How this travel management company turns adversity to its advantage and continues to grow

In 2011, from the ashes of global economic slowdown and rising oil prices, Travel Cue was born.

“Our organisation is indeed a product of adversity. We thrive in these conditions and always find a path that sustains the business,” muses Mr Nagender Chilkuri, Travel Cue’s group managing director.

The early days were wildly challenging, with funding difficulties and technological gaps amid growing customers’ need of quality delivery.

“As we prepared, we recognised early on the importance of digitisation. Travel Cue’s state-of-the-art, 100 per cent cloud-based network infrastructure and proprietary software systems ensure seamless delivery, both internally and externally with 100 per cent accuracy levels,” adds Mr Neeraj Yeswant, the group’s chief technology officer.

Travel Cue largely eschews job titles, giving all staff a sense of equal worth. “We take talent as young as 20 years old, onboarding them on to our systems and processes. The speed at which they adopt and adapt in becoming effective is just amazing. The younger staff are primed with the right mindset in tune with the requirements of the modern workforce,” notes Ms Joanna Kaunang, deputy managing director, “while the pioneers are key to their development with mentoring and training through their years of experience”.

In the process, the firm is continually aiming to future-proof itself.

The fruits of Travel Cue’s efforts are borne out by the statistics — today, it has more than 150 employees across 15 countries. It continues to grow at over 20 per cent year-on-year, with 2021 being no different.

Travel Cue’s profitability is driven through the growth in its customer base, which continues to recognise the value they deliver. Its parent company, Connect Group, has been recognised with awards such as “Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Award 2019” and “Asia Pacific High Growth Companies 2021”, among other accolades.

Mr Rahul Pereira, the group head of Service Delivery states: “This is a celebration of our achievement so far and a testament of how we grow against all odds. We attribute the success to the team, our technology and a unified purpose across the organisation. The organisation thrives on continuous learning, collaborative meritocracy and a competitive spirit that plays hard and works hard.”

Mr Chilkuri reflects: “When the pandemic hit, we were all caught off-guard, like the industry in general.”

But together as a team, Travel Cue evolved its business model, aided through charter operations as a “plug-in” towards expanding the solutions for clients in marine, oil and gas, pharmaceutical, IT, logistics and telecoms. These are essential services industries that need to move personnel across borders to sustain their operations even during a pandemic.

Travel Cue continues to expand its global coverage, seeking to service new markets, as it begins to execute its plans for the coming 10 years and beyond.

“We look at servicing industries that are resilient to the swings of the economy. The team continues to grow, bringing the best of mindset-based talent pool, wherever that person might be. We don’t see nationalities or politics, we just look for the right person for the job,” says Mr Chilkuri.

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