Paytm can’t seem to get into enough verticals. After the e-commerce company started selling everything from bus tickets to movie tickets, it seems to be on the verge of expanding into a territory that’s completely foreign to Indian e-commerce providers – flight tickets.
An update on Paytm’s app shows that it will soon start selling domestic flight tickets. While there’s no official announcement yet, a notification on its app seems to indicate the launch isn’t too far away.
Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma had often said that he doesn’t consider his company to be a mere retailer – he’s dismissed Flipkart and Snapdeal for not being ambitious enough. He says that Paytm’s mission is so sincere and pious that it shouldn’t be compared to other e-commerce companies.
And the breadth of Paytm’s ambition seems to be showing. Paytm has expanded at breakneck pace, and now operates in verticals as diverse as bill payments, gold loans, movie tickets, school fee payments, metro tickets and intercity bus tickets. Its latest addition of flight tickets will help it enter an exclusive category with little competition and high transaction values.
All these efforts seem to be centered around its digital wallet, the product that Paytm is betting the biggest on. Paytm is currently the largest digital wallet operator in the country with over 120 million users, and the company’s overarching aim is to take a majority of everyday transactions online. Its other initiatives seem to be broadly aligned along this philosophy.
But the company is stepping on plenty of toes as it expands horizontally – the bus tickets service it introduced competes with established players like redBus and AbhiBus, and its hotel booking vertical has incumbents like MakeMytrip and Ibibo. Its latest flight tickets vertical will put it at odds with companies like MakeMyTrip and Cleartrip. While Paytm is expanding into every sector it can lay its eyes upon, it has to be careful about spreading itself too thin.