Mov­ing beyond tick­et­ing

Ak­bar Trav­els is look­ing at en­hanc­ing its port­fo­lio with an­cil­lary rev­enues from seg­ments such as cruises, in­surance, visa, etc, says Amey Am­ladi, COO, Ak­bar Group.

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Evo­lu­tion of the tick­et­ing con­sol­ida­tor

Ak­bar Trav­els started off as a whole­saler con­sol­ida­tor. But to­day, the company is present in var­i­ous ver­ti­cals like cruises, in­surance, for­eign ex­change, tour sec­tions, etc. In fact, now, we also have our own B2B and B2C por­tal as we want to be a com­plete travel so­lu­tion provider. For the pas­sen­ger who walks into our of­fice, not only should we give him the best of fares but also the best of an­cil­lary rev­enues in terms of ho­tels, in­surance, etc. While ben­e­fit­ing from the non-air prod­ucts, there is a dire need for agents to invest in the right tools and so­lu­tions to en­hance their ef­fi­ciency and in turn save cost.

Visa is­suance: The new op­por­tu­nity

We have for­ayed into visa ser­vices and re­cently the company has forged a part­ner­ship with the Dubai-based Dnata to of­fer th­ese ser­vices to the UAE- bound trav­ellers from In­dia. To­day the largest num­ber of out­bound trav­ellers from In­dia are go­ing to Dubai and Bangkok. Con­sid­er­ing we have 105 of­fices across In­dia, with each branch giv­ing us one visa a day, we can do up to 100 visas. Cur­rently, Ak­bar Group is do­ing about 80-100 visas a day to Dubai. This is a new op­por­tu­nity for our company and this has en­hanced our port­fo­lio. In terms of other visas, we ob­vi­ously go through the re­spec­tive con­sulates and keep up­dat­ing our web­site. This has helped us in in­creas­ing the prof­itabil­ity of the company as well.

Ak­bar Trav­els started op­er­a­tions way back in 1978. To­day we have over 102 lo­ca­tions pan-In­dia un­der our kitty. The group has 60 IATA of­fices and 45 other branches in the coun­try. We have 22 of­fices in the Gulf and New York and Hous­ton as far as over­seas op­er­a­tions are con­cerned. The group is launch­ing op­er­a­tions in London in the next two months and then in Malaysia.

The growth story in 2014

With a po­lit­i­cally sound gov­ern­ment at the Cen­tre, the year should end on a pos­i­tive note. Over­all, the Ak­bar Group has wit­nessed growth of 10-12 per cent in do­mes­tic tick­et­ing (in­clud­ing full ser­vice car­ri­ers and LCCs) and 22 per cent in terms of in­ter­na­tional tick­et­ing (in­ter­na­tional car­ri­ers). The rev­enues from our in­surance ver­ti­cal have in­creased sig­nif­i­cantly. The group wit­nessed 18 per cent growth from this seg­ment. The other seg­ment that drove growth this year was the cruise ver­ti­cal which showed a 12 per cent rise.

Amey Am­ladi

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