Sandeep Bangara: A Wanderer On A Global Travel Assistance Mission

Sandeep Bangara: A Wanderer On A Global Travel Assistance Mission

Sandeep Bangara,President Director

Sandeep Bangara

President Director

Successful business leaders are abundantly passionate, not just about their interests, but also about their missions, the products or services they offer and what they mean to the lives of their customers. They're passionate about changing the world in their own way. Sandeep Bangara (President & Director, Assist Card), from a very young age, developed his love for travelling has eventually transformed his passion to entrepreneurship. He believes that travelling connects people from different countries, varied regions and diverse landforms as well as gives the opportunity to realize and mitigate the voids and problems that are associated with their life. Being a traveler himself, he realizes the fact that as much as people love to travel around different corners of the world, travelling also brings certain unavoidable challenges along with it. Sandeep, being an inherent leader, desires to address the drawbacks of the tourism industry and build better travel experiences for the people.

"I was able to build a hospital network in Indonesia that has helped both our local offices as well as our inter national offices tremendously. So, having a strong network is the key in the travel assistance business”

The strong desire to make travelling easier for people around the globe, made him connect himself to Assist Card, which today, after almost five decades after its inception, is one of the world's leading companies providing comprehensive travel assistance services. Assist Card was established in 1972 as a pioneer in developing the concept of assisting people on trips and offering them immediate services in case of any requirement anywhere in the world.

Sandeep, with a rock-solid vision, stepped into the company to not only fill the existing voids in the industry, but also helping people to achieve their travel dreams. He also reminisces that stemming a career from his passion has helped him establish his vision, mission and energy which have helped every organization he has worked with to reach greater heights. In addition to his exceptional capability to inspire and mentor his team, Sandeep is also an optimistic, dedicated, and innovative leader who possesses the quality to hear everyone's opinion and the capacity to make decisions faster at key moments. Below is an excerpt of the CEO Insights' exclusive interview with Sandeep.

Take us through your professional
journey. How has the experience been?
I began my career in the travel industry 24 years back and worked for different travel agencies since then. During the course I have worked with several renowned organizations. I have been the Assistance Sales Officer at Global Aviation Services and Assistant Manager for Trach Representation India & Ascon Travel. Furthermore, I have been associated with, as being its Deputy Manager. I also have an experience working with ICICI Lombard, Zonal Manager at Bajaj Allianz, and the President Director for Hospitap. For 12 years now I have been playing an integral part for Assist Card being their President Director for the offices in Indonesia.

Our vision is to help travelers in any situation, at any time and in any place

Define Assist Card as an organization. What is the unique proposition that it offers to the clients?
Assist card is the world's leading company in comprehensive travel assistance. It was founded in Switzerland in 1972, and it has been a member of the Starr Companies group since 2011. It is a pioneer in developing the concept of assisting people on trips and offering them
immediate services. It manages the world's largest network of providers with high quality standards and the ability to efficiently solve the problems, through a single contact from any mobile device with the Assist Card application. We provide a wide range of services like medical assistance abroad, legal assistance, luggage insurance, personal accidents insurance, sanitary transfer and assistance in case of delayed flights all under one roof. Our vision is to help travelers in any situation, at any time and in any place.

How is your professional experience helping you maneuver Assist Card to greater heights?
Every day is a learning experience. I was able to build a hospital network in Indonesia that has helped both our local offices as well as our international offices tremendously, so having a strong network is the key in the travel assis tance business. Trust and faith from head office have enabled us here to make quick changes or decisions to adapt to market requirements. I believe one needs to have a vision for a hundred years ahead and a good team to execute the same.

How has been your response to the challenges posted by the pandemic? How would you describe your role in tackling those challenges?
The pandemic has affected the travel industry at a large scale.
During this difficult time, the first positive move that we made was in March 2020. We were successfully able to include the COVID cover into our product line and we were the first in Indonesia to execute it.

I actively played the role of an employer, a friend, a motivator, and an advisor, in order to help our company to move smoothly even at the time of downfall. We had to tighten our belts and work harder than ever to maintain our clientele and retain our staff.

In your professional journey so far, which are the milestones that bestowed you with utmost satisfaction?
As an individual I believe I was fortunate enough to get into Harvard Business School for pursuing specialization courses. I was also appointed as a member of the Board of Governors at the British School, Jakarta.

It is ranked among the top five International Schools in Indonesia. Furthermore, as the President Director of Assist Card, it is a great achievement to see the employees grow in the company and as a team create new records in the market.

What changes do you anticipate in market behavior and what are the opportunities that you foresee? Also tell us about your future goals as an entrepreneur as well as an industry leader.
Travel industry continues to evolve. Accor ding to the SAP Concur study, 38 percent of millennials want to take an International Bucket List trip in 2021. Now that billions of vaccine doses have been administered worldwide and the number of vaccinations continues to climb, one thing is certain, the travel industry will return. Those who stay engaged with customers now and reassure their safety will reap the rewards when those customers choose to travel again. The future of travel will include reassurance in many ways. The pandemic will definitely leave travelers more aware of health measures. On the other hand, individually, my future goal is to build a hospital that specializes in Cardiology. I also want to expose myself to the food and beverage industry. Furthermore, I plan to open small clinics across Indonesia to cater basic health needs of the people and spread health awareness across the region.

Sandeep Bangara, President & Director, Assist Card
Sandeep holds special certifications from Harvard Business School. He possesses strong experience in the travel industry and now, he is the President Director of Assist Card for 12 years.

Hobbies: Travelling, listening to music and cooking,
Favorite Cuisine: The Sundanese & Chinese Cuisine
Favorite Book: Tintin
Favorite Travel Destination: Guam

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