Top Drawer travel Talks

The post pandemic economy is going through a K shape path as a result of which companies on the upswing, have to adopt a very different strategy than firms that are on a lower momentum of growth right now.

In our second episode of “Top Drawer Travel Talks” we sat down with Bhupender Tomar, the group head of Administration of Facilities and Management at Arvind Limited to discuss how the pandemic has transformed the role of the value drivers and new ones that have gained precedence over them.

In case you missed the session, here are a few key takeaways:

Organizational priorities redesigned:

Due to the pandemic, a very fresh concept gained momentum which is the duty of care which superseded everything else. This became a top priority and the organization’s procurement process also evolved around this in all avenues including travel.

After the 1st wave of Covid-19,  the job role of the travel manager changed to more logistical in nature in order to enable the employees to start work from home. They were dealing with mobilizing IT assets to fuel the then newly introduced routine of “work from home”.

Duty of care also included extending support to the employees and their family members. Mr. Tomar shared that when you’re associated with the manufacturing setup, one thing is given “the show must go on”.

The need for the hour was robust management and laying down appropriate protocols and getting employees vaccinated. Not only did it build a lot of confidence in the employees but also drove a priority shift in value drivers.

Sustainability is key to a better future

There has been a paradigm shift in values, organizations have shifted their focus from being cost-conscious to sustainability. This is the time for companies to ponder on what kind of a world we plan to hand over to our coming generations.

It’s imperative that we  design an action plan to address vital issues like global warming, increase in carbon footprint, climate crisis among a few others. Mr. Tomar urged organizations to start with something as basic as ground transportation- monitoring that cars are sanitized, drivers are vaccinated, and reducing fuel wastage. These small changes will contribute to building a safer and healthier future for the next generation.

Revisiting systems and policies

A few weeks after the first wave of Covid-19 hit, organizations were challenged to look at their systems and policies to prepare for the times ahead. In the era before the pandemic, the priorities of the organizations were different. The value drivers were cost optimization and user experience, whereas now companies are more inclined to infusing technology into their travel program.

Digitisation is the need of the hour and employee experience too has taken a whole different meaning. There is a priority shift, the world is moving towards dynamic and flexible policies which are accessible for employees across departments and geographies.

Service providers or strategic partners?

It’s time for organizations to consider service providers more than just what their name suggests. However, Mr. Tomar muses that the efforts cannot be one-sided.

The service providers should be flexible and agile, have a dynamic approach to cater to needs, step up the value that can be added to the process efficiency only then can they be awarded the title of strategic partners. They should be able to extend their expertise and maintain a healthy balance. The travel partner can no longer be just a service provider. They need to understand customers’ needs and build a program on the basis of that.

The world is going through a makeover in every field with topics that usually took a backseat are gaining momentum. To know more about such upcoming episodes of TDTT, follow our LinkedIn channel.