Travel Startups Leaders Shaping Dreams into Destination

Travel Startups Leaders Shaping Dreams into Destination

Travel Startups Leaders Shaping Dreams into Destination

Chirag Agrawal, Co-Founder, TravClan, 0

Chirag, a Mechanical Engineering graduate of IIT Roorkee and an MBA holder from IIM Ahmedabad, led strategic projects as a Monitor Group (Deloitte) consultant. With a background in consulting for multibillion-dollar firms, his entrepreneurial drive and strategic vision fuel business growth. Proficient in operations, strategy, and business development.

In an interaction with CEOInsights Magazine, Chirag shared insights on India's travel sector, emphasizing digitization's transformative impact, improved agent accessibility, cost-effective payment solutions, and the integration of AI for enhanced back-office operations. Below are the key extracts from the exclusive interview:

Since time immemorial, travel has been more than a mere physical journey to mankind. In essence, it's a gateway to diverse cultures, landscapes and perspectives. In an interconnected world, travel serves as a bridge between people, transcending boundaries and cultivating a global community. Whether for leisure or business, the importance of travel lies in its ability to inspire, educate, and create lasting memories. Moving forward with shifting economic structures and increasing disposable income, travel has turned into a life-style. As the travel industry evolves, embracing digital advancements continues to play a crucial role in shaping our collective experiences, ushering in an era of unprecedented convenience and customization. In this following article Chirag Agrawal, Co-Founder of TravClan and a notable face in new-age travel, guiding us through the travel startup ecosystem. Let’s read through.

How is digitization changing the Indian travel sector and what is the future for travel startups?
Undeniably, with the growing access to mobile phones and the advent of digitization are altering the way individuals interact with products, content and services. They also brought a revolution in one of the most joyful activities of life that is traveling. Today the internet has pushed our lives to such a great extent of convenience that one can easily plan a vacation, book travel tickets, and clarify all their queries related to travel from the comfort of their home. With the availability of developed travel applications, people no longer have to rely on maps, guidebooks and compasses for traveling. Additionally, with cutting-edge features like filter, price comparison, discount offers, bookmarking, push notifications and more integrate new shifts in tourism by enabling travelers to engage in value-added and personalized engagement. And, coming back to the future of travel startups in India, definitely it appears promising backed by factors such as increasing disposable income, growing middle class population, and a rising interest in travel.

How has digitization made travel booking easier for agents in India?
In recent years, the travel industry in India has undergone a transformative journey, with digitization playing a pivotal role in reshaping the landscape of travel booking. From the emergence of online booking platforms to the integration of cutting-edge tools, digitization has significantly streamlined processes, providing travel agents in India with unprecedented access to information, improved automation, and enhanced communication channels. SAAS travel solutions/ B2b travel solutions are now equipping travel agents with easy access to a wide range of travel options, including flights, hotels, and activities. Agents can use these platforms to quickly compare prices, check availability, and book services for their clients. Additionally, these digital tools and platforms have automated many
aspects of the booking process, such as reservations, ticketing, and payment processing, allowing agents to focus on more complex and personalized aspects of customer service, thus reducing the manual workload for travel agents. Truly speaking, digitization has made travel booking more efficient, convenient, and flexible for agents in India. It has streamlined processes, improved access to information, and enhanced the overall customer experience.

How are travel startup leaders helping smaller agents with cost-effective payments and credit?
Travel startup leaders are playing a crucial role by supporting smaller travel agents through strategies that facilitate cost-effective payments and access to credit. They are avidly integrating digital payment solutions that minimize transaction costs. Also, they are leveraging online payment gateways and digital wallets, which reduce the reliance on traditional, more expensive payment methods. With respect to cost-effective payments, many fintech companies are coming up, focusing on travel segment as it's a booming segment and the transaction size is huge. They are independently offering payment gateways and alternate payment collection methods, as well as, providing cards, which are coming up with lower transaction fee along with some benefits associated with it. Secondly, since smaller enterprise are unable to accept payments through debit card or credit card, companies are now coming forward to offer payment gateways. Also, some 3rd party companies like us (TravClan) are providing solutions to travel agents so that they can accept payments through all modes available, whether it is UPI, debit card, credit card or net banking. By implementing such measures, travel start-up leaders can contribute to the financial sustainability of smaller travel agents, fostering a more inclusive and collaborative ecosystem within the travel industry. This support not only benefits individual agents, but also strengthens the overall resilience and competitiveness of the travel sector.

Travel startup leaders are playing a crucial role in supporting smaller travel agents by implementing strategies that facilitate cost-effective payments and access to credit.

How are travel startups leveraging AI for back-office solutions?
In the ever-evolving landscape of the travel industry, startups are harnessing the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to revolutionize their back-office operations. Recognizing the potential of AI to enhance efficiency, streamline processes, and foster innovation, travel startups are integrating intelligent technologies into various facets of their back-office solutions. From automated customer support and predictive analytics to dynamic pricing algorithms and workflow automation, AI is becoming the driving force behind the transformation of traditional operational models. In essence, AI is the door-way for tourism businesses to create personalized experiences for their guests accurately and efficiently. As AI can take in and process huge data loads. Once this data is collected and recorded, AI systems can run reports that easily show you what is going well and what people like and what people aren’t enjoying or gravitating towards. With these insights, we can alter and customize our visitors' experiences. It can also be used before customers are even physically with us, as we can set up AI operated live chats which will ensure the customers’ questions are answered without having to spend money and labor.

The dynamic landscape of travel startups reflects a continuous quest for innovation and adaptation. As technology reshapes the industry, these startups play a pivotal role in redefining the travel experience. From personalized itineraries to sustainable practices, their diverse contributions ensure that the journey is not just a destination, but an evolving and enriching adventure for all.