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.
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