TravelBiz Monitor

In Conversation

Tuesday, 30 April, 2019, 10 : 39 AM [IST]
‘We will make TWX a company with strong corporate governance’

Q What made you associate with TWX?
Till a year ago, TWX was amongst the leading inbound operators in the country – a feat which they achieved in just 9 years! They had a commendable turnover of some INR 160 crores, multiple overseas locations and a market positioning which was the envy of many. It took just 18 months to see everything come crashing down. I was approached a few weeks ago by the key stakeholders to assist them in re-structuring and giving direction to the company. Since I am presently occupied with my own hotel company, it was not possible for me to associate full time with them, nor did I have the desire to focus on anything else, I have done my full-time tourism bit in life. However, they are my former colleagues, who are in a difficult situation. And the fact that I love such challenges, I agreed to join them in an honorary position and devote the necessary time and effort to work with them towards the company’s revival.

Q You say TWX was amongst the leading inbound operators. What lead them to the state they are in presently?
I say this as an outsider who has no axe to grind; as a person who in the last four weeks has got an in-depth knowledge of what happened and how things stand; and I say this with full responsibility. The wound is self-inflicted by those who did not care about systems, processes and most importantly, integrity. Our first audit report post the fiasco has been made by an eminent chartered accounting firm, and I must admit that I am horrified to see the levels of misappropriation and mismanagement – every single rule and process of business has been flouted. This in turn led to non-payment to vendors and a cash flow crisis within the company. Expenses were allowed to balloon and inflate, while the company and the down line staff suffered.

Q What steps does the management plan to take to rectify the situation?
As a first measure, we have to regain confidence, both internally and externally. Internally, quite obviously the staff is under pressure and unsure of what the future holds for them. We must hand hold them and gain back their confidence. We are having regular meetings with them,keeping them fully informed of exactly what is going on and what steps are being taken. Systems are being streamlined with a more professional approach towards our deliverables. Externally, the reputation has taken a beating as many vendors have not been paid their dues for some two years. Obviously, they are apprehensive to do business with us and I cannot fault them. We are putting in place a very clear time schedule of payments and hope to clear most of the outstanding payments by the end of this summer, and the little balance by winter. We are sitting with our business partners, explaining to them why what happened and I hope that they will see sincerity in what we plan. At the same time, we are ensuring that we do not lose any business to competition and are cutting unnecessary expenditures drastically.

Q What gives you hope for the future?
Two key supports. First – we still have a set of amazing and dedicated team members, who despite all that they have been through, still believe in the TWX story. They are our biggest strength in this difficult recovery and I cannot appreciate their commitment enough. Second – the two key players Hemant Golchha and Sanjay Mathema, Directors, TWX – who in my personal opinion have been really mislead all the way through; and Rajeev Rao, who continues to head part of our overseas sales efforts. It is their perseverance and determination to make sure that TWX gets back on its feet. Infusion of funds is planned in a staggered manner to pay back each and every penny which is rightfully due to our partners and vendors. Quite obviously, this is going to take a little time as there are many created over these last two years which have to be accounted for.

Q What would the ‘new’ TWX be like?
A core team has been formed which consists of the three Directors - Hemant Golchha, Sanjay Mathema, Rajeev Rao and myself. We have one basic belief – there is no compromise when it comes to honesty and integrity. We want this to be the foundation of what you say is the ‘new’ TWX. We will make it a company which does not depend on fiefdoms and whims and fancies of individuals, but has strong corporate governance. We will make sure that going forward, our team members who have hung on till now and still believe in the TWX story are recognised for their loyalty. We will be a company where instead of top line, it is the bottom line, coupled with a great standard of service and fair play with our partners will become the driving force. And in this new TWX, we will take all necessary legal and criminal action against those who have brought us to the state that we certainly do not deserve to be in. Trust has to be a two-way street.