And then you saw the internet, how did you pick the travel world? So that's interesting. So I thought of a couple of things, firstly I thought B2C and B2C was something I could relate to, so I think there was the marketeer in me and I was clearly very keen on connecting directly with consumers. So that was clear. I looked at various kind of opportunities and you know way back where a lot of our young founders were probably literally I think in...not born...in diapers. *Laughter* Well, 19 years ago. Yeah, some of them were not born, that's true. But but most of them probably born, but just about you know, getting into school or whatever. Because we're talking about, I'm assuming most folks listening in are in their 20s. Yeah. So, you know you have foggy memories, but that was the time I think a lot of them firstly were born on the internet, but if I hop back to nineteen years ago, I just looked at businesses which were being conducted on the phone primarily and not physically. On the phone as in phone call? Phone call and I assume that's right. Yeah, that's a really good point. Yeah, so not on the mobile phone, not on an app, but on a phone call. Yeah, and you know you had to call up and get it done. I figured those will be the ones that could move more easily online. So I had two plans in mind one was online stock broking because I was pretty much the same thing and you'll remember we would call up our broker and we'd do our research in the morning and we'd say okay, I want to buy this stock and you’d tell him by 2000 of whatever or sell so and so and then settlement once a week or every time you did a trade he would send his runner to you to sign some forms and to give him a check and that's how it was. That was the system of stockbroking and so I figured that is ripe for moving online and so much more powerful. I did look at each rate as a model and that seemed pretty exciting and then online travel because if you think about it travel at that point of time, you called your agent, you said I want a book this, I want to go to Bangalore from Delhi and you say these are the flights or I want to go from Delhi to London and then I also need a hotel and he would give you some options. It would take a long time and you finally conclude and you'd again send a check to him or someone would come and pick it up. So I figured these businesses will move quicker. I also thought that online stock broking probably belonged in a stable of a large financial house eventually, so a bank or someone, that's what my reasoning was and maybe if you look at ICICI Direct and all, that's the way it's gone. But online travel I figured could be a truly entrepreneurial thing and that's what attracted me to it. The other part that attracted me was travel was just so much more fun. And I'd always been a foreign traveler, always; and for that I definitely I think my parents kind of sowed those seeds. They would take us every summer, driving to some new place. That was great because you would see North India, you would see other parts of India like that and it was I guess so... and then my wife too was probably even a bigger traveler than I am and has a bigger travel-bug than I do. She literally can come back from a trip and leave the next day for another trip and whereas I like my down time, so I think that really helped because both of us together, I think we really traveled as much as we could before the kids, even with the kids. And so I think, Yeah, travel was something which just seemed like a lot of fun and and it hasn't disappointed. Got it, that's great. And then you mentioned, looks like you were married at that time. How did… how... was your wife working or how did you guys think about that? That's something that founders when they go through the initial phase, especially the bootstrapping. Did you raise funds? I'm guessing at that time you bootstrapped for some time? Yeah. So yeah, I was married in 95 and we had our first child in 99, and then our second one in 2001 and as I said MakeMyTrip was in 2000. So literally I had three kids in three years. Wow. So it was a tough time because early stage one managed to get actually early state funding from someone called E-Ventures but then the dotcom bust happened and we had to actually buy back the company. So from 2001 to 2005 we had to either shut down or buy back. Yeah, and I think this is, while I think it's been written to death, but for those who haven't heard it, I think it's really important. In a very odd sort of way, those four tough years were the best years ever and they were the best years ever because you are really tested in terms of not only our belief in the business. You can be stubborn and you can believe but how to find the model that can stand on its own, can have feet and I think that's very important for any business. And so that tested us during that period to say that listen. Is there a viable model out here? Given that you're not going to get funding. This is post dotcom bust. No one even, you know .com was a bad name. So you won't go to get any external funding, you had to make to with what you had. After a couple of years, we got one Angel who I think found us interesting and put in a little bit of money and literally little bit, $150,000 and then in 2004, another one put in another, you know about the same amount, but till that time... especially, the two years of 2001 to 2003 were constantly hand-to-mouth struggle. Never did we have more than 2-3 months of runway in terms of all expenses, salary, rent etc. But yet we managed to keep going and I think what kept going was the fact that what kept us going was the fact that we were very clear that we had to on a variable cost basis, we had to recover all costs. So when we talk about unit economics now, I really think that's an important lesson where whatever you do irrespective of the kind of business, you should not be losing money on a variable cost basis. So just to explain that further, not for your benefit because you know this, but many many folks out there, your fixed cost can be amortized and therefore as you get scale you can get that going and your fixed costs can even be a degree of branding but if you are giving discounts or this is your cost of goods on anything sold, then you must take that into account. Whatever business you're in and as I say, even if you make one rupee on a transaction, it's fine because when you do a million transactions a day as people are doing today, you’re making a million rupees a day, which is 10 lakhs a day, which is not bad. Yeah. So that's the way to think about it. So you have to really re-engineer costs. Look at what you can make so that you are not only break even but slightly positive, at the gross point. Yeah, it’s a very important lesson. Yeah. It's a really at variable cost base. Yeah. That's very important. And this you focused on right from early days. We didn't have a choice. Yeah. So in fact, we had to be fully loaded profitable. So that was even different when you don't have a choice, necessity indeed is the mother of invention and you know, you don't have money, you don't have any other source. You have to do that. Either you survive or you pack up and you go home and that was always looming by the way. It's really true. It was always that sword was always looming on our head and I remember, you know three of us chatting. Two of my early joinees who were invaluable to the company, became co-founders and we would discuss and say, “Listen guys, this is you know, is this even happening?”. And you know, it became a very vicious kind of circle that you dwell on it and you'd feel bad and you know, your mood would reflect on the others and everyone sat in a tiny space really and we by the way worked in a real estate which was 11 to 12 rupees a square foot and it doesn't get cheaper than that. It was a mezzanine where the height was eight feet, so you could touch the ceiling. If you swung both ways. You could touch the side of...it was really tiny. Yeah, but but we made a rule and we actually said listen, we're not going to talk about shut down more than once a month, but once a month, we will review the month and we will discuss what we want to do. But if we’re in it, let's get in for the month. This is something which I thought really put some discipline in the way we were going and we at least had that discipline that okay now, March... we are in for March. March 31st we’ll shut books. By April 1st, 2nd, 3rd, whenever we're ready, we'll take stock of cash, where we are going, we look at conversion, we look at everything else... But in March we are now not going to have depressive talks about should we pack up because otherwise that became a really vicious circle and I would encourage a lot of people to put up that discipline. If you're going through a tough time, I always say eke it out a little longer. No great company has been built, you know very quickly. It takes time. I have people who leave the company even today and they say we want to turn entrepreneur, tell us one thing and that one thing from me is always listen guys don't look back for the first four to five years. It takes time to set up a decent company in India and probably 10 years to become something. So be patient. And so if you feel things are going bad, you know, here's the downside of having a high opportunity cost which means you got great education, you’re from a top engineering school or top MBA School of both, you know, you can get a great job or you had a great job and so you're always thinking is this worth it? A lot of people telling you this is crazy and we've all been through that and some of my closest friends told me this is crazy, but it's not like... I'm still very close friends with them, but they meant well. But only you as an entrepreneur, as a founder know if there's something there which is worth carrying on. So I would always say put in those few extra months, even those few extra quarters, actually put in an extra year. In the grand scheme of things, it will not matter at all. Like no one, no one really says or counts at what age did so-and-so make this great company. It's immaterial. I mean and whether you made it two years here or there, how does it matter? You made, built a great company that you're proud of. A durable company. So I would really encourage founders to, once you're on to something, tweak, pivot, keep your ears to the ground, pick up messages, do the right thing; but at the first sign of winter, do not pack up because you really...it takes a lot of courage to do it all over again. You probably won't do it all over again. If you were to do it all over again. It's better to pivot now because the one thing you have then is A: you're in the zone, B: you have a team. So you can sell the new story to the team, that's one of the toughest things to do. But if you pack up and you go back to corporate life or something else, you try to do it again, it takes a lot of courage and most more likely than not doesn't happen.