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On Site: One on One with India AhoyAugust 12, 2010 By: Meagan Drillinger
New York City— Travel Agent recently told you about the U.S. launch of India travel company, MakeMyTrip. The U.S.-based operation, India Ahoy, will sell exclusively through travel agents and tour operators.
We met with Ruby Chadha, senior manager of business development, who gave us the scoop on the initiative.
"Since May we have worked with PhoCusWright International and assembled an Advisory Board of 10 people from elite backgrounds," Chadha tells us. "These 10 act as expert hands to help us market the product. Some members include those from Nexion, American Express, Pisa Brothers and more."
The main idea behind India Ahoy is insider access. This includes charters, student study groups, gourmet tours and even government-approved home stays for a true taste of Indian culture.
The site is purely 'B2B,' with the industry, agents and their commissions coming first. "We want to put the product out to the public and travel agents are the best way to do that," says Chadha. "We will always protect an agent's commission."
Chadha was most excited about the U.S. portal, www.IndiaAhoy.com, which is designed for U.S. travel agents to explore products, access immediate online support and connect live with India experts. These India experts are available for live chat 24/7 and are on hand to answer even the smallest question. If agents are sending questions via e-mail, the turnaround time for answers averages roughly three to four hours. The site also serves as its own booking engine, offering 3500 hotels as well as airline contracts.
India Ahoy’s parent company, MMT, has daily sales in India of more than 200 packages, 1,000 hotel room nights in India and 15,000 air tickets. Leveraging this power as a leader in travel, India Ahoy guests will always be on the priority list of suppliers for upgrades, special arrangements, complimentary services or last minute booking requests.
According to Chadha, client satisfaction is guaranteed when booking a tour through India Ahoy. "We operate on a 80/20 scheme," she says. "This means that a client will pay 80 percent of the total before departure. After departure, if the client has experienced the 'wow' factor, they will pay the other 20 percent," she explains. She offers a 100 percent guarantee and trust that the 'wow' factor will be met.
Industry Affiliations include: ASTA, International Air Transport Association (IATA), India Association of Tour Operators, IATA Agents Association of India, ARC, Government of India Ministry of Tourism, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), Aussie Specialist (Australian Tourism Board), and a supplier membership with USTOA, among others.