Ush­er­ing in a trade of fresh­ness When they Joined Ma­jor Achieve­ment Their Vi­sion

TRAVTALK speaks with six sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion en­trepreneurs who have joined their fam­ily busi­ness and are blaz­ing a trail for their com­pany with a fresh vi­sion that is in ac­cor­dance with the chang­ing mar­ket dy­nam­ics.

TravTalk - India - - AGENTS -

I joined the com­pany in 2014 and un­til then, we were a tra­di­tion­ally run busi­ness. I saw the draw­backs that came with this kind of op­er­a­tions, es­pe­cially in an in­dus­try that was go­ing through huge tran­si­tions in terms of tech­nol­ogy and best prac­tices. I joined the busi­ness when I was 18 years old but that was part-time and still study­ing. I be­came part of the com­pany full time by the time I turned 21. This was nine years ago and it feels that I’m still learn­ing. By this time, we had al­ready es­tab­lished our­selves strongly in the Hajj and Um­rah busi­ness and the daily group de­par­tures that we do pan-In­dia. I joined this com­pany in Jan­uary 2013 when I was 25. By this time, I al­ready had some work ex­pe­ri­ence, hav­ing worked in Lon­don with an air­line for about three years. My fo­cus at the time was to work in­tensely on cus­tomiz­ing the Costa Cruises prod­uct to the needs of the In­dian travel agents and clients. I joined the com­pany af­ter com­ple­tion of my be­cause I was still learn­ing the nu­ances of the started with book-keep­ing. When on­line came into the pic­ture in 2013, we – the Oza broth­ers – went for it ag­gres­sively. World when we set up the com­pany in 2013. We started the com­pany with 35-odd peo­ple which has now grown to a 1,000-mem­ber team. It has been a roller-coaster ride but a very in­ter­est­ing a foun­da­tion to achieve our ‘lak­shya’ – that is to travel com­pany’. I joined Ta­marind two and half years ago at the age of 27. By then, I gained some work ex­pe­ri­ence my hus­band. I started with lead­ing our mar­ket­ing divi­sion across all four ver­ti­cals - tours, wed­dings, events and cor­po­rate ser­vices. This role has now evolved into mar­ket­ing, busi­ness devel­op­ment as well as op­er­a­tions and client ser­vic­ing. My area of fo­cus there­fore has been to not only - velop the e-com­merce plat­form for easy pay­ment. I am also re­spon­si­ble for tak­ing our DMC divi­sion for the South In­dia B2B mar­ket com­pletely on­line. This divi­sion too will have a pay­ment gate­way. When I joined, we were still func­tion­ing in the and so took the busi­ness on­line. I wanted to im­prove op­er­a­tions, im­prove man­age­ment and bring wanted the com­pany to have a wider dis­tri­bu­tion. then I have been lead­ing the on­line ver­ti­cal. We in­tro­duced the con­cept of INR static pric­ing rate sheets for the most pop­u­lar itin­er­ar­ies of Costa to ease the book­ing process for agents. I + cruise pack­ages and strate­gic al­liances with tourism boards and event com­pa­nies. In­stead of con­ven­tional ad­ver­tis­ing, I wanted to do some­thing dif­fer­ent so I de­cided to col­lab­o­rate with Lakme on­board a cruise liner in In­dia in Jan­uary 2017. My re­spon­si­bil­ity is about look­ing at new op­por­tu­ni­ties for the busi­ness. So, one of the things I am look­ing at is NDC and to en­sure that the com­pany is ready for it. I am also fo­cus­ing on the new Fare Fam­i­lies con­cept by Amadeus. It is a mech­a­nism in­tro­duced by GDS’ for bundling of prod­ucts. To­day, I’m man­ag­ing the tech­nol­ogy as­pect of the cre­at­ing a foun­da­tion, en­sur­ing that we are mak­ing the right in­vest­ments in tech­nol­ogy and man­power. My move into Ta­marind was the birth of the mar­ket­ing de­part­ment. In the past, we have never the com­pany with so many dis­tinct au­di­ences and ser­vices. We have now made a con­scious ef­fort to drive aware­ness of what we stand for, reach out to the right au­di­ences and make sure we have a strate­gic busi­ness devel­op­ment ap­proach. My vi­sion is to of­fer our trade part­ners a com­plete on­line so­lu­tion. To be able to achieve this, we need to be a sin­gle-point plat­form for all their needs by club­bing all pos­si­ble travel-re­lated prod­ucts – not just tours but also al­lied prod­ucts – and bring­ing them to­gether on one por­tal to make it easy and con­ve­nient for them. This way we can en­sure that we re­tain all our clients. I want to use this chan­nel and help po­ten­tial part­ners all over the world to take ad­van­tage of our ex­cep­tional dis­tri­bu­tion ca­pa­bil­ity, and maybe in the process even ex­pand it to in­clude other ver­ti­cals be­yond travel. I want to do this within the next two to three years. I want the com­pany to be deeply in­volved in cre­at­ing do­mes­tic cruis­ing within the coun­try, en­abling many In­di­ans to ex­pe­ri­ence a cruise hol­i­day and help build the blue econ­omy of In­dia. I want the busi­ness to grow into a huge whole­saler in In­dia, reach­ing even the B2B agents in Tier-III cities, and sell­ing not only all travel prod­ucts like rail­ways but also diver­sify into non­travel seg­ments such as movie tick­ets, mo­bile top-ups, util­ity bills, etc; pre­cisely prod­ucts that have big­ger mar­gins. - In or­der to take the next leap for­ward, I feel it is key that the com­pany has a strong blend of tech­nol­ogy as well as the hu­man touch. I want to see the com­pany de­velop more in­no­va­tive prod­ucts such as the ones we al­ready of­fer such as spe­cial in­ter­est tours. It’s not just mine but a col­lec­tive vi­sion – to move from DMC oper­a­tion which is our core busi­ness to be­ing an ‘EMC’. It is a term we have coined which stands for Ex­pe­ri­ence Man­age­ment Com­pany. We want to of­fer more of ex­pe­ri­ences than any­thing else, whether it is wed­dings, tours, or cor­po­rate events.

Va­sund­hara Gupta Man­ager (Cor­po­rate and Trade Sales), Costa Cruise In­dia, GSA Lo­tus Des­ti­na­tions

Suprabh Oza Busi­ness Devel­op­ment Man­ager, Blue Star Air Travel Ser­vices

Alisha Shi­rod­kar Vice Pres­i­dent— Busi­ness Devel­op­ment Ta­marind Global

Adl Karim Di­rec­tor Cre­ative Tours & Trav­els

Neil Patil Founder and Di­rec­tor Veena World

Hus­sain Pa­tel Di­rec­tor At­las Trav­els On­line

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