My Travel Diary is a travel portal that provides online as well as offline travel facilities. The brand have made sure that the price which they are offering is attractive and competitive be it Flight, Bus, Car, Hotels or Holiday Packages. As a team, they want to build a very strong network of travel-agents (B2B) around the country. They want to work with their franchise partners to understand their customers and offer solutions based on their requirements, rather than vaguely opening offices everywhere, because they know that for a business to succeed it takes a team effort and their team is ‘the network of independent travel-agents’.
We spoke with Mr. Anuj Gupta, Director, My Travel Diary to know what are their expansion plans . Let us know that to what extent their practices are robust and what all they will be offering to their My Travel Diary franchise partners.
1.Throw some light on your brand, ‘My Travel Diary’.
My Travel Diary is an online and offline travel agency that works as both B2B and B2C. We provide all the travel services beginning from Air ticket, Car Rental, Bus, Hotel and Domestic and International Customized travel packages.
The system that we have built is not only transparent but also helps us to connect with the most distant customer and partner. Profit is important but our forte, right from the outset has always been serving as many people as possible without compromising with the service.
That’s why we are successful in building a system that is capable to provide all kinds of packages whether domestic or International, Family or Honeymoon, Religious tours or Student Adventure tours, possibly everything.
So if I call our system itself a package I will not be wrong.
2.There are various ways for brand expansion. What made you choose the franchise route?
There are three reasons for this:
- The local franchise partner is well acquainted with the language and behavior of the people in a certain city/state/country. So when he undergoes training, which he will, I think he will be in a better position to sell a destination rather that some of our employee who hails from somewhere else speaking a different language. For selling a product or service it is very important that you connect with the customer. Unless and until you connect with the customers requirement it will be impossible to sell anything, in other words you have to think global act local.
- Other reason is that half of the travel bookings are still done offline. Many people are still skeptical about making online transaction giving scope to offline bookings. There is no doubt that these offline travel agents charges much more than they should but people are more concerned about confirm bookings than how much they are charged.
- I have always believed that one cannot grow alone; he can only grow if he allows others to grow with him.
3.Not everyone has experience in Travel and Tours industry, in that case what kind of backend and front end support you would provide to your franchisees?
He will be provided with an offline portal which is a replica of the website. This portal will work as a front end for our franchise partners which he will use to make bookings. Now this portal is very transparent and user friendly that he will need no technical assistance to work on it. He only needs to have a little knowledge about the computer, which I am sure he will have, to work on the portal. The website database and the portal database is exactly the same and I feel proud in telling you that it took us 3 years to make that database of thousands of Hotels, Cars, and Buses.
In addition to this, the agent will undergo a 3 Day training and development program which will help him improve their destination knowledge of some of the most prominent destinations and the tips and tricks to sell a particular destination and convince a customer.
Further he will always be connected with our customer/client service system in case he finds any problem while making bookings and also for packages requirements.
4.What is the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) of My Travel Diary? How is My Travel Diary different from other travel and tours brands present in the market?
Number 1 USP is the business model which is completely Franchise Based model. Our marketing expert’s entire concentration will be on how to enhance sales of a particular Franchise to make it #1 in the city. This not only helps the franchise to make sales but also built a brand name of the company and once a company becomes a brand, the sales will take care of itself.
Our area of focus has always been pricing. It is one of those areas which can make or break the customer. So this sensitive area is not so much of the concern because we have kept out rates very low.
5.Where do you see your brand in the next 5 years?
The total outbound industry is 14 Billion as of 2014 and it is going to touch 50 Billion by 2020 and how much share we want from this 50 Billion depends on our hard work, dedication, vision and mission.
We have a vision of opening 100 franchisees in the next 10 years in all the 100 smart cities of India.
In the next 5 years we are looking My Travel Diary as one of the most prominent brands in the industry with domestic and international presence in Thailand and Singapore.