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BW Businessworld

Robin Raina: Reinvent To Stay Ahead

Various analytical companies (such as CRISIL and Fitch) have projected India’s economy, which has been collapsed due to the nationwide lockdown.

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The travel industry has been majorly affected due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Amid the crisis, the sector is battling with many challenges like negligible customer retention, layoffs, and lack of strong government support. A major confusion persists in the travel sector on what should be the way forward. “Today is a very hard time. Companies now should refrain from taking giant leaps,” said Robin Rain, CEO of Ebix Inc. “By the time the pandemic is over, your company should be standing, and then it will be ready for the growth.” 

Raina informed that his company has been struggling with the need to reinvent during the pandemic. He talked about the challenges of downsizing his company: “During the pandemic, our goal was not to take the easy route of letting employees go instead we wanted to protect their employment.” “The pandemic has inspired companies to reinvent themselves,” he believed. 

Lately the travel sector, particularly, has been going through a lot of changes. In the first week of June, the pending agreement between Ebix and online travel company Yatra was terminated. Ebix had agreed to buy Yatra for an enterprise value of $337.8 million in 2019. He believes that there is a need to focus on the basics. 

“The industry players need to remember that the selling price should be greater than the cost price,” Raina added. He elaborated that many businesses think they need to keep the selling price less than the cost price, and when the firm amassed enough customers, they would increase the selling price significantly to generate revenue. This is not applicable, thinks Raina, since the company won’t be able to sustain customers. Besides, he advocated that the travel sector has to be more cohesive and integrated. 

Ebix Inc. is a leading international supplier of on-demand software and e-commerce services to the insurance, financial, and healthcare industries, which provides end-to-end solutions ranging from infrastructure exchanges, carrier systems, agency systems, and risk compliance solutions to custom software development for all entities involved in the insurance industry. The company has more than 50 offices across Brazil, Singapore, Australia, the US, the UK, New Zealand, and India. Raina said: “I feel we have a cohesive global travel model.” EbixCash’s portfolio of products can be accessed digitally, also from its distribution outlets, which is spread over 5,500 cities and towns. 

What India Needs in Current Scenario

Various analytical companies (such as CRISIL and Fitch) have projected India’s economy, which has been collapsed due to the nationwide lockdown. It was also said that the current quarter’s GDP would shrink by 25 per cent year on year. Raina suggested that post-pandemic India needs to reinvent itself in three aspects. “Taking a lead in manufacturing, focusing on intellectual property rights generation, and building infrastructure.” He informed that the government needs to push for IP creation; a lot of things are coming from other countries like China should be developed here. Furthermore, the government needs to take time to build infrastructure projects, which will help in growing employment rates at the lowest levels, he said. He added, “Labour policies need to be revised. Companies, which want to invest in India, should get a level playing field with the other countries like China, Singapore.”

The Ebix Group’s initiative, EbixCash is one of the leading financial exchanges in India. It applies a ‘Phygital’ strategy of combing 260,000 physical distribution outlets to an omnichannel online digital platform. The company has established a financial exchange portfolio in money remittance (domestic and international), travel, prepaid and gift cards, utility payments, among others. 

Consistent Support to Underprivileged

Many years back, Anoop Dhingra, an ordinary underprivileged Delhi-boy, lost both his eyes at the age of 14, when he met an accident. Now, he has become a Branch Manager in Allahabad Bank in Chandigarh. Major credit goes to the Robin Raina Foundation (RRF), which supported Dhingra from 9th class till the end.RRF, which focuses on providing education, healthcare, and nutrition to underprivileged kids, is proud of the contribution that his foundation has made. Raina added, “Support can’t come in a day or a month or a year. You need to provide consistent support to the underprivileged. You can’t wait for a pandemic to start giving support.”

This article was first published in the print issue of (10 July - 25 July) BW Businessworld. Click Here to Subscribe to BW Businessworld magazine.

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COVID-19 travel sector analytical companies