Tag Archives: Co-founder

Yatra acquires PL Worldways to strengthen foothold in South India

Yatra Online has announced the acquisition of the corporate travel business of PL Worldways Limited (PLW), a Chennai-based corporate travel services provider. This acquisition will help strengthen Yatra’s foothold in the southern India region along with adding over 100 corporate clients to its existing client base of over 700. Commenting on the acquisition, Dhruv Shringi, Co-Founder and CEO, Yatra Online, said, “PL Worldways has an unparalleled reputation in corporate travel in the southern part of the country due to its strong customer focus and unmatched service. With this acquisition, we not only strengthen our position in the growing corporate travel market in India but also in Southern India, which has been in our cross-hairs for some time. Our endeavour will be to deliver best-in-class service to PLW’s existing customer base, through our self-booking platform and expense management solution software. We look forward to welcoming PL Worldways team to the Yatra family.” Anil Pathak, Chairman, PL Worldways, said, “We are excited for PL Worldways to join Yatra family. PL Worldways’ local connect and customer service expertise will complement Yatra’s technology platform and leverage the largest hotel network in the country; helping clients optimise their travel spend and improve their travel processes.”

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Clarks Inn debuts in Nepal with Sneha Clarks Inn Suites, Nepalgunj

Clarks Inn Group of Hotels has signed one of mid-west Nepal’s most iconic properties, Hotel Sneha in Nepalgunj, now known as Sneha Clarks Inn Suites. The new addition marks Clarks Inn’s first operational debut in Nepal and the second property overall, including one in Kathmandu that is expected to open door later this year. Nepalgunj, a border town located just across the Indo-Nepal border along the state of UP, is fast emerging as a tourism hotspot of the mid-west region of Nepal. The border city serves as the gateway to the majestic Himalayas, wildlife and national parks, trekking routes and a host of water sports activities. Combining the old-world charm with cutting-edge guest services, Sneha Clarks Inn Suites is a more than 50 years old property with its colonial era architectural designs and the latest in amenities and world-class guest services. The 60-key property, currently a three-star hotel, is soon to be a four-star hotel as it has already applied for the four-star certification and is awaiting the same in about a month’s time. S N Srivastava, President & Co-founder, Clarks Inn Group of Hotels, said, “This is our operational debut in Nepal and we are doing so with a property that befits this special milestone for us. It’s a 60 key property spread over a huge area with big landscaped lush green lawns and international feel. The property will cater to guests with impeccable in-room guest amenities and provide facilities like swimming pool, for both adults and children, spa, health club and casino.” According to Bhawani Rana, Managing Director, Sneha Group of Companies, “Our tie-up with Clarks Inn is a step in the direction to strengthen border tourism and …

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MakeMyTrip appoints Vipul Prakash as COO

MakeMyTrip has announced the appointment of Vipul Prakash as Chief Operating Officer for MakeMyTrip and Goibibo. In this role, Prakash will be responsible for developing and executing  strategic direction and priorities of the company. He joins MakeMyTrip from PepsiCo where he was last serving as Senior Vice President–Beverage Category for PepsiCo India region. Rajesh Magow, Co-Founder and CEO–India, MakeMyTrip, said, “We are excited to welcome Vipul to our leadership team. His rich experience of two decades at PepsiCo spanning geographies, deep understanding of consumer market and expertise in industry leading operational practices are truly invaluable. We are confident that his proven track record and extensive experience will extend MakeMyTrip’s upward trajectory.” Speaking about his new role, Prakash said, “MakeMyTrip is an iconic brand that has played a defining role in shaping the online travel space in India. I have been truly impressed with the company’s institutional expertise and relentless focus on serving customers better. I look forward to drive the next phase of innovation and growth through operational excellence.” Prior to joining MakeMyTrip, Vipul was associated with PepsiCo for 20 years. In his previous role, he was responsible for delivering revenue growth, share and brand equity for PepsiCo’s beverage portfolio of five brands. Vipul joined PepsiCo in 1998 and held various positions in marketing and franchise, at sector and global levels. In 2007, he relocated to the US, where he spent three years on the International Beverages Marketing team and moved to Dubai in 2010 to head the Foods and Beverages Innovation department for PepsiCo Asia, Middle East and Africa before moving back to India.

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STB appoints T&A Consulting as marketing representative for South India

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has appointed T&A Consulting as its official marketing representative agency for South India with effect from October 1, 2018. For the first time, India moved up a spot to become Singapore’s third-largest Visitor Arrival (VA) source market, with 1.27 million visitors in 2017 – a 16 per cent YoY growth, which made India the fastest-growing market for Singapore. Headquartered in New Delhi, T&A Consulting is a boutique advisory firm with an expertise in promoting India outbound tourism. As the official marketing representative of STB, T&A Consulting will be responsible for making Singapore as the preferred travel destination among consumers in South India, promoting quality tourism for leisure and business travel, increasing visitor arrivals and tourism spend as well as engaging with the travel trade. Adrian Kong, Area Director – South Asia, Singapore Tourism Board, said, “Singapore has consistently been ranked among the top most-visited destinations for families, honeymooners, cruisers, business travellers and incentive groups from India. The destination has received over 1 million visitors from India for three consecutive years, with South India being a significant visitor source market for us. With direct flights from nine cities and close travel proximity to Singapore, this region will continue to be an important visitor-ship driver.” According to Tarun Gupta, Co-founder and Managing Director, T&A Consulting, “Our role will be to enhance the positioning of Singapore as a favoured travel destination for travellers from South India. Our team aims to build more affinity for the destination through engagement with the travel trade fraternity and other relevant stakeholders”.

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MP Tourism selects DJUBO to drive online bookings

In line with its stated objectives of driving higher online revenues and tech adoption in its 68 properties, Madhya Pradesh Tourism has chosen DJUBO as its hotel technology ERP partner providing them an all-in-one offering including cloud-based property management system, online channel management, direct booking engine, point of sale and accounting back end integrations. Speaking on the occasion of the launch of this partnership, Sankalp Goel, Co-Founder, DJUBO stated, “It is an honour that DJUBO has been chosen by MP Tourism after a thorough examination of various national and international technology product companies. It is a great testament to the all-in-one hotel technology solution that DJUBO has been building for 3 years and gaining rapid traction for.” Vijay Kumar, Chief Corporate Marketing Executive, Madhya Pradesh Tourism said, “DJUBO offers state-of-the-art capabilities coupled with new age integrations and an extremely user-friendly interface to ensure quick and widespread adoption across all our hotel staff members. DJUBO will help MP Tourism increase its revenues through online platforms both domestic and international through its channel management capabilities. At the same time, we will be using DJUBO’s Property Management and Point of Sale capabilities to manage their front office, restaurant and travel desk.” MP Tourism and DJUBO have also worked together to launch a new product called DJUBO AgentConnekt which will connect hundreds of MP Tourism travel agents across the country to the Centralized Reservation System offered by DJUBO.  

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TBO Group gets stronger as SCPE acquires Naspers’ stake

TBO Group seems to have come out stronger as Standard Chartered Private Equity (SCPE) acquires Naspers’ stake in TBO Group. SCPE now owns 49 per cent of the stake vis-a-vis Nasper that earlier owned 52 per cent with both co-founders currently owning 51 per cent stake. Ankush Nijhawan, Co-founder, TBO Group, says, “SCPE now believes in our business model that we have built in the last twelve years; I think the game has just begun.” In his message to travel agents, he added, “TBO has been known for innovations in tech-segments. TBO Academy is something we just built and started, and we have also recently launched the Roamer App. We will also bring cruises online by the end of the year.” Talking about SCPE’s plans for TBO, Nijhawan said, “SCPE is very bullish on our business plans, they believe in us and they are going to be the growth drivers for us in the global market as well as India. They will back us in whatever we think is great for the company.”  

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New portal ‘Innowayt’ aims to become the new marketplace

Venya Traveltech India has launched the beta version of the b2b travel platform Innowayt after eight months of developing its product and building its team. The portal is a b2b travel marketplace enabling DMCs and travel suppliers across the globe to transact with travel agents and tour operators. Narayan Mallapur, CEO & Co-Founder, Venya Traveltech, says, “We started Innowayt with a vision of fixing the current state of broken b2b travel transactions globally. To rethink travel technology and make it invisible but truly assistive, we allow the travel trade to do what they love – take care of their clients.” Vikas Khanduri, Co-Founder, adds, “Travel technology has touched all aspects of travel space – flights, buses, trains, transfers. What remains are tours and activities and as per Phocuswright Research, globally the tours and activities business is 80 per cent offline and growing at the rate of nine per cent p a with a market size of US$ 118 billion. That’s a big opportunity which we want to tap.” Mallapur adds that they did a survey with industry experts, suppliers and agents from various destinations in August and September 2017, and started developing the platform from October end with a dedicated tech team of seven. They registered the entity in April 2018. “We have already begun on-boarding suppliers and DMCs from various countries from May 28 under beta. As on today, we have registered 55+ suppliers and on-boarded 33 from these 55. We are looking at 110 countries for suppliers. We plan to onboard agents from end of July and will initially target India, US and European markets. At the moment, we are bootstrapped,” he says.

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Treebo acquires events company Events High to enrich overall travel experience

Treebo has announced its acquisition of Events High, a marketplace for experiential events and activities for an undisclosed amount. Events High’s acquisition is strategically aligned with Treebo’s mission to become India’s most loved travel network by delivering delightful experiences to every traveller. Events High offers customers information on, and ability to book activities like treks and hikes, cooking classes, dance classes, concerts, heritage walks, nightlife, etc. in eight cities – Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata and Goa. The move will effectively enable Treebo to enter the thriving events and activities segment in India. Post the acquisition, Treebo has absorbed the entire Events High team. Commenting on the acquisition, Sidharth Gupta, Co-founder, Treebo said, “We are on a mission to offer delightful experiences to travellers and build the most loved travel network by offering curated local events and activities to our customers through Events High. Experiencing these local activities is a core part of people’s travel plans. More so now than ever before, people are keen to buy ‘experiences’ not ‘things’.” Nikesh Garera, Co-founder and CEO, Events High said, “Customers value engagement and unique experiences, and Events High has always been committed to curate these experiences and make them discoverable. Stay is an integral part of the huge number of travellers who attend such experiences, and with Treebo we share the vision to offer delightful experiences to such travellers.”

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Tunisia and Visit Maghreb showcase tourism potential in Delhi

The Embassy of Tunisia and Visit Maghreb, a Tunisia-based DMC held a special ‘meet and greet’ session with the travel trade and media in New Delhi recently. Boujdaria Jamel, Deputy Chief of Mission, First Counsellor, Embassy of Tunisia and Anouar Hachemane, Co-Founder, spoke about the tourism potential of Tunisia and the attractions there. Informing about the flight connections to Tunisia, they informed that there is no need for a visa for Indians visiting Tunisia. Hachemane also shared a few itinerary options that would attract Indian travellers.

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Travkart enters Mumbai with franchisee programme

With a vision to strengthen its pan-India service network, Travkart has signed on its first franchise in Mumbai. The move is in line with Travkart’s endeavour to tap the immense potential that Mumbai offers. What also makes the launch of Travkart’s franchisee programme in Mumbai an interesting development is the end-to-end business support that it offers to partner travel agencies. As part of the programme, the company will provide assistance to the associated travel agency to help it deliver better end-customer services. It provides comprehensive training spearheaded by a qualified in-house franchise manager, in addition to extensive operational assistance, to ensure seamless operations. The platform plans to undertake similar expansion in cities such as Chennai, Chandigarh and Nagpur. Manheer Singh Sethi, Co-founder, Travkart commented, “As India’s business hub, Mumbai is one of the most promising travel markets in the country. There exists a growing demand for travel packages within the city, which is why we are delighted to have signed our first franchisee here. While we received a large number of requests, we closed a franchising agreement with The Kangaroo Travels based on its commitment to the brand’s long-term growth and the end-customer’s satisfaction. Our aim is to expand our presence in all major cities in India and build 100 Travkart franchisees by 2020.”  

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