MS. Please describe your professional journey with us and tell us how you thought up the idea to start the Traventions. Please share with us a major milestone you have achieved with Traventions over time.
Asjad Imran. I’m a Travel & Tourism professional with over two decades in the industry. Post my IATA in the year 2000 I started my career as International ticketing counter staff in a small travel agency in Bangalore where I learnt Business Travel, but the enquiries for International holidays excited me more to learn about the destinations which gave my career a breakthrough in joining Cox & Kings as Junior Operations Executive, then as Counter Sales Executive in Outbound Tours. Spending almost three years it was MICE division which fascinated me the most as it was always my dream job to work in a corporate world. For the next 16 years I was fortunate to have worked in MICE at highly reputed travel companies such as Make My Trip, TMIC, Yatra.com, Zenith Leisure Holidays and last job as General Manager at Fountainhead Entertainment which gave me a wider exposure on Events and Activations and gauged that all these three divisions can be put together as one stop solution.
Throughout my MICE journey I understood that corporate clients defines MICE players only as travel agents but when it comes to Corporate events, activations there’s always a different marketing or event agency to choose from.
Hence my inspiration to start Traventions was to create one platform for MICE, Events & Activations for the corporate world. The name Traventions itself is a fusion of Travel, Events & Activations. Since our inception we have not only achieved big numbers in MICE taking corporate groups to Scandinavia, New Zealand, Italy, UAE, Shimla & Manali, Goa, Kerala etc but also as clients trusted in our vision, we were able to successfully handle Annual Events, Rewards & Recognition programs, Product launches and five cities activations for Tata group.
MS. In what ways has Traventions contributed to making the client’s experience memorable? What are your key services?
Asjad Imran. We believe in the “keep it simple” approach. With clear vision, worldwide experience, outstanding business networks and excellent management skills, Traventions embraces a modern, innovative approach to tailor every aspect of tour and event to suit our clients’ needs. We follow a five step success formula – the brief, the creative, the plan, the delivery and the evaluation. Our key services includes Travel – MICE, Customised Leisure Holidays, Travel Vouchers, offsites, Offshore Travel Service. Event Management – Product Launches, R&R, Fashion Shows, Annual Days/Conferences, Celebrity Management & Entertainment. Activations – End to End Campaign solutions, Installations, Design, Production, Venue Liaison, Media, Photo-Videography, Logistics. Experiential Marketing – Brand Awareness, Lead Generation, Collateral, Signage and Branding, Social Media, Public Relations, Pre & Post Event MarketingEvaluation
MS. Which has been the most challenging show hosted or managed by your organization? What behavioural changes have you noticed in your clients after the pandemic Covid-19?
Asjad Imran. Quite a few post pandemic in all our verticals. We’ve seen visa rejections of families & children to UAE which has never happened prior to covid, at least not in my tenure. Rejections of Business Visas to Italy of senior directors of a corporate with no valid reason due to which we had to call off the event and postpone. During the five cities activations The world has changed in an unprecedented fashion, and so has client’s preference. Promotional & functional spending have taken precedence over steep budgeting. Corporates are deeply concerned about the impact of Covid-19, both from a health and economic perspective. Clients are responding in variety of ways and have different attitudes, behaviours and purchasing habits. Some feel anxious and worried in doing any event or incentive trip, at the other extreme, some clients remain indifferent to the pandemic and are continuing the MICE and Events business as usual.
MS. What are your thoughts on digitalization and the potential for using technology to accelerate the industry’s momentum?
Asjad Imran. Over the time technology has helped simplify travel, reduce costs, enhance operational efficiency and improve customer experience. Whereas it’s not been implemented widely under MICE division but mostly for intranet based data analytics. Moving forward we at Traventions have plans to develop AI based applications exclusively for MICE and Events platform. Digitalization would help in easier, faster and more effective communication. Better resource management, improved customer engagements and effective marketing and promotions would surely open new sales avenues.
MS. What changes have you made to your services to accommodate the new normal?
Asjad Imran. To live in the world is to adapt constantly. While the world starts to make progress tiptoeing post COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are starting to reopen, events are slowly starting to ramp up. Our immediate focus has been to tackle the complex problems in the industry that have emerged from the pandemic by highlighting resilience, recovery and restructuring. But it’s not as easy as slipping into an old work outfit. New strategies are being implemented throughout the business landscape to ensure employees and customers can more easily adapt to the new normal. We are now looking to act decisively and strategically to take advantage of the world’s changes. We are also choosing to organize documentation, data analytics onto a digital platform. It reduces the need to have person-to-person meetings and can be effortlessly shared with entire staff members at once — so long, team meetings.
MS. What is it about the MICE industry that appeals to you?
Asjad Imran. Before it was just a fascination to be in MICE as I thought it’s the most white collar job in travel & tourism segment but once inside the ocean it was more to learn about the products, planning, facilitating and understanding clients’ needs to incentivise its business associates. We MICE players go the extra mile to make every mice event successful not just for our clients satisfaction but also for the travellers for whom the event is designed with much planning and detailing after all it’s their efforts which creates any mice event and gives us a job. It is also the highest revenue contributor to the travel industry which itself appeals to be in big number game.
MS. What would you say to the industry if you had one message and one piece of advice to give?
Asjad Imran. Trust your instincts. When you quit, you fail. It’s nobody but ME versus ME.