2019 was a year of dynamic change in the corporate travel sector. Business traveller's habits continued to evolve at a rapid pace, forcing organizations to rethink about the tools and policies they offer to travellers for business travel.

FCM Travel Solutions India is bringing in new tools and technologies which are disrupting the business travel industry as they offer opportunities for companies of all sizes to make business travel more convenient and cost-effective. Across the entire business travel ecosystem which consists of suppliers, corporate travel managers and travelling employees, a new mindset is emerging: business travel must put people first, and then policies.

To gain an edge over competitors 'FCM Travel Solutions India' is bringing a human element to their business travel programme. In a conversation with The CEO Magazine, Rakshit Desai, Managing Director, FCM Travel Solutions India, talks about how to provide a personalized experience to corporate customers while prioritizing comfort, well-being as well as organizational structure.


FCM Travel Solutions India is part of Flight Centre Travel Group Australia, which is one of the largest travel companies in the world. This Indian arm is one of the top travel companies in India and operates on an extensive portfolio of corporate and retail travel brands including:

  • FCM Travel Solutions and Corporate Traveller (Corporate Travel Management)
  • Travel Tours (leisure travel), FCM Travel MICE (Incentive Travel and Events)
  • Travel Money India (Foreign Exchange)
  • FCM Travel Incoming (Inbound Travel)
  • Travel Air Representations (Wholesale)

FCM is the business travel partner of choice for large national, multinational and global corporations worldwide. We are transforming the business of travel through our empowered and accountable people who deliver 24/7 services and are available on both online and offline platform. Leveraging FCM's negotiating strength and supplier relationships in conjunction with tailored business travel programs, its expertise is delivered to clients where it matters the most.

How does FCM sit within the entrepreneurial ecosystem of India and who are your peers?

A true entrepreneurial ecosystem is about creating disproportionate impact despite significant constraints and we do that every day. Personally, I believe my peers include people who are in the institution-building phase of their career, and professionally, my peers include organisations working towards inspiring Indians to cross borders.

What is your current business model?

We are a diversified end-to-end travel & related services provider – catering to large and small corporates, leisure holidaymakers, travel agents and foreign tourists coming to India. We also have an AD-II Forex license, which enables us to faciliatet cross-border payments.

Achievements and Awards

  • Winner of the World's Leading Travel Management Company Award at the WTM for nine consecutive years (2019-2011)
  • Times Travel Award for 'Most Trusted Corporate Travel Agent 2019'

How do you keep your team motivated and what are you looking forward to in the future?

We rally people around purpose. When you hire people aligned on purpose, external moitivation and supervision become redundant. ? We want to build FCM into the most admired travel company in India. Everything that we do today lays the foundation for this tomorrow. We  are looking to grow our distribution footprint to 50 stores by the year-end and easily cross $1 billion in turnover this year.

How do you approach change and what's next for FCM Travel Solutions India? 

With an open mind and a high degree of commitment. Change infrequently but comprehensively takes its due course. We will see the travel industry continue to consolidate in the coming years. Company failures have affected customer confidence but that will be recovered soon. Demand growth is healthy despite macroeconomic concerns.

How did you overcome failures and what lessons did you learn from them?

We fail all the time. Trying and failing is okay, not trying is not okay. One has to grow from, and rise above failure to be successful. The world is changing faster than ever and to stay ahead, we should keep on learning. I read a lot of biographies and like to talk to people about their journey and experiences.

What was your journey like to get where you are?

Bumpy, like an Everest expedition. Once you reach the top the view is amazing, but it takes extraordinary reserves of courage and resilience to overcome terrain, weather and navigational difficulty.

What was the most difficult lesson you have learned as an entrepreneur?

One thing that I learned through my entrepreneurial journey is that "control is an illusion", you can do everything right, but not control what happens. The relationship between input and output isn't scientific. You have to work on influencing rather than controlling and strive for directional progress.

What advice can you give entrepreneurs who want to venture into the travel domain? 

The road has not always been easy but it has been and continues to be, a lifelong education on what it truly takes to be a successful travel entrepreneur. One advice that I want every budding entrepreneur to know is that the travel industry is not for the faint of heart. It is volatile, unpredictable and operationally intense. But if you stay the course, it can be very rewarding. Passion for travel makes it easier to connect with the product and the customer.

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