Creating a masterpiece is not everyone’s cup of tea, but only of eggheads. You need the right amalgam of each component to make it work wonders. Vivek Nigam, one such egghead, has single-handedly created one of the finest Corporate Travel Management companies called Destinations Gateway (DG). From flight bookings to car hire, train bookings, hotel booking, group bookings, incentive trips, conferences, tailor-made travel, luxury executive travel, and escorted trips, DG brings all of them to a single plate. Through its impeccable line of services and dedicated geniuses, DG is busy delivering flawless travel experiences (International & India) to corporate clients that always find a place in their lives’ scrapbook.
Every trip at DG is tailor-made post a detailed discussion with client, to bring the finest details around client’s tastes and interests. Post this, the dedicated travel consultants who strive to provide highest quality of customer service, ground operations and overall assistance to their valuable trade partners,design an individual trip to match their expectation, working his/her budget and with an absolute commitment to quality, which they highlight in a different light and introduce places & experiences that others might miss. For all-inclusive group tours, the experts offer complete assistance from suggesting itineraries for leisure/incentive groups to reserving hotels, transport services, restaurants, sightseeing and guides. The multi-lingual staffs cater to DG’s partners across the globe with attention to minute details and ensure a high quality service & customer satisfaction at all levels, whether the group is of 10 passengers or as huge as 500.
All About Selling Experiences
DG was formed with the vision to be regarded as the best and most sought after Corporate Travel Management Company delivering superior returns to its stakeholders. Its core services have a presence across the travel spectrum, thus enabling the company to provide a range of travel products to its customers in an innovative and cost effective way. For instance, full assistance and low cost carriers, accommodations, Visa assistance, rail (International), ground transport, sightseeing, specialist smart fares unit, travel policy implementation & management, and end-to-end implementation and travel assistance along with 24x7 emergency assistance and traveller tracking assistance makes you feel like you are travelling along with your family.
As opposed to selling packaged tours with common inclusion while competing on price, DG develops a repertoire of unique experiences and special access. For the company, it is all about selling experiences. The more unique they are, the more value it adds and the more differentiated it becomes. This practice is underlined by the very fact that it does not sell deals, but its expertise. Each of its team members is an encyclopaedia on the destinations the company promotes, who work closely with clients to optimize their expenditure and manage complexities of business travel, while addressing the needs of their expectations.
“We believe that people buy from people. Travel is a service-oriented industry and a face is always more trusted than a machine. We use this simple human psychology to show our customers the amount of effort we put in to make a good trip for them. So to sum it all, our USP is the passion and expertise of our destination specialists which we use to make our customers’ holidays memorable,” says Vivek Nigam, Founder & Managing Director, DG.
While area experts ensure unforgettable holiday experience to customers, DG’s network of associate offices are constantly engaged in contracting a range of travel products to provide value added services to its trade partners, such as hotels, ranging from budget accommodation to five-star property, sightseeing tours, transfers and excursions in exotic destinations around the world. The company ensures that while its partners get the most competitive rates in the industry, its customers are provided with an exceptional service.
Corporate Travel Management - The Flagship Service
Putting its heart & soul in serving the corporate sector, DG’s unique approach to strategic account management helps companies take the stress out of business travel. The company specializes in streamlining corporate travel and optimizing the expenditure on business travel by setting highest standards in product quality, services and cost containment in the industry. DG even assists its partners to keep a track on their travel expenditures and rescue the complexity and stress of multiple bookings of different regions, faced by its corporate customers.
The four-pronged approach – travel policy implementation (team works with partnered businesses to help build & drive optimal travel policy), travel booking procedures (customized booking procedures as per organizations requirements), form of payment procedure (one card, many cards or accounts) and management information reporting (engaging key stakeholders within clients business, DG formulates monthly and quarterly reports to keep you out of the dark) helps DG make business travel seamless as well as cost effective. And its trait to always be at the technology forefront to enhance its products and services helps DG meet the requirements of the current and future markets.
All Inclusive FIT
DG’s FIT (Foreign Independent Tours) department is managed by travel professionals with extensive experience in the industry who are specialists in formulating tailor-made itineraries for discerning travellers looking for authentic experiences around the world. Apart from meticulously devising tours to suit the needs of precious customers of its trade partners, DG participates in the end-to-end implementation of these itineraries at all levels to ensure a high quality service.
DG’s network of associate offices are constantly engaged in contracting a range of travel products to provide value added services to its trade partners
The globetrotter Vivek’s fling with entrepreneurship began out of the burning desire to be the master of his own fortune and be like his grandfather, a successful entrepreneur. Starting the career as a travel consultant in 2004, Vivek worked for various companies that helped him gain valuable insight about the industry. Four years later he went to Oxford to pursue a Master’s degree in International Tourism Management but struggled to find better opportunities in the UK travel industry and faced rejections from everywhere, which forced him to change his domain for survival. “Despite giving several thoughts to start my own travel agency, I could not move forward in that direction. But when I finally took the leap, I received unconditional support from my wife who has always backed my idea of becoming an entrepreneur,” reminisces Vivek.
Finance being the biggest stumbling block, Vivek leveraged his existing customers from his personal network to arrange a line of credit to start his company with bare minimum finance. Eliminating the hideous task of finding the right team members, today DG has members who are trustworthy, hard-working and passionate about their work. Constant communication is maintained amongst all team members for product and price information and regulatory changes. There are frequent team meetings where everyone is given a chance to express their concerns and exchange ideas for the betterment of company performance. “I realized that the road to entrepreneurship is filled with twist, turns and dead ends, but with our passion and persistence, we are able to navigate through these with some success and satisfaction,” quotes Vivek.
This is why the company has been able to achieve sales of Rs.15 million in last quarter of FY 2015-16, thereby gaining 18 percent over the figures of FY 2014-15. Overall, DG registered a growth of more than 24 percent in annual sales as compared to FY 2014-15. The first quarter of FY 2016-17 started on a good note due to numerous referrals from its satisfied customers that helped the company attain the target it set for the said period.
En Route to Future
Understanding that people spend a great deal of time at their workplace, DG has created a fun milieu to keep them stress-free, which ultimately passes-on to the customers in the form of great and happy vacations. “If you have a good experience as an employee, chances are you are more likely to create a good experience for your customers,” says Vivek. With an aim to be involved in all aspects of a traveller’s cycle, this bootstrapped startup is learning from collective customer behaviour to deliver intelligent suggestions and recommendations to enhance their travel experience. Keeping up with the millennial generation of travellers’ focus on mobiles, it will soon bring its mobile app to engage them. It has already done the soft launch of its travel services platform Yatrapartners.com which brings together social network and travel.
DG plans to expand its operations, starting with an increased focus on ancillary services such as Visa assistance, travel insurance, forex and others. It also plans to open more profit centers in tier two and three cities within Maharashtra. Talking about the funding, Vivek says, “Although we have some offers at hand, we are not just after the money but are looking for a reputable and experienced investor with whose insights and contacts, we can make the foundation of our business stronger and achieve sustained growth. We seek fair and responsible profit enough to keep us financially healthy and fairly reward our team for the hard work they put in”.
Vivek Nigam, Founder & Managing Director
A young& dynamic professional with more than 12 years of experience in Tourism Industry, Vivek has an in-depth understanding of international travel market and created genial relations with travel suppliers across the globe.
Meera Harjot Menaria, Director
Meera brings over 10 years of B2C and B2B travel management experience that she has gained from working with several reputed travel organisers and DMC’s. She specialises in supporting partner agents in handling groups and FIT alike and ensuring that their customers have a memorable experience throughout the journey.
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