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August 13, 2012
 

J.B. Singh, President & CEO - InterGlobe Technology Quotient (ITQ)
 Kindly brief about your Indian operations and clients
InterGlobe Technology Quotient (ITQ) is the official distributor of Travelport Galileo in India and Sri Lanka and Travelport Worldspan, through Calleo Distribution Technologies Pvt. Ltd. in five markets across the Asia Pacific region. With its corporate headquarters in Gurgaon, ITQ provides cutting edge travel technology solutions with unmatched inventory options to its customers helping them increase their productivity and business efficiency.
ITQ has an extended network across 500+ cities reaching out to over 12000 agency locations. We have 13 training centres and a nationalised helpdesk.
 Where do you put ITQ and its products in the Indian market?
ITQ remains at the forefront of technology deployment and play the role of enabler for travel agencies in India. ITQ along with Travelport will continue to invest in solutions which are based on some ground-breaking technology and provide huge benefits to the travel agents. Some of these products have already been rolled out in other markets and we know that the customers who have taken up these products have hugely benefited from the same. We hope to see some of these products being rolled out in our market as well in the coming year. This will go a long way in making customer experience a seamless one.
 Growth rate and forecast
GDS has proved to be a driver and an enabler for travel agencies to attract and retain customers. Exemplifying efficiency by collating and integrating pool of information on a same platform, this will change the face of the industry in year to come. Travel research firm PhoCusWright estimates that Indian travel industry will grow 13% to $23 billion in the year 2012.
 Latest trends in the GDS segment
The role of the GDS has evolved with time. It is no longer just a content pipe between airlines and agents, but a fully-fledged marketing, retailing and distribution platform, providing new ways to sell a wider range of content than previously possible in the travel channel.  Plus, GDS are more aggressive now to add on the non-air content more. Travel agents are getting themselves GDS-connected as it is facilitating them to dive into non-air segment like hotels, shopping, rail-booking, travel insurances, in-destination activities, apartment rentals et el.
 Credentials needed to survive in a growing GDS market
In an era when the business environment is changing fast and the pace of change in technology is very rapid, minimizing errors, supercharging the transaction speed, manage high growth in volumes and enabling business to be conducted in a real time environment becomes imperative. Aiding backend processes, building new communication and networking platforms, enabling new payment processes, aggregating vast amounts of data and converting it into relevant information and more is only possible if the technology is advanced.
At the same time, in a fast growing market like India, smart deployment of technology will enable businesses to manage volume growth whilst containing costs. Thus, Indian travel agents will look forward for evolved technology and assimilated content for increased productivity and reach, which will be the ”˜differentiator '.
 Challenges faced by the GDS players
Today, the availability of content via GDS that varies from rail to air to car and from hotels accommodation to travel itineraries has given the travel agent flexibility to offer customized travel products. Clients, now, pay for the agent's expertise and service. The challenge faced by the GDS in time to come would be to provide new cutting edge technology and solutions to travel agencies that enhances the business prospect for them.
 Will the entry of airlines into the online space with their own online booking engines affect OTAs?
While the airlines are trying to reach out to the customer directly via their own booking engines, the value and service that is offered by an OTA is immense. The OTA space is still evolving and I see some very plausible trends in the online travel agencies. In 2012, we will witness more focus by the industry to provide the best value add service to their customers. Broad areas that come into the ambit of OTAs today are the ticket booking - air & non-air, tele-reservation, car rentals, tour packages. OTAs need to focus on not only efficiency and consistency aided by technology but also creating and engaging shopping experience. Therefore, customer satisfaction needs to be paramount. It is not technology but innovation and its execution that will decid the leader.
 Relevance of social media and mobile apps
Social media and mobile platforms will emerge as real marketing and communication tool to engage with the customer. 2012 will see the ”˜m ' (mobile) transformation. Statistics say that Indian telecommunication industry is the world's fastest growing market in terms of number of new subscribers and Google projects that 8% of mobile users will be booking travel from their smartphones by 2012. Though fully fledged mobile booking will roll on after 2012, but in the coming year, mobile bookings will surely gain tractions.

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