Musafir.com appoints Rajesh Pareek as Group CEO to drive Investment and Growth
Musafir.com, UAE’s first Online Travel Agency (OTA) and a leading player in the Indian OTA category, today announced the appointment of Rajesh Pareek as its new Group CEO, as the Company gears up for its first major round of business financing. Rajesh joins the Company from Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), where he had served as Chief Financial Officer from January 2011 to December 2016. In his new position, Rajesh will lead Musafir.com with a focus on international expansion and the Company's next round of fundraising activities.
In the last three years, the Company has seen compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 40% for the overall business, with the online business growing at above 150% CAGR. During this time, Musafir.com has also quadrupled the number of employees from 100 to more than 400.
In November 2016, Musafir.com announced the launch of dedicated operations, and Arabic websites in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with further expansion planned across India, GCC and MENA regions in the near to medium term.
“Musafir.com is a business built on an ambitious vision and we are delighted to welcome Rajesh as the Group CEO,” commented Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Thani, Chairman and Co-founder of Musafir.com. “In Rajesh, we have found someone who shares our vision and we look forward to his contribution in delivering the next phase of growth for Musafir.com. Rajesh will play an instrumental role in strengthening our business model, raising capital, and exploring new mergers and acquisitions.”
“Rajesh brings a wealth of experience to the Company, which will benefit our employees, customers and partners, alike” added Sachin Gadoya, Co-founder and Managing Director of Musafir.com. “Rajesh's key priority will be to ensure that the Company delivers business results and ultimately establish Musafir.com as the number one OTA in the MENA region.”
During his time at DIFC, Rajesh oversaw the financial performance of the DIFC Authority and its related companies, including DIFC Investments LLC (DIFCI). He spearheaded the refinancing of the US$1.25 billion DIFCI Sukuk in 2012. In 2014, he led issuance of US$700 million DIFCI’s award-winning investment grade rated Sukuk. Rajesh received Middle East CFO of the year award for his achievements in 2015.
“Operating under a unique hybrid business model which combines both online and offline services, Musafir.com has grown continuously over the past decade, and has established itself as a beacon of excellence for the region’s travel industry,” Rajesh said. “Looking ahead, we have a highly ambitious growth plan and I am delighted to join the Company at such an important stage in its journey. I look forward to playing my part in establishing Musafir.com as the number one OTA in the MENA region and one of the fastest growing OTA in India, thus cementing its place as the industry leader in innovation.”