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Wednesday, 28 November, 2018, 11 : 17 AM [IST]

The Visionary - Radha Bhatia

Anurag Tiwari

Radha Bhatia, a teacher turned into entrepreneur, is assuredly one of the most respected and trusted names in the travel industry, not only because of the group she leads, but also because of her humbleness and fore-sightedness. In the words of people, her commitment to the travel industry has been visible in her ability to translate sound knowledge and experience of several years into real time projects. Her passion for work comes with commitment to society that makes her a true visionary entrepreneur, who always puts her best foot forward for the betterment of the industry and society at large.

Bird Group describes Radha Bhatia as a rare pathfinder. Rightly so as it’s not easy to change one’s profession and then be a pioneer in a relatively a new subject. Bhatia has been a dynamic figure which has transformed the structure of the travel company. Bird Group, founded in 1971 with set-up of Bird Travels, today has more than 45 offices supported by over 9,000 staff and a clientele of over more than 500 top corporates.

Bhatia is a graduate from the Sophia Girls School in Meerut and also holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology. She commenced her career as a teacher and taught for four years in her school. Following her marriage to Vijay Bhatia, Bhatia moved to Delhi, and within a year started assisting her husband in the family business in the travel industry, though she has had no relevant formal education for the same.

Bhatia having witnessed revolution across four decades recalls the different phases. “I have seen the revolution in the travel industry. For instance, earlier the reservation system was a Hurclean task. But with the era of technological revolution, after which we ventured with Amadeus, the process has been the one of the smoothest.”

She has conceived several new and successful organisations within the BPO, technology and travel segments. Among all these, there is one accolade which Bhatia has earned is being the founder of Bird Academy. Founded in 1998, Bird Academy is born with a vision to create a pool of talent with specialided knowledge and skills required by the travel and related industries. Educating the fresh talent and training them the ‘Bird’ way has always been something that Bhatia is fond of. Bird Academy, since its inception, has offered more than 20,000 trained professionals to the travel, tourism and related sectors.

“The students at Bird Academy are looked on as credible potential employees, and face no hassles in getting placements. We are expanding with passage of time and getting along with top management institutes for inculcating in our students managerial and multitasking skills,” she expresses.

An entrepreneur who has held many important positions in her long and successful career, Bhatia is the founder member of the World Travel & Tourism Council India Initiative and she still holds the distinction of being its former Chairman Bhatia is also the President for Women in Aviation India Chapter.

Society and industry go hand-in-hand for Bhatia. It is difficult to describe Bhatia if there is no mention of her philanthropies. Bird Group’s partnership with NGOs such as Parvarish, Sukarya and Bhatia Welfare Society are few examples of the same.

Her dedication and keen interest in giving back to society led Bhatia to form WE (Women Empowerment) under the Bird Foundation. WE, which was formed with an objective to connect, educate, and empower, has partnered with Delhi Police in conducting self-defence courses for the women as well as general public.

A firm believer in creating a clean and green environment, Bhatia has also in the past participated in various plantation events, educating people about its importance.

A recipient of many prestigious accolades, she also holds the distinction of being awarded The Outstanding Woman Entrepreneur of the Year for 9 years till 2007. She has also been awarded the Social Responsibility Award 2015 at the India Excellence Awards because of her valuable contribution to the society.

Bhatia is enthusiastic about gardening, cooking, painting, and music, and makes it a point to indulge in her hobbies on a regular basis. During weekends, she tends to her garden and involves her grandchildren in planting seeds and saplings. She likes playing the sitar and believes that there is always more to learn in music. For her, music is as therapeutic as yoga.

Bhatia lives in a joint family, and is very close to her grandchildren. Bhatia believes that grandchildren imbibe many values from their grandparents, and therefore she attempts to pass on the lessons that she has learnt from her grandparents, she adds.

Balancing both roles as a home-maker and a successful entrepreneur, Bhatia believes that organising one’s time and priorities and trusting the right people is the mantra to create a harmonious work life balance. Her innate vision is to be a source of inspiration for the diverse Bird family and to work together for the future growth of the Bird Group.

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