Automation in travel and expenses (T&E) management is the future. With India becoming the 10th largest MICE market in the world, companies are grappling with climbing costs for processing travel and expenses. Automation, it seems, is the only way out and can reduce these costs by at least 55 per cent and bring about a behavioral change over time.
CEO, Kuoni Business Travel, said, “We realised that travel is the third-largest spend on a company’s PNL. At present, the adoption of online platforms for corporate travel in India is low but the trend is changing and companies, especially small and medium enterprises, are adopting corporate booking tools.” Kuoni upgraded its booking tool for corporates to Sonic 2.2. The first version of this tool was launched three years ago. The effectiveness of this tool is measured in multiple cuts – number of transactions processed and number of corporates managed. Speaking about growth for such tools in India, Chacko feels that the market is huge. “Merely using a travel agency to buy a ticket is not travel management. Less than 20 per cent of the corporate travel market in India today is actually managed by professional travel management companies (TMC). The rest still use a travel agency. So the scope to grow this market is very high,” he says. An interesting phenomenon, Chacko adds, is that the adoption rate among smaller companies (SMEs) is far better and far higher than the larger companies because there is a lot of pain of change involved. “The behaviour is slightly different when it comes to personal transactions as against official ones. We have seen the adoption rate among the SMEs improving tremendously in