“Its true, that demand for private charters surged during the pandemic. We have seen a much higher volume of requests for private jets – and during the suspension of flights, also for student and evacuation charters to all parts of the world.”

MS. What were the key career experiences that really shaped the way you are now as a leader?

Isha Goyal. My business education at the Indian School of Business laid the foundation for the work ethic, mindset and approach to problem solving that I take everyday. Various opportunities to act under pressure – either of a strategically important deadline; the moral dilemma every time you let go of an employee or a client or choose principles or policy over opportunity; managing through a crisis like Covid; and many more.

MS. Established in the year 1973, how would you define success journey of STIC Travel Group in this industry. Please tell us about STG and its key services offered in serving the travel industry.

Isha Goyal. STIC is a story of tenacity, perseverance and commitment. We consider it a labour of love, inspired by our founders, and carried forward over the years by its exemplary team of professionals who chart a strong path into the future as we enter our Golden Jubilee year.

MS. What are some of the innovative approaches that the company has come forward with to bring a new experience for its clients?

Isha Goyal. It has always been our endeavour to introduce new destinations and new brands to the Indian travellers. Our approach has been to tap new offerings to our clients – whether it is by introducing a new place to explore, or a different/unique way to explore. It is only through innovation and creativity that we continue to thrive and are looking forward to celebrating 50 years of taking India to the world.

MS. How is the company utilising technology? What are your thoughts on digitalization and the potential for using technology to accelerate the industry’s momentum?

Isha Goyal. Technology sits at the centre of all process optimisation and efficiency initiatives at STIC. We see technology as a critical resource towards conducting

our business, servicing our customers and fulfilling our obligations in a more time efficient, transparent and cost effective manner. As early as the 1980s, we were one of the first organisations to automate our financial systems, and continually upgrade the technology behind our internal processes and solution offerings. Digital adaptation in key functions like marketing and sales augmentation have been instrumental in driving growth for us these past few years, particularly during the pandemic.

MS. Bookings of private charter planes is showing green shoots of recovery from last year’s covid-induced disruptions amid a rise in first-time fliers seeking to avoid infections, poll campaigning and improving travel appetite. How do you see industry growing? Can you share your observations regarding client booking behaviour over the last few months?

Isha Goyal. Its true, that demand for private charters surged during the pandemic. We have seen a much higher volume of requests for private jets – and during the suspension of flights, also for student and evacuation charters to all parts of the world. However, with the opening up of international flights out of India, the demand seems to be stabilising. Wedding parties continue to see a surge in requests for charter options on destination weddings.

MS. How important is employees’ energy levels to the success of the organisation? How do you motivate people to go the extra mile?

Isha Goyal. Employee morale plays a crucial role in the success of any organisation. Our employees are our greatest assets and over five decades, remain our single most powerful source of inspiration. Our approach to employee motivation and morale building, is simply to prirotise, transparency, fairness and empathy above all.

MS. What is one of the hardest challenges that you’ve come up against and what did it teach you?

Isha Goyal. Everyday is a lesson. Every success, and even more so, every failure. Life is learning. The hardest challenge is yet to come.

MS. What are some of the current developments affecting the travel industry, according to you? Two things you would like to change in the industry.

Isha Goyal. The opening up of the skies, with the promise of new destinations, while some older ones remain elusive with restrictions. Technology, as always, continues to drive us towards new opportunities and challenge convention. Going forward, I hope to see more collaborative action by industry players towards mutual growth and recovery.

MS. On another note, what do you enjoy the most about your work? Please share your hobbies, what keeps you busy when you are away from work?

Isha Goyal. I enjoy the people – the human interactions and the problem solving – to be able to learn from another person’s experience is a privilege. In my personal time, I enjoy spending time with my family, exploring nature and discovering hidden gems in popular destinations.

MS. What would you say to the industry if you had one message and one piece of advice to give?

Isha Goyal. Collaborate more, create often, compete every day.