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Salman Khan to invest in travel portal Yatra
Salman Khan to invest in travel portal Yatra
By: iMedia News Bureau

Bollywood actor Salman Khan is all set to be the brand ambassador of the travel portal Yatra.com. He has also procured 5% stake into in the company.

Elaborating about the actor’s involvement in the company, President of Yatra.com Sharat Dhall said, “Since we are targeting customers in smaller towns, Salman Khan is a great fit considering his mass appeal across the country.The company is geared up to launch a multimedia campaign featuring Salman Khan with a marketing budget in excess of Rs 30 crore within a few days.”

The online travel portal will support Salman Khan’s charitable organization called Being Human.

Yatra Online is in the process of consolidating operations in larger cities such as Mumbai and Delhi and entering smaller towns in India. It also recently acquired BuzzinTown, an event portal.

Promod Haque’s Silicon Valley-based Norwest Venture Partners, Anil Ambani, Reliance Capital Ltd, Raghav Bahl, Network 18 Media & Investments Ltd, and Intel India Pvt. Ltd, the strategic investment arm of Intel Corp, are the investors of Yatra.com

According to the Internet and Mobile Association of India, or IAMAI, the travel portal business in India has been growing at more than 50% a year to reach 37,900 crore in 2011, up from 6,300 crore in 2007 and 25,300 crore in 2010. It accounts for three-fourths of India's e-commerce market. A Boston Consulting Group report expects online retail in India to reach $84 billion, or about 4,26,000 crore, by 2016.

This is a second investment of a Bollywood actor in the digital and e-commerce market. Earlier this year, actress Karishma Kapoor had invested in infants’ online shopping portal Babyoye.com. She is also the brand ambassador for the website.

Would e-commerce portals opt for more & more Celebrities to endorse their site? If this is the new fashion, how do you think it'll impact the e-commerce industry in the coming years?