BIRD GROUP, INDIA’S MOST RELIABLEMARKET HERO FOR HOSPITALITY AND TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY SERVICES
The journey to an empire, built on the concrete shoulders of a nascent travel agency started from a vision instilled with strong values of a humble and earnest name in the hospitality industry, Mr. Vijay Bhatia, President, Bird Group.
A perfectionist at heart he decided to explore the travel and tourism industry in the early 70s and established his firm in 1971 as ‘Bird Travels’ (Bird Group), one of the most preferred travel service providers in the country. As a GSA partner, Bird Travels successfully represents some of the world’s best airlines in India.
In 1992, the group launched its technology arm with RDM India – an ISO 9001:2008 certified IT Enabled services and solutions provider. Two years later, Amadeus India Private Limited was established with the objective of providing IT and software services and developing software products and automated tools for the travel trade industry. The Group ventured into the hospitality business in 2011 and currently owns and operates a collection of six uber-luxury hotels & resorts in India and the UK. It launched the country’s first natural and perennial indoor ice-skating rink and café – iSKATE, pioneered BPO, R&D, and IT services, redefined transportation with Bird Mobility and represents select high-end luxury brands in India including BMW, MINI and Segway PT.
Under the wise supervision of Dr. Ankur Bhatia, Executive Director, Bird Group enjoys the position of being among the largest Indian conglomerates with presence in several industries. It has more than 47 years of experience in Travel Technology, Aviation Services, Hospitality, Retail, and Education.
THE MAN WHO MAKES TRAVEL HOSPITABLE
Dr. Ankur Bhatia is a prolific and outstanding leader; he has led the group’s strategic thrust to create multiple drivers of growth that made a significant and growing contribution to the company and industry at large. He also shaped and implemented blue ocean strategies that strengthen the overall brand proposition and accelerate a leap in core business value by exploring new growth avenues for building uncontested market leadership.
Articulating a vision for Bird Group and direction to the consortia of companies, Dr. Bhatia is credited with bringing in the Amadeus brand to the Indian sub-continent in 1994, which today is one of the leading brands providing travel technology for travel agents & airlines. Amadeus celebrates 25 successful years of operations in India in 2019.
Bird Hospitality’s flagship, the urban luxury concept is illustrated by Roseate Hotels & Resorts, which has three properties each in India and the UK. The Roseate Group has a mix of leisure and business boutique hotels and resorts offering the best of service, standard, and quality. Bird Group also forayed into a portfolio of SaaS (software as a service), Web and App products with BirdApps.
Ankur reminisces, “After successfully establishing itself in the travel technology and aviation services with Amadeus, Bird Execujet, BWFS, and Globe Ground India, the Group ventured into the hospitality business in 2011, and today we are the largest technology provider to the travel industry in the subcontinent.”
The company’s vast knowledge bank covers all industry segments including airlines, online travel agencies, and hospitality. Its worldwide engagements have been with clients across the UK, the Middle East, and Asia. Amadeus, BirdRes, Bird Information Systems (BIS), Reservation Data Maintenance (RDM) and Universal Cargo Solutions are the technology companies that make the Bird Group such a powerful brand.They also develop manpower for the aviation in ‘Bird Academy’, the education arm of Bird group and is among South Asia’s Top-10 IATA-certified Authorized Training Centres (ATCs) and IATA’s first and only ‘Regional Training Partner’ in India.
The Bird Group has a strong promotion strategy to ensure its brands develop holistically. The group’s in-house marketing &communications team strategically engages with stakeholders to update information. Every year, brand promotion activities like showcase of products & solutions are conducted in India and the sub-continent and active sponsorship and participation in relevant conferences and events are encouraged. The hospitality indigenous brand ‘Roseate Hotels & Resorts’ has a 360-degree approach in terms of marketing itself appropriately among its target audience through advertising, newsletters, exciting promotions, and a robust PR strategy.
INFLUENCE OF TECHNOLOGY
Dr. Ankur shares, “Bird Group evolved as the largest technology provider for the travel industry in India and the subcontinent. Bird Group covers industry segments such as airlines, online travel agencies, corporate and hospitality through its travel technology entities — Amadeus India, BirdRes, Bird Information System, Reservation Data Maintenance and Universal Cargo Solutions.”
Owned by Bird Group, Amadeus India provides cutting-edge travel automation technology. Conceived in 1994, Amadeus has become one of India’s largest travel technology companies offering flexible and innovative business solutions.
Between now and 2025, the Asia Pacific travel market will continue to outgrow the rest of the world. In an era where consumers are seeking the best customer experience possible, one needs to realign strategies and innovate to provide a 360-degree experience to explorers worldwide.
“Over the years, the travellers have become savvier and better informed, and travel and its elements of surprise, magic, and wonder have become increasingly challenging to achieve. The continually evolving technology needs of the travel market make it dynamic and challenging to be in” avows Dr. Ankur.
RELATIONSHIP WITH THE CLIENTS
With over 40 years of experience, Bird Travels represents airlines, cruises, and travel & tourism partners as their General Sales Agent. All the hotels and resorts under their hospitality brand Roseate Hotels& Resorts’ portfolio combine tradition with ultra-modern amenities catering to a global audience of business & leisure travellers.
“Since we have a diverse portfolio, we cater to different categories of clients, ranging from travel agencies, and airlines for our technology arm to sports enthusiasts & youth appealing to age group spanning 5 years to 55 years for concepts like iSKATE” emphasizes Dr. Ankur.
FEATHERS IN THE CAP
Thriving on its extensive experience in the industry, the Bird Group has been making bold ventures into the market. The group recently launched BirdApps – a venture and Innovation lab. Bird Apps incubates a portfolio of SaaS, Web and App products in the Sectors which Bird Group operates in. BirdApps curates and builds on-demand products that cater to the evolving travel, hospitality and lifestyle segment.
The proud director states, “The extraordinary high standards set by the group and its continuous drive towards perfection has resulted in many prestigious awards and citations like ‘Business Superbrand winner’ 2017, recognized by Superbrands India, recipient of the prestigious Indian Power Brand status and many more.”
BRAND AND CORE VALUE
With a diverse industry portfolio, Bird Group has represented many of the world’s leading airlines, managed technological frameworks for airline IT and distribution, pioneered back-office processes and managed pivotal relationships for international service providers.
Actively immersed in the travel sector for over four decades, Bird Group has covered all its aspects, including hospitality. All of Bird Group’s offerings have been strategically designed around its portfolio. Today, the Bird Group is one of India’s most trusted brands serving the needs of industries as diverse as travel technology and hospitality.
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Bird Group is not just all about business. It extends its support to improving the lives of those the company interacts with and works around ways to minimize human suffering. It contributes extensively to social development and, in a hundred different ways, expresses its concern for the deteriorating environment. It has touched the lives of the underprivileged sections of society especially women, adolescents, and children.
“Aspiring to be leaders in our business, we support, enable and empower our customers to realize their potential. We drive them to succeed. At our hospitality vertical, the ethos that drives our business is exemplary service and creating an unforgettable experience for our guests”
Dr. Ankur Bhatia