In Part Two of the series. Express TravelWorld spoke to a few more new generation travel leaders to get their vision and how they plan to take their legacy forward.
‘TECHNOLOGY IS THE PRESENTAND IF YOUR PRESENT IS NOT SECURE, THE FUTURE IS VERY BLEAK’
Embracing technology and the millennial work culture will make companies future ready says Suyash Gupta, driver-in-chief, Transportal
Gen Nxt thought: Gen Nxt are the baton bearers but also let them run their own race
What was your primary motivator to pursue your professional goals in the travel and tourism sector?
Well, in my case, it's the story of tourism being ingrained in my DNA. I remember receiving groups of foreign tourists at home and attending IATO conventions when I was eight years old. Further, having been lucky enough to travel and study abroad, it was clear as day, that the tourism sector in India has not even reached one per cent of its true potential. I strongly believe that with sustained efforts from the private sector, supported by strong tourism focused government policies, tourism can alleviate poverty, create jobs and become the biggest contributor to the Indian GDP.
Is there a particular observation you have made about the industry, both as a challenge or an opportunity?
The Adoption of Technology. The advent of technology is old news, it's the adoption, which is the biggest challenge. Boutique travel agencies, small hotels, local tours will soon see themselves being left behind the curve if they do not actively invest in adopting technology. Simple examples, like OYO overtaking other hotel brands in terms of being the biggest hotel chain, companies like Trivago, Expedia and TBO taking a lion's share in the hotels and ticketing space.
This challenge thus also provides an opportunity. Embracing technology and the millennial work culture will make companies future ready. I also want to take this opportunity to bust the myth that technology is very expensive and 'I am too old to learn and change.’ All it takes is an open mind and being willing to learn sometimes from people who are much younger but can have great knowledge about technology. For us at Transportal, our technology has helped us spread our network to 28 cities in less than 14 months and being able to offer logistics solutions to large scale events with more than 5000 people with just a five member team. Based out of Gurgaon we can service a client in Mumbai for their guest's requirements in 18 cities.
What’s your vision for the business?
At AgraWalks, which is now being rebranded as Indian Experiences, our vision is to showcase quintessential Indian cultural experiences to foreign tourists. We consciously involve NGOs and independent guides, Yoga instructors, etc to lead our tours, hence giving them a chance to hone their business skills and to be able to interact and transact with a foreign clientele as well. Something very close to our hearts is giving foreign tourists, the correct picture of India which is largely very safe and welcoming. At Transportal, we are enabling micro entrepreneurs such as small fleet owners, driver cum owners to use our technology to not only manage their own businesses but also get access to a nationwide clientele. Fleet owners with three to four cars get a constant flow of business through us, and the real success comes when this entrepreneur is able to add cars to his fleet. Transportal is still very young and boot-strapped. We are one of the few companies, in the new age start-up world, that uses the proceeds we generate from our business activities to fund further expansion and tech development plans.
Eventually, Transportal will become a large tech-enabled aggregator of tourist vehicles across the country. Through the use of APIs we shall partner with large OTAs, travel companies and also give boutique tour operators, the access to a wide range of transport options available across the country available, right on his dashboard.
Technology has been a substantial game changer. Comment.
I get this question very often now, and I could not implore on this any more. Technology is the PRESENT and if your present is not secure, the future is very bleak. The travel and tourism sector has seen and will see rampant shift to becoming heavily tech oriented. The competitive landscape is getting even more cutthroat and the ones who embrace technology shall be the winners. How the customer consumes content has changed - AI based hotel check ins, Blockchain based travel history sharing, are now realities. Very soon you will not need to give an ID or passport at check in and AI based camera will read your face, cross reference with a worldwide secure blockchain shared by hotels across the world and viola, the check in is processed. I strongly advise travel companies, small hotels chains to spend time reading and consulting with people with some background in tech to get custom solutions for themselves and sensitise their staff towards technology.
Your Gen Nxt thought?
It's a relay race, the GenNxt are the baton bearers of this legacy, empower them, guide them but also let them run their own race.
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