The coronavirus pandemic has given a crippling blow to the Indian travel, tourism and hospitality industry. The sector suffered three quarters of economic wipeout estimated to be up to Rs 15 lakh crore. The reason behind such a steep low and a great depression is that much of the tourism industry built its financial strategy around a trouble-free future, planning for eternal blue skies: open borders; high tourism demand defying the ups and downs of the markets. If Mckinsey report is to be believed then not only India, but globally, the international tourist arrivals in 2020 show a full-year decline of between 58 and 78 percent. Dhruv Verma, Founder and CEO of Thriwe talked about the trends in travel industry, its future and what Thriwe has to offer. Read Excerpts of his conversation with Financial Express Online:
What is the current trend in the travel industry and what is its size?
India has become the third largest domestic aviation market in the world and is expected to overtake the UK to become the third largest air passenger market by 2024 as per the ‘Indian Brand Equity Foundation Report 2021’. India is the most digitally advanced traveller nation in terms of digital tools being used for planning, booking and experiencing a journey. India’s rising middle class and increase in disposable income has supported the growth of domestic and outbound tourism. According to the “IBEF” report – By 2029 Indies tourism sector is expected to grow 6.7% to reach Rs. 35 Trillion for 9.2% of the total economy. International tourist arrivals in India is expected to reach 30.5 million by 2028
Please elaborate the business model and USP of Thriwe
Thriwe’s B2B offerings start from minimum 30% and enter a free zone of 100%. Our USP has been our exclusive approach. We use data analytics which includes study of HNI usage patterns, understanding of consumer demographics coupled with curating cost-effective consumer engagement programs.
Our business model includes aggregating a large network of partners and high value tangible offers on one side coupled with customizing and personalizing them using our business intelligence for our clients on the other side, and finally delivering them through white-labelled and off the shell technology platform.
We have a network of over 30,000 partners across 130+ countries worldwide and these partners are across service categories such as sports, travel, digital offers, lifestyle, dining and wellness. Basis our customer requirements, budgets, consumer demography, objectives, we create unique standouts, benefits strategy. Our customers’ centricity has been at the heart of our success.
Considering the travel restrictions due to corona, what are the benefits that Thriwe’s programs can offer to the consumers?
The covid has already given a crippling blow to the travel sector and has made the sector suffer three quarters of economic wipeout irrespective of the numerous air bubbles India has started with countries across the world. While international travel is slowly becoming a possibility but Air travel demand recovery back to 2019 levels will likely not take place until 2024 globally. Thriwe’s exclusive partnership with Hotels in the vicinity of the Airport under the product category “Statesman Lounge” will turn out to be blessings for a traveler who is compulsive to travel & do business meets but is avoiding the crowds of a busy departure halls.
What is Statesman Lounge?
Statesman Lounge is one of Thriwe’s flagship programs under the service strategy ‘Travel Ambit ‘. These lounges are different from regular Airport lounges which are located inside the airport on the arrival and departure gates. Statesman lounges are luxurious spaces within 4& 5-star hotels located within the vicinity of the airport to accommodate your leisure and business needs with the guests who are not flying with you.
The addition of services like priority check-in and inflight meals will further take care of the customer safety and hygiene at the Airport. Under priority Check in, travelers will have a minimalistic stand in que time for check in which will enhance the travel experience and safety.
How do you enhance customer experience in the lounges?
To make our customer’s journey seamless at the airport lounges, we have developed a technology enabled platform wherein the customer just has to show the QR code issued by the bank to the lounge representative. If the QR code is valid and entitles the free lounge access, then a customer is allowed to enjoy the facilities of the lounge for free. Customers get full transparency in the benefits they have access to. They can know that how many complimentary lounge visits are available and how many visits have been utilized.
What are your future plans?
From 10 million dollars to 20 million dollars is what we are targeting. Travel is a new entrant in our portfolio, we wish to expand our travel and lifestyle portfolio with dedicated teams. Generating revenues and increasing profitability in new streams is our prime focus. our focus further dives into automation of backend operations.
Do let us know more about your flagship programs – TeePass, Statesman lounges, Air dine and We Live?
TeePass was founded in 2014 to make the game of golf more accessible and affordable to golfers, while helping golf clubs increase their course utilization and revenue. Through an easy to use mobile-friendly web application, golfers could search tee times from dozens of golf course around the region, book instantly, and play. All this at better prices.
Air dine – Air Dine is our exclusive program under our new service segment –“Travel Ambit”. this program aims at delighting the taste buds of the end consumer travelling via air. under this program construct, we have partnered with 1800+ F&B outlets at the airport and inflight meal partners. The consumer can redeem and present their digital voucher at an outlet of choice to indulge in without being limited by the offerings of the lounge alone. This one-of-a-kind program is extended to the well – heeled HNI clientele of Banks & Airlines.
WeLIVE– WeLive is a subscription based unique program that offers a host of lifestyle, wellness, entertainment & shopping benefits in one place and is being used by major card networking companies to facilitate customer engagement. The platform includes high value offers with in-built mechanism to enable ongoing consumer engagement.
Statesman Lounge – One of our flagship programs under the service strategy ‘Travel Ambit ‘. these lounges are different from regular Airport lounges which are located inside the airport on the arrival and departure gates. Statesman lounges are luxurious spaces within 4& 5-star hotels located within the vicinity of the airport to accommodate your leisure and business needs with the guests who are not flying with you.
Names of some key customer across sectors.
We have Emirates NBD, Mastercard, VISA, Amex, Standard chartered bank, HSBC, HDFC, Axis Bank and Mashreq Bank among others.