When setting up business travel operations in India and China, take a methodical approach to discovery, making sure you understand current processes—and the rationale behind them. Only then can you successfully push for change in these markets, advise authors of The Tiger and the Dragon: Expanding Global Travel Programs in India and China, a paper unveiled during the Global Business Travel Association conference in Denver, July 16-20.
John Dale, Asia-Pacific market expert and senior vice president of BCD Travel, was a panelist during a GBTA session that explored the paper’s recommendations. He said his on-the-ground experience in India and China aligns with insights in the paper, particularly around the discovery process. “Launching a corporate travel program in India and China requires fact-finding on the front end,” Dale said. “It’s essential.”
As outlined in the paper, the discovery phase can help identify cultural and operational challenges and opportunities related to:
- airline flight routes
- hotel partnerships
- local travel agencies
- service configurations
- payment solutions
“Upfront discovery reveals things that you otherwise may not have considered as a foreigner entering the Indian and Chinese markets,” said Dale, who noted it’s worth investing time to ensure successful operations in India and China. Combined, these markets represent 25% of worldwide business travel spending.
BCD Global Sales Vice President Debra Cruz was one of the authors of The Tiger and the Dragon paper. It was linked to her GBTA global leadership professional designation, which Cruz was awarded during the conference.