udChalo: Bridging the Gap Between Airline Industry & Indian Armed Force

Varun Jain,  Co-Founder & CEO ,Ravi Kr,  Co-Founder & COO

Varun Jain, Co-Founder & CEO

Ravi Kr, Co-Founder & COO

Due to uncertain leave dates, Indian armed force personnel resort to the last minute railway reservation availabilities that often run overboard. The unavailability of confirmed train tickets enforces soldiers to travel in the unreserved train compartments, which is consistently tiresome and tedious. On the flip side, aviation is still considered as a luxury more than a necessity in India, wherein domestic flights travel to different destinations with more than 40,000 seats vacant per day.

Grown up seeing their parents& relatives relentlessly struggle to spend quality time with their families due to travel related concerns, three close friends came together and incepted udChalo in 2012 to bridge the gap between the problems of airline industry of unused inventory and armed forces having last minute travel demands. The inimitable idea of udChalo not just rewarded airlines, but also introduced a plethora of virgin customers to the sector.

Helping Hand

Foreseeing the increasing penetration of internet, the company provides online ticket booking via web, M-site and mobile application (Android app on play store). udChalo has also launched physical ticket counters at various defence locations PAN India, thereby making ticket booking available for troops at every corner of the country. The online portal brings exclusive deals from various airlines like Go Air, Indigo, Air Vistara, Air Asia and SpiceJet for defence personnel. udChalo is the first ever airdiscount
service for Indian armed forces that renders unsold airline tickets at upto 40 percent discount.

Alongside, udChalo’s physical counters serve as a lifeline for remote and poorly connected locations. At present, the company has 46 operational air ticket booking counters PAN India in locations like Uri, Srinagar, Shillong and others, and are operated by veterans/veer naris/dependents from the Indian armed forces community. This unique approach not only renders job opportunity to defence populace, but also helps in earning customer trust easily. “Our customer base trusts our brand because we are not outsiders; we are from fraternity, we are #family4life,” adds Varun Jain, Co-Founder & CEO, udChalo.

Active & positive engagement with the armed forces community helps us to build the brand and relationship with our outreach efforts

Customer Friendly

Beyond just ticketing, this Pune-based firm bestows end-to-end support to soldiers for their travel. Comprehending the need of LTC claim for air travel, udChalo provides prefilled LTC documents, which can be availed by just checking the LTC box while making bookings. Furthermore, the company directly connects with customers via several interaction portals & awareness sessions in order to educate & address their concerns related to travel, LTC claims, website bookings and internet banking, thereby adding value to the service offering and touching lives of armed forces. “We have a great scope in terms of market expansion, ensure repeat travelers as it decreases the cost of acquisition of a new customer by offering some credit points for next travel,” professes Ravi Kr, Co-Founder & COO, udChalo.

To make bookings under defence quota, users need to enter their respective defence ID and get their document verified upon account creation (user ID & password is generated), whereas guest users can directly proceed for booking by simply entering their name, mobile number, email ID and password to be set. This security focused company never saves user information, and stores data in Dynamo DB (cannot be accessed from outside without IAM roles) and deploys server side encryption, making the complete transaction secure. All credit/debit card transactions on the portal are completed via leading & secure payment gateways (PayU, EasyPay) which are PCI/DSS compliant and used by most popular websites countrywide. “Our solutions are specifically designed and developed keeping a soldier’s needs as the focal point. Active & positive engagement with the armed forces community helps us to build the brand and relationship with our outreach efforts,” concludes Varun.