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Tuesday, 02 June, 2020, 19 : 10 PM [IST]

Global experts constitute ‘Start-Up Mentor Board’ to assist travel technology players

Aim is to offer support through mentoring, collaboration & financial assistance
With COVID-19 pandemic worse impacting travel patterns globally, players in the industry across verticals are looking at newer measures to begin business recovery. With work from home and video conferencing becoming the order of the way, technology seems to be increasingly becoming an inseparable part of the business process.

At this crucial juncture, experts from varied sectors based in different parts of the world have come together on a common platform, ‘Start-Up Mentor Board’ (SMB). The idea behind constituting SMB is to mentor, guide and assist travel, tourism and hospitality start-ups in using digital technology to scale operations. 

These mentors are well-known business leaders from diverse backgrounds in business transformation, technology, digital and e-commerce. They bring their strengths in emerging technologies, market place models, payment solutions and IT infrastructure & consulting, besides a wide integration and connect with the global travel ecosystem in terms of collaborations, alliances and business synergies. 

The Board is spearheaded by Ashish Kumar, a well-known thought leader and Co-Chairman of FICCI Travel Technology Committee. The Board comprises Bharti Maan, who has lead start-ups to scale rapidly, Patrick Richards, an experienced travel industry leader in the UK, Anuj Jain, who has lead technology based transformational initiatives, Kartik Sharma, an artificial intelligence practitioner, Karthik Venkataraman, a digital transformation & an e-commerce visionary, Jure Bratkic, who has lead innovative solutions in the USA and Kyasha Bhoola, with advanced insight in the travel industry across Africa.

Commenting on this initiative, Kumar said, “The pandemic has flattened the world; more so the travel & tourism industry. Obviously, with all of us there is a strong desire to give in terms of our knowledge and intellectual property (IP), which will help carry us across the line.” 

Kumar spoke about his initiative ‘Coffee with Ashish’ on Facebook, an interactive session held twice a week, where he speaks to business leaders across verticals on business strategies, marketing plans and business upheavals and recovery during crisis. These sessions leverage the power of technology and social media for a wider reach.

He believes that technology and automation are the new normal. Embracing technology across business processes is the only way forward, and therefore the SMB will play an instrumental role in assisting players in the space by sharing knowledge, experience, case studies and business plans.

Sharing his views, Richards stated, “Today's business challenge to "do more with less," is daunting and will only be achieved deploying technology. The board felt a calling to put its collective professional experience at the disposal of smart entrepreneurs; lending them a hand to develop great new market ready solutions.” 

The Start-Up Mentor Board will roll out its website and social media pages by the end of this week. The Board will offer support in three parts – guidance on the business, strategy, scale; collaboration with experts and brands, and financial assistance in the form of connecting with firms specialising in M&As, fund raising, etc. 


 
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