Uniglobe Travel recently organised its 12th Annual Uniglobe regional conference and excellence awards at Novotel Imagica, Mumbai. For the first time the event witnessed well over 40 suppliers.
Speaking about the conference Ritika Modi, Regional President UNIGLOBE Travel (South Asia) said, “Currently, there is a lot of disruption in the industry. This is the time when smaller agencies look at UNIGLOBE as we give them recognition and thus this creates an opportunity for us to expand. With this conference we give recognition to our agencies around the nation. We have seen agencies coming from the North East; also the front line staff is being recognised. We help smaller businesses to grow, the agency office remains the same; but it becomes a part of a larger network. We provide them with technology and advanced tools, systems, trainings and recognition. At this conference we have over 200 people being recognised. Now with the franchising system we are more than 7000 people in UNIGLOBE. In our network we have 800 travel agencies across the world. We have a turnover of five billion dollars. Being the master franchise and owner of UNIGLOBE travels South Asia; I believe that today is the best time for me.”
Currently in India, Uniglobe is present at 55 locations with 35 owners. The group is eyeing further expansion in this market. Modi added, “We are now 55 plus locations with about 39 owners. Due to the GST, agencies are bit disturbed; now a lot more agencies will talk to me. So what we are bringing to India is a movement, it is a movement I have brought which perhaps would have been too early before, but now I feel the time is right. We work on a franchise model. We charge agencies Rs 6 lakhs a year which is a fixed fee and then they pay royalty to us on the income they generate additionally. Now with the franchising system we are more than 7000 people in UNIGLOBE. In our network we have 800 travel agencies across the world. We have a turnover of 5 billion dollars. Being the master franchise and owner of UNIGLOBE travels South Asia; I believe that today is the best time for me.”
The corporate travel segment in India is still at the nascent stage. Still a lot of corporate travel business in unorganised in India. But with the growth of the SMEs, and increasing awareness this segment will grow sooner. Modi added, “Now SMEs are more organized. Now my company UNIGLOBE agencies are able to offer customers more organised business. If you look at the travel Industry, there are online travel companies; there are B2B companies, and travel management companies like American Express, Carlson etc. UNIGLOBE brings in is that those companies who are in the business, the smaller companies are actually my clients and that is majority of India. There are 80,000 agencies in the country- they want someone like us who helps them to put in that structure.”
Speaking about the trends in the industry Modi said, “The travel industry today has changed to a great extent. In the last 10 years the changes that have taken place in the travel Industry right from e-ticketing to GST, no commission for the agents the airline, the operations of the airlines or the choices that the customers all have changed today and the amount of change that have taken place in the last 10 years is great. I have been in the travel Industry from the last 33-34 years, there have been slight changes in the initial 23 years but from the last 10 years, we witnessed drastic changes. The frequent changes in the industry make things rough for the companies and business entity. In the last 10 years some destructive forces have came in. I am sitting in the same travel space, how come OTA has come up and picked up so much more market share. Perhaps, we all are running our cars in the same old way until we don’t change our ways and it is always a different person. So it is always about a unique idea. New ideas have been coming in and destructing the trend which has been going on for the last 25 years.”