management trainee at the Taj Group, and worked her way to the Director of Marketing.

Even though she might have never predicted the future held a multi-million dollar idea for her, she believed in the hard work of building Rome one day at a time.

As a downtime globetrotter herself, Sabina understood how to perfect the art of travelling and the aspects of how it can be overwhelming for starters. The app Yatra.com was created to use this wealth of knowledge to help people like you and me, who plan Goa trips only in our heads because we are unclear about the details.

Sabina Chopra is a risk-taker

Sabina Chopra is no stranger to taking risks. She left her comfortable, high-paying job to take a shot in the dark. But the business venture was no fever dream, as she has years of experience to prove where the strong foundation she is coming from.

She started her career by working with the Taj group of hotels for 17 years. Taj luxury hotel initiative has Sabina in behind the curtain.

In 1991, Sabina was the Manager of Japan and Canadian airlines for 10 years, before heading out in 2001. So when the idea of Yatra.com came forward, it wasn’t like venturing into an unprepared territory with a half-formed blueprint. Along with Dhruv Shringi and Manish Amin, Sabina, with her 25 notable years of work experience in the Travel BPO sector, set the idea of its first flight.

Yatra.com aims to manage ticket and hotel bookings, best price evaluation and adjust the services according to the needs provided. By the time, Sabina had the position as COO of Yatra, she had already adapted the online portal to the mobile version – Yatra app.

And currently, the Yatra team is working with the AI chatbots. The 2023 vision for Yatra.com is exploring the lesser-known destinations by highlighting vernacular modes of communication.

Challenges

Woman Founder of Yatra.com

In 2006, India had an air of suspicion around the internet, people still believed in offline bookings of tickets and reservations, most trips were taken to home towns and in the midst of this, the online portal of Yatra started at a crawling pace.

“When we talked to the airlines and the hotels and told them that we would take their services online, there was a sense of reluctance. They didn’t believe us,” says Sabina. She, along with her team, took years to build trust with the airlines and hotel industry and had to let the market understand the effectiveness of online booking.

Now, the challenges are different.

Keeping the interest of the public in a timescape where the internet is in every household now, Sabina and her team concentrate on changing trends and diving into the details that help them stand apart.

Introducing new features like—Book Now, Pay Later, FlexiStay, Interest-Free EMI options, and Zero Cancellation. Concentrating on the ‘spiritual and wellness’ trend of travel and the budget-friendly economy class travel options.

Awards and honours

Sabina’s story has become the female inspiration for resilience and grit. She was awarded “Women Leader in Travel and Tourism” (in January 2010) and the World Women Congress rewarded her with the “Women in Leadership Excellence Award” (in January 2014).

Further, getting listed in Nasdaq (2016) has shown how Sabina managed to swim against every current and succeed.

Her accolades exceed in numbers. She was the Winner 2016 of She the People (in October 2016) and received the Women Leadership Award for Excellence in the Hospitality & Tourism Sector from Femina World Women Leadership Awards (February 2017).

She was also recognised as Women of the Decade in the category of Innovation & Enterprise (April 2017). Furthermore, she is an active Philanthropist and supports the “girl child” through NGOs.

From coffee shop ideas to building an online travel agency giant, It would be less enigmatic to call it magic or a one-day-idea-wonder. The reality lies in the way talent and hard work need to find experience and creative thinking in order to survive as the world revolves around changes.

This is what makes the journey of Sabina Chopra intriguing and satisfying, From humble beginnings to an empire.


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Image source: Government of India, Facebook, edited on CanvaPro

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