Sandeep Shastri, Regional Director, South Asia, Sabre Travel Network speaks about the growth and dominance of the brand in India market.
With significant investment in the technology, Sabre is set to bring more innovations, than before, into the travel and hospitality vertical. The group recently partnered with Microsoft and is also set to introduce novel products for the India market.
Sabre has been in India since 2005. How has the journey been so far?
Sabre has a long history in India, being present in the market since 2005 (previously operated as Abacus, until it was acquired by Sabre in 2015). For over 13 years, Sabre has supported the development of the India travel market by providing innovative solutions that help to move the travel industry forward, in the most efficient and profitable ways. Providing new technology solutions that support agency productivity, giving access to more content to supplement market activations, and developing intelligent platforms that answer to our partner’s needs, Sabre helps agents, travellers and airlines alike, in their pursuit of success.
How would you explain the present scale of your business in India? What is the outlook you have for your business in the next couple of years?
As the Indian market continues to grow, travel partners will be on the look-out for new, automated mobile tools, to support expanding their operations.
With a solid network of agents and long-term local partners, Sabre currently is the leading Global Distribution System in APAC, and powers more than 450,000 agents in 144 countries around the world. We are committed to further anchoring our leadership throughout India.
What new products are you looking to unveil in 2018? How do these help in improving the productivity and quality?
We recently announced a long-term strategic agreement with Microsoft. As part of this new agreement, Microsoft will empower the migration of Sabre’s commercial applications to Microsoft Azure by investing cloud development expertise and services in support of Sabre’s vision to lead an industry evolution in retailing, distribution and fulfilment.
The new Sabre Red Workspace (NSRW) is also significant area of focus for us, and offers a lot of potential for development and personalisation from one agent to the next. Based on our online APIs, the NSRW provides travel consultants with the latest shopping technology. It uses some of the latest intelligent search APIs, new to online agencies, that can identify similar destinations for the same or even lower price than what was searched, and help recommend when is the best time to travel.
SynXis is your flagship products. How many hotels in India are on this platform?
Reply by Frank Trampert, Managing Director & Chief Commercial Officer, Sabre Hospitality Solutions, Asia Pacific
Sabre Hospitality Solutions enables hoteliers to enhance the guest experience, identify cost savings, and increase revenue. The cloud-based, SaaS solutions powered by the SynXis Enterprise Platform, used by more than 39,000 hotels, resorts and chains, provides unlimited scalability to manage all distribution, operations and retailing needs across every touch-point of the guest’s journey. In India, several brands work with Sabre’s SynXis platform, including Taj, Lemon Tree, Pride, Sarovar, Concept, and many others. We offer distribution to all channels using the SynXis Central Reservations, the industry’s most flexible and easy to use reservation and distribution solution.
The Govt recently launched the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) to connect tier-II & III cities. How Sabre India is going to tap this potential?
Improved connectivity between tier-II and tier-III cities can only help Sabre to further strengthen its presence in the India travel market, and propel the adoption of our plug and play solutions and training opportunities across the whole of India.
Many airlines are going directly to consumer and put a nominal fee if the booking is done through GDSs. How do you see the future of GDSs?
GDSs have and will continue to deliver tremendous value to the travel ecosystem in our role as well-established, wide-scale content aggregators. We manage shopping of fares and schedules, low fare efficacy, best fares with ancillaries/fare brands and duty of care. GDS-based distribution facilitates agency operations, both brick-and-mortar and OTAs, by providing the ability to perform comparison shopping, enables efficient workflows and consolidates content in one place for easy consumption. Most importantly, we provide agents with the content they need to power their operations and give their clients the personalised experience they are looking for.
Are disruptors creating value additions to GDSs?
Successful retailers understand that the key to delivering curated experiences lies in catering to distinct buying personas. This requires a robust data-sciences approach to maximise individual consumer engagement as well as end-to-end profitability. If anything, disruptors are increasing Sabre’s global relevance by placing personalisation at the heart of consumer needs.
How are you creating awareness about your products in tier II and III cities?
Sabre is a leading travel provider with an established name in the market. With the support of our on-site teams in India, and our ongoing sales and marketing efforts, Sabre has developed a rich network of agents across the country, contributing to increased Sabre brand recognition across the market.