29/05/2020

RGRM-Vacation

Your Unforgettable Journey

How Findmyfare.com redeployed its travel consultants to medical services: “It’s about saving jobs”

In late January, Tushan Shanmugarajah, CEO and co-founder of Findmyfare.com, started out looking at drops...

In late January, Tushan Shanmugarajah, CEO and co-founder of Findmyfare.com, started out looking at drops in profits to marketplaces in South-east Asia. Thinking this was “something like SARS”, that it’d be contained, it switched advertising and marketing strategies to Europe and the Middle East.

In
February, it ran a campaign with Mastercard advertising India which was, at that
time, continue to open up for organization.

“Then every single
region acquired strike and now we are practically at zero revenues, actually destructive profits,”
mentioned Tushan, talking to WiT from Colombo. “Our settlement to IATA was destructive
in February.”

Shareholders
then started out calling, inquiring how the firm meant to survive. “They required
a system,” mentioned Tushan, who returned from London to Sri Lanka in 2012 to commence
the regional OTA.

On March
17, it closed its office and created everyone work from dwelling. Luckily, it experienced
been using on line platforms from a 12 months in the past and the workforce created the transition
easily. “In Sri Lanka, people today are continue to pretty used to functioning in places of work and
some organizations are battling with remote work due to the fact they could not have established up
the needed infrastructure or trained staff.”

Then it experienced
to find a way to lower staff charges. It employs about 80 people today, forty five of whom are
vacation consultants. Most of them experienced been hired final 12 months and trained in the
anticipation of wholesome organization in 2020.

“Since the
Covid-19 outbreak, all the vacation organizations globally are chopping positions. I was
also forced to glance at the option of downsizing the workforce to extend the
survival time period in the latest marketplace condition. I felt definitely depressing to
fire people today at this significantly wanted time, here in Sri Lanka there is no unemployment
welfare,” mentioned Tushan.

“It seemed these kinds of a shame as well to allow well-trained staff go.”

Tushan functioning from dwelling

Tushan went on LinkedIn to see if he could find choice jobs to preserve some positions. He designed this post, inquiring, “Are you on the lookout for additional sources through this time to support your organization demand? We have thirty+ well-seasoned #consumer_services_expert readily available to work from dwelling. Demand from customers for vacation services has dropped because of to the #coronavirus #outbreak and believe that it will continue to be reduced for the future couple months. I would like to check out choice options to put my workforce in the significantly-wanted sectors until finally the vacation organization return to normality.”

In just a couple of hrs, he acquired a call from an on line pharmacy, healthnet.lk, and by close of day, he was on a call to finalise information to redeploy his workforce to the pharmacy. “Their demand was so high they could not cope with demand and they wanted 10 people today correct away.”

Nowadays, thirty of his consumer services workforce has been redeployed to the on line pharmacy as well as a regional pharmacy (Heathguard) with 21 branches, wherever their consumer requests are getting managed by Findmyfare’s call centre. It is also functioning with a regional health practitioner services, ODOC.existence, to help clients with their on line appointment scheduling.

“Travel consultants are definitely great at consumer
services. They know how to tackle complaints, how to empathise with clients.
This is what’s wanted at this time when people today are feeling fearful in this
health-related crisis,” mentioned Tushan.

“This is not about earnings, but about conserving positions
and also redeploying competencies to locations which want it to help our nation by way of
this crisis.”

It is allocated non-consumer-experiencing teams on longterm jobs. For illustration, its finance workforce is functioning on finance and work process automation, and leaders are undergoing management instruction classes. “It’s a great time to do some finding out.”

The Findmyfare workforce on Zoom – the company’s transition to remote work was clean given it experienced established up the needed infrastructure and instruction final 12 months

Conscious that it could be a lengthy highway in advance to
eventual recovery – an viewers poll done at WiT Virtual this early morning at
the investors session reckoned organizations are heading to want at least twelve months
of runway to survive – Tushan mentioned, “We are continually brainstorming on Zoom.
We never want to make swift, wrong choices when it will involve people’s life.
If it’s much more than six months, then we have to find artistic ways to maintain people today
utilized.”

Note: If you have acquired a tale to share about how your vacation firm has finished anything diverse and artistic to preserve positions, or pivot to interact with clients at this point, you should send out in your activities. Email me

Featured picture is of the vacation consultants at Findmyfare.com