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Monday, 04 February, 2019, 18 : 45 PM [IST]

India office to lead JTB’s Strategic Meetings Management business in APAC

JTB India strengthens tie-up with technology provider Cvent by joining its ‘Gold Partnership’ programme
After restructuring its global business since January 1, 2019, JTB Group has decided to bestow the responsibility to drive the fairly new business vertical, Strategic Meetings Management (SMM), in the APAC region, including Japan, to their India subsidiary, JTB India. JTB started looking at the SMM programme seriously as a business vertical only in January 2018. “It’s a fairly established business in the US and Europe, but SMM is a new concept in Japan and APAC. We want to strengthen our hold in the SMM business in APAC, including Japan through India,” said Norio Nakamura, MD, JTB India.

Globally, JTB restructured its travel business by bringing the entire outbound MICE business under the Global Business Solutions division. SMM is a major focus vertical under the Global Business Solutions, Anil Srinivasan, Executive Director of JTB India said.

Having witnessed success in the first year of SMM’s launch, JTB is confident of consolidating it and growing it at least four-fold in 2019. “2018 was the first year for SMM, and we recorded a top line of INR 40 crore.  We signed up companies like Siemens for three years. We have more signings coming in with companies like Dassault.  We are expecting to close 2019 at a top line INR 160 crore,” said Srinivasan. The India subsidiary will provide the entire back office support to SMM for APAC, including Japan, he added.

As part of strengthening their hold in the SMM business, JTB India has signed up with Cvent, an integrated technology provider for the events industry globally, for their ‘Gold Partnership’ to provide advanced technology solutions to customers. JTB India has been working closely with Cvent since 2014, but decided to take it to newer heights by signing for the ‘Gold Partnership’ from January 1, 2019 with some ‘exclusivity’. This partnership will give JTB India support in terms of technology tools starting from venue sourcing to event registration to mobile apps, data analytics, etc.

“We see lot of value in this relationship. Technology will obviously add value to our customers in terms of managing compliances, managing programmes better, providing data analytics, and thereby enhancing the whole customer experience. Cvent will be of great support in solving the complex and diverse needs of our customers,” Srinivasan said.

When asked about the outbound MICE business from India, Srinivasan said that 2018 has been quite good for the company with 70% growth in the top line. While 30% of the business revenue is contributed by high-value Japanese corporate clients, he said that the rest is Indian corporate business.

Although the company had fair amount of success in pulling in Indian SME travel business last year, Srinivasan said that they would not be continuing with that strategy considering the investment on resources required to service that market. “It was a conscious decision because we wanted to reach the breakeven. But we will be going back to the hi-value market in 2019,” he said.

When asked about the prospects for 2019, Srinivasan said that despite the upcoming elections, the MICE pipeline for the first half of the year is robust, he added.
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