Over 1300 active members of the 2500 plus Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), who are eligible to vote and choose the new team for 2017-2019 among the three candidates this year contesting for Presidentship like the previous instance. The outcome of the 66th TAAI AGM on 28 November 2017 at Lalit Mumbai will shape the new leadership, while its intersting to learn about the vision one of its presidential contestant Harmandeep Singh Anand thinks can work wonders for travel trade.
Candidate with Innovative ideas and no pre-selected panel this year
One of the formidable change this year is in the strategy being put in place by Presidential candidate Harmandeep Singh Anand. He is contesting for post of Presidentship, but unlike his competitors has not formed a panel this year. “I want to bring a change in the functioning of TAAI, right from the manner members choose the President. Panels are one of the conventional ways of mobilising support collectively. Instead of indulging in the conventional practices that also kind of promote horse trading- I have chosen the option of direct contact with my peer members. My intentions are clear and well known that if chosen as the president, I will ensure that the team works from top down. Chief focus will be on educating TAAI members about the new business avenues that are crying to be tapped and investing in members growth across the board including the tier-I and Tier-II cities,” said Harmandeep Singh Anand.
Can one person change TAAI?
Asking Harmandeep Singh Anand this question is similar to have asked him a couple of years back if its possible to inspire, educate and bring to mainstream travel agents from tier-I and tier-II markets. To the later query Harmandeep has demonstrated successfully bringing in scores of small tour operator into the mainstream not only in from his home ground-Nagpur, but five other non-metro cities, who are now working with marquee travel brands and even directly with FTOs and NTOs. Further, to the answer to the first question, Harmandeep says- is the general chosen first or its team? “The general in a army is chosen first and he chooses his team accordingIy. I have shown my inclination in form of preferred candidates, who are contesting for different posts and will be prospective agents of change for the association. If we get to work as a team- the results will be evident from very beginning,” he added.
Are there growth opportunities for business?
Its imperative to educate and make the travel agents realise that the GST regime has many avenues for travel business, says Harmandeep Singh Anand. “The intent of the present government in GST is to create a level playing field and it has actually opened vistas where a small travel agent can effectively compete with big online portals. I on my own have tried to educate many of my peers on GST and the first thing as president, I will ensure this knowledge and know-how of opportunities is spread through the TAAI platform to all members. As HSG in my earlier term, I had undertook a similar initiative to educate our TAAI members on service tax. A well conceived pan India initiative on GST and allied opportunities can well open the door of growth and progress that I earnestly feel should benefit the travel agents fraternity of our,” added Harmandeep Singh Anand.