Tech-led experience to haul business travel

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User experience and technology-oriented offerings to corporates are going to be extremely important for the growth of TMCs

Hazel Jain

FCM Travel’s journey is also going to be tech-led going forward. An important aspect of this is the voice of the customer. Sunny Sodhi, Managing Director, FCM Travel India, who shared his perspective on this while speaking at the first FCM Corporate Travel Summit in Mumbai powered by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). He said, “Customer or user experience is going to be a crucial factor for Travel Management Companies (TMCs) like us to grow at a faster pace, backed of course by a strong technology background. At the end of the day, feature functionalities are only as good as the user experience they offer. Features can always be built. However, the travel programmes are structured around cost-efficiencies and technology enablement and centred around user’s expectation while making reservations.”

“India is the ninth largest travel market in the world for business travel spending. We anticipate an 18.3 per cent increase in spending in 2024, gradually leading India’s business travel spend to US$49.5 billion by 2027,” reveals Sodhi. His suggestion to the corporate travel managers out there is to focus on content and user experience.


Asserting that travel costs will continue to stay high, Amarnath Lal Das, Strategic Programs, Senior Manager, Accenture Solutions, pointed out that, “Despite the need to cut down corporate travel costs and being more sustainable, the travel costs will not come down. There will be an organic growth in client-related business, and while internal travel may go down since it is a cost to us and can be moved to a virtual platform, client-based travel will remain high. We are also looking for more sustainable airline routes, hotels, and other travel services. We have also been talking about adopting New Distribution Capability (NDC). India is a complex market with a lot of Low-Cost Carriers (LCCs) who have already brought in the NDC content.”

Ascertaining that, Binayak Singh, Global Head – Operations & Procurement Support – Global Travel & Lodging, HCL Technologies, “Quintessentially, it is the sales personnel and client management people, who travel the most, so we ensure that we get the right service at the right time. Of course, the cost remains of paramount importance, but we do not compromise on the comfort of the end user. Though, India is a late entrant in terms of NDC but as an end user, we are only going to benefit from it because its offerings are extremely cost-effective and very easy to use. It is going to be the future.”

Reinforcing the focus on corporate tools and sustainability, Dr Sanjay Pai, VP & head (Corporate Travel, Aviation & Facility Management), Larson & Toubro, highlights, “We build nations – airports, tourist infrastructure, hotels, roads, and highways. We were an ESG-compliant organization way before the sustainability buzz took over the world. We are now in the third version of building a next-gen corporate tool that will take care of other parameters including ESG programmes, GST, pro-active audit compliance, and of course lowest logical fares, and will install this soon this year.”


Sunny Sodhi, Managing Director, FCM Travel India

Amarnath Lal Das, Strategic Programs, Senior Manager, Accenture Solutions

Binayak Singh, Global Head, Operations & Procurement Support, Global Travel & Lodging, HCL Technologies

Dr Sanjay Pai, VP & Head (Corporate Travel, Aviation & Facility Management) Larson & Toubro

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