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Monday, 09 July, 2018, 10 : 40 AM [IST]

‘We will open 100 franchisees across major Indian cities’

Travkart, a technology backed company offering both online and offline holiday solutions, provides broad assistance to associated travel agencies to help deliver endcustomer services & drive greater business growth. It plans to expand presence in all major cities in India through franchisee outlets. Manheer Singh Sethi, Co- Founder, Travkart. com, in a telephonic conversation with Lucy Fernandes, spoke about the rising trend among Indian travellers, and their expansion plans.

QTravkart has been in the market for 3 years, how do you see the company evolving?
We started with selling fixed departure group tours, and give the live inventory confirmations on the system itself. It is a simple and user-friendly process designed keeping in mind the comfort and convenience of the customer. The process has been made so much easier that a customer will get to know about all the inclusions, exclusions without even calling any agent. We advertise ourselves as an immediate selling point. And the most trending behaviour in holidays is activities and tours, so for an experiential holiday we can book something for the customers on the go too, that’s a key factor.

QWhat was the aim of opening a franchise store in Mumbai?
As India’s business hub and its most populous city, Mumbai is one of the most promising travel markets in the country. There exists a massive and growing demand for travel packages within the city, which is why we signed a franchisee here. Since we receive a large number of requests, we decided to open the store in Mumbai. A physical store will help us to develop customer interaction and customers can also consult the travel professionals.

“Our primary aim is to build a
country-wide market presence
for Travkart, selling Indian and
global destinations will be the
driving force of our expansion
plan. Indian outbound travellers,
seeking experiential holidays are
fast maturing and evolving.”

QAre you planning any other franchise in Mumbai or any city of Maharashtra?
Our basic aim is to expand our presence in all major cities in India, and build 100 Travkart franchisees by 2020. We are dedicated to providing extensive operational assistance to our franchisees, and are also looking to help them secure the required funds for business development, operations, marketing, etc. With hasslefree unsecured working capital loans.

This is the fourth franchise store; we already have two stores in Delhi and one at Mohali. We are planning to open one more store in Delhi, Raipur and Chennai. We are targeting to open 20 stores by the year end.

QHow would you describe the current state of the online travel industry? What are the key trends among travellers?
While our primary aim is to build a country-wide market presence for Travkart, selling Indian and global destinations will be the driving force of our expansion plan. Indian outbound travellers, seeking experiential holidays are fast maturing and evolving. This is resulting in the trend of selfdrive holidays gaining immense popularity. This rising trend is driven by the ease of renting a car of their choice, rising purchasing power of the middle-class families, affordable navigation systems with GPS and also being able to drive with Indian license in many countries like Australia, New Zealand, the UK and India. The travel bug in millennials is also accelerating this trend as they are keen to explore destinations at their own pace and navigate wherever they want to in a cost-effective and hassle-free manner.

QBrief us about the products offered by Travkart.
The unique Immediate Selling Point feature of the app makes sure that from the time of booking until the tour is complete, users get notifications about the special offers, best deals or the most happening events and latest news about their chosen destination. We offer discounts and cash backs to users who sign up and book with the Travkart mobile application. Refer and Earn is another rewarding offer for all Travkart users available on the app. We also have live and instant confirmations; add on activities, price calendar, themed holidays, etc. The app facilitates seamless payments for travel bookings through digital wallet and payment gateway, and live chat feature, which adds another layer of convenience for travellers.

QWhat differentiates Travkart from other competitor companies?
We have collaborated with a vast network of partners and suppliers that includes online and offline travel agents to create a highly efficient value chain and ensure delivery of high quality services to our customers. Through our prepurchased holiday inventory, we take care of the traveller’s end-to-end travel needs from departures and accommodation to creating specific itineraries for sightseeing. We offer customers a superlative travel experience by leveraging our core expertise in the offline travel business with a robust tech infrastructure.

The Indian market has witnessed highest spenders in the international travel segment. We believe that technology-enabled business processes are the best way to optimise and improve team efficiencies, reach out to larger markets through innovative marketing tools like social media, and leverage the growth opportunity offered by the increasingly lucrative market forces.
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