Corporate travel planning – seeking inspiration

Spotlight on the Indian engineering group TATA Consulting – back at ITB Asia looking for new destinations

Col Anurodh Mishra, Associate Vice President – Administration, TATA Consulting Engineers, a wholly- owned subsidiary of Tata, is attending ITB Asia for the second time, having first visited in 2014. We started by asking him about his role and what he is looking for in Singapore this week.

2018 is a very special year for all of us at TATA, as we mark the 150th anniversary of the Tata group. We have 3,000 staff in TATA Consulting Engineers and most of these travel; we have staff in India and we also have representatives all around the world. I am a member of Tata Consulting Engineers’ executive Team and, among other things, I look after mobility, travel and MICE across the business. The company’s total travel spend is €1.4 m per year.

What kind of travel and events do you look after?
We have a lot of activities in the business that we have off-site for senior management; we also have incentive programmes for employees, which include leisure trips overseas; and we have meetings off-site. For meetings off-site, we have about 80 to 100 people who get together and discuss business and then take part in some leisure activities. We go out for about three or four days every quarter on this kind of trip. The other trips include going to a resort or on a cruise and again, there are business and leisure activities in which to take part.
For employees that are doing well, or for somebody that has done something sterling for the organisation, a reward is given. This is usually a trip with families or in a group.

THE COMPANY’S TOTAL TRAVEL SPEND IS 1.4 MILLION PER YEAR.

What are your favoured destinations?
Our popular destinations are in central Europe. Rome is very popular. In Asia, we have been sending people to Thailand and Hong Kong. I am looking at a number of new destinations, including South Africa and other countries on the African continent including Kenya. In Europe we are looking at countries including Croatia and in Southeast Asia, we are fairly settled with Indonesia and Vietnam among the destinations we use.

What are you looking for at ITB Asia?
I have come to ITB Asia to see if I can find some good deals and something new. We are looking at destinations in Southeast Asia and Europe. We are looking to make cost savings. I am looking for packages that include flights, hotels, all meals, conference room facilities – all-in-one – plus some leisure activities, such as a small cruise on a river, or a trek in a hilly region.

I am open to all options. I am also considering appointing a travel organisation to handle these kinds of packages. We tried this earlier this year for a group of four people that went to Vietnam. It worked well, which is the most important thing, as far as the itinerary and host is concerned. I can get my team to do the planning by booking tickets and working with a resort or I can give it to somebody who will do it end-to-end for me. Whatever works better is important.

What are your predictions for travel within your business over the next 12 months?
In 2019, I forecast that as a business there will be more investment in travel, so I am here in Singapore looking for the options that I can offer people. Reinforcing our relationships with suppliers is key – especially existing ones. Equally as critical is forging new partnerships with tour and attraction providers that may not previously have worked directly with a company like us. I have a full list of appointments and I am really looking forward to meeting both new and existing suppliers.


Photo: Col Anurodh Mishra Associate Vice President – Administration, TATA Consulting Engineers