A company that allows travel agents a holistic approach to building an ecosystem of Travel Technology, TravClan works to help the agents to operate hassle-free. Travel Turtle spoke to Chirag Agrawal, Co-Founder, TravClan on the ways tech travel is booming.
The time when calling a travel agent and waiting for a booking confirmation was the most practical way for many people to purchase a rail or aeroplane ticket is long gone. A ticket is now only a click away. Strangely, even though technology has rendered many occupations obsolete, physical travel companies still exist today. Some people even swear by the customised travel options and services that can only be provided by traditional travel agents. These players can develop into online travel agencies (OTAs) with some digitization. They may then provide the same level of individualised services online and appeal to a far larger audience.
One-stop remedy for agents
In a cutthroat industry where every day a new player is joining the market it is eminent to ensure that you are on top of your game, which can only be achieved by remaining ahead. TravClan does exactly that for its clients. Fifteen thousand agents can use their technology in a day. This is the result of years of experience in the industry. Chirag mentions, “As founders, we are very operationally involved in the system that we offer to our clients, and ensure to keep the engagement as high as possible.”
Furthermore, he shares, “We have already tapped different cities including tier I, tier II and tier III. While we go and meet a lot of travel agents in their offices, we also engage with their staff as well to understand key day-to-day operations problems. Our thought process as a company is not just to sell flights, hotels, or holidays, it is more to build a one-stop solution for our agents. We want to give them an end-to-end solution, including a website, management of their customer data which stays encrypted, marketing tools and circulate necessary posters and videos in their community.”
A game of problem and solution
Travellers are keen on spending money to grab the best deals for their vacations, which creates an abundance of opportunities for travel agents to create the needed supply. Travel agents are working with TravClan to have a seamless booking experience. Chirag points out areas in tech travel that still need fixing and shares, “Travel agents are comfortable taking bookings, confirming flights and helping their customers through our services, but when it comes to packages, the process is still a tedious one. This area in travel tech can see some innovation to help the clients. The introduction of a complete end-to-end tailor-made product will make things smoother.”
There is a lot of scope in the field of tech travel for futuristic products, TravClan is ensuring to keep this covered and come up with ideas that can be executed to help the agents with their problems. “Technology is not just beautiful, but user friendly too, our clients with the services that we offer can work within seconds. We have built a solutions pay, where Agents within 60 seconds, they’re able to get a quote for their package and for almost any destination that we service. We service currently 18 destinations toward destinations,” shares Chirag.
It’s all about the team
A team of dynamic, dedicated and diligent people with talents from their respective field are something that creates a legacy. Chirag shares, “I think we as a company, understand travel and technology both of them independently very well. We are three co-founders, two of us have worked in travel companies and the third one has worked in a tech role. Coming from a tech background, we identify with the industry very well and can identify the pitfalls and growth points.”
They can deliver solutions to the travel agent community at a very rapid pace. He further adds, “We can execute technology base which most companies in this industry are not able to. They might be strong in domain knowledge, but not as much in technology. We have an in-house tech team which puts us over the edge to help our clients and it becomes easier to translate our insights into actions,” adds Chirag.
The sky is the limit
With a database of almost 15000 travel agents and counting, TravClan is in the process of expanding its reach and services to as many companies as possible. Their target is to create technology around the travel space not only to book flights but to help the agents book packages and holidays also. When it comes to the services that are mostly used by the agents, Chirag throws a light on what is in demand and says, “We have an instant quoting system, which is a unique tool for the industry. So to launch a new destination, technology-wise, it’s a few hour job for us. The system is modular, thus creating the shortest turnaround time. UAE is the biggest market for us right now after Maldives, we send almost 4000 passengers every month. The Asian countries are picking up for us, Thailand, Bali, Singapore, and Vietnam are coming in big. Our focus is majorly on FITs, we don’t go direct corporate, it’s through our agent network only”
While expanding and reaching out to customers, TravClan is in sync with the growing age of digital marketing, where they connect and interact with their clients. Chirag shares, “This is an industry where in-person interaction is of high importance, but we focus more on digital because we think that it is a more efficient way of speaking to agents and saves time as well. We also used a lot of marketing tactics, which are sort of proprietary to get those agents. Something which worked for us very well in terms of marketing was that we were able to offer free websites for agents during Covid. We made approx. 2000 websites during the pandemic for our agents.”
Organic marketing to the rescue
Marketing is a strategic game that can be the easiest as well as the toughest. Companies are opting for several marketing techniques to build an ecosystem. Chirag shares, “Our marketing process is pretty organic, we believe in demand and supply. The agents will always need some new product and we plan to help them. We don’t talk about our prices but highlight just the features. Highlighting the technical product entices a person to try our system.”
He further adds, “We don’t want us to be a very people-dependent business, we want people to come to the system, they should like their technology. Technology spreads pretty quickly in any industry; we also rely on traditional ways of marketing like conducting roadshows in different cities, collaborating with departments, digital campaigns, emailers, WhatsApp circulars etc. Marketing works best if it is done holistically. We have started indulging in trade media as well.