Rajat Bagaria joins the fight for the Presidentship of TAFI leading team ‘Creative Change’
Things have started gaining momentum at the Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) with the current Joint Secretary Rajat Bagaria (Shrishti Tours & Travels Pvt Ltd) joining the race for the post of President at the upcoming elections on July 24. Bagaria, an old hand at TAFI, has been serving as the Convention Co-Chairman since the past three editions and is also the TAFI Representative at World Travel Agents Associations Alliance (WTAAA). Bagaria has worked his way through the association (he joined TAFI in 2006) from Committee Member to Secretary and Chairman of Western India, and elevating himself to the national team as Managing Committee member and eventually being elected as Joint Secretary.
With the motto of ‘Creative Change’, Bagaria is leading the team of Bharat Shah, Sun Beam Travels Pvt Ltd; Natrajan Ramji, Travel Masters India Pvt Ltd; Jayesh Tharani, Hopco Travels Pvt Ltd; Nishant Pitti, EaseMyTrip.com; Teddy Thomas, Oasis Xpress Travel & Tours; Nasir Zaidi, Pacific Travels; Sapna Rateria, Cirrus Travels & Holidays LLP; and Suneet Rawat, A K Travel & Tours Pvt Ltd.
Talking to TravelBiz Monitor, Bagaria said, “The pandemic has completely changed the business dynamics. There was a mutual feeling among the members as well as the senior leadership that the association needs to have a younger team to be able to drive TAFI in this age of digital revolution. While we took some time to decide on our team members, it was a conscious choice to include a diverse variety of business representatives specialising from airlines, railways, seamen traffic, outbound, inbound to OTAs. Each of the representatives of team Creative Change is a business owner with first-hand experience of the kind of challenges and opportunities that the market presents in this changed scenario. Moreover, each of us is ready to offer hands on support to take the trade community at large, and TAFI in general, forward.”
Talking about his areas of priorities, Bagaria spoke about expanding membership base and reaching out to agents in smaller towns, and hitherto untapped locations through digital outreach. “The pandemic has been the biggest learning. We now have the opportunity to address issues of agents in remote locations and communicative effectively through hybrid meetings.”
Moreover, the Joint Bank Guarantee (JBG) scheme that was launched by TAFI five years ago, Bagaria plans to expand it to include a wider base of members. “On its launch, we had 95 members as part of the JBG scheme. Today, the number has increased to 300. The benefit of JBG needs to be effectively communicated to enable even a smaller agent to increase his business network.”
With regards to competing for the post with Ajay Prakash, former President of TAFI, Bagaria said, “We both are working for the betterment for the trade, and come with different ideas for our teams. I have huge respect for Prakash having worked with him in the past. In fact, I plan to continue seeking advice from previous national leaders like Ajay Prakash, Vasuki, Zakkir Ahmed, Pradip Lulla and Aditi Bhende since their experience is an asset that can help us at all stages for betterment of TAFI.”