TLabs Showcase on travel startups featuring India-based GlobalTHEN, a training and learning service using interactive media and technology for travel and tourism companies.
Who and what are you (including personnel and backgrounds)?
GlobalTHEN is a learning solutions company, focused on training and educating the global workforce of the travel, tourism and hospitality industry which accounts for 9% employment and 8% of global capital invested (source: WTTC).
Before starting GlobalTHEN, Ram was heading the Asia Pacific Region for PhocusWright, a leading Travel, Tourism & Hospitality research company for over a decade and is considered one of the leading thinkers and researchers in the online travel space in the Asia-Pacific region. Ram has been advising top TTH companies on the future strategies of online travel distribution in the APAC.
What financial support did you have to launch the business?
The company received Rs 1.8 Crore ($400,000) in an angel round in April last year from big names like Deep Kalra (founder and CEO of MakeMyTrip), Alok Mittal (MD, Canaan India), Rajiv Vij (CEO of Carzonrent), Philip Wolf (chairman of PhoCusWright), Peter Harbison (executive chairman, Center for Asia Pacific Aviation), Cameron Jones (VP â€“ Commercial, SilverRail Technologies) and Olivier Jager (CEO, Forwardkeys).
What problem are you trying to solve?
It was while at PhocusWright that Ram realised that availability and quality of skilled workforce is the key challenge of the TTH industry in emerging economies. Billions of dollars are being invested in TTH hard infrastructure â€“ airports, roads, hotel, transportation etc.
However there is no focus on scaling high quality learning for the workplace. That is when Ram partnered education visionary Sourabh J Sarkar to deploy his unique approach OmniDEL leveraging two of the most powerful forces of the 21st century â€“ interactive technology and multimedia to set up.
GlobalTHEN is a company focused on building high-quality learning IP which is the missing link in the education value chain.
OmniDEL is Omni-Dimensionally Engaging Learningware developed by Sarkar has spent over two decades distilling the best of everything, from the traditional to post-modern, from Eastern to Western approaches to Learning.
The result is Learningware that engages the physical, energetic (praanic), mental and spiritual dimensions of the learner, using the best that interactive media and technology has to offer, offering the learner, an opportunity for continuous learning and transforming the learner
Describe the business, core products and services?
- Pawan Ko Kahin Dekha Kya? (Drivers Behavioral Proficiency Enhancement)
- In Pipeline â€“ Teen Ka Dum (Selling Skills for TTH Industry Front Line),
- Care Connection (Customer Service for TTH Industry)
- Sales Right â€“ Digital Travel Revolution, Hotel Revenue Management
- Fresher Recruitment, Training and Induction Cycle
- Learning Programs
- Marketing Programs (based on enhancing knowledge & skill) for destination management organizations (DMO)
Who are your key customers and users at launch?
Institutions participating in Pawan Ko Kahin Dekha Kya? learning program are:
- Tourism car fleet owners
- Radio â€“City cabs that ply within cities
- Vendors who provide employee transportation for technology companies in India
- Government bodies as part of road safety mandate
Examples of company: IT Tata Motors, EasyCab, Wings Travel, Anteus Travel, Om Sai Transport, BMC Software, Olacabs and many more.
Did you have customers validate your idea before investors?
The model was validated at PhoCusWright when I created my first masterclass on the digital travel revolution which Wolf and myself as the experts. Many of my angel investors saw the product and liked it and backed me when I setup my own company.
What is the business and revenue model, strategy for profitability?
IP licensing on a per user basis or per workshop basis. For the driver training we are retailing the product at $ 18 per driver for one day workshop. Per workshop basis â€“ We charge $ 350 per workshop.
SWOT analysis â€“ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?
- TTH industry focus, backed by industry stalwarts, revolutionary OmiDEL Approach
- No precedent to measure success.
- Workforce challenge in TTH Industry in emerging markets.
- Limited HR budgets in the TTH Industry. Fragmented industry so extra sales effort to reach out to smaller players
Who advised you your idea isn’t going to be successful and why didn’t you listen to them?
Most people in India including VCs said that they donâ€™t back IP or content-driven business models. In India the predominant investment goes into services or technology platforms. Ours was IP driven and there was no precedent.
My confidence came from the power of OmniDEL learning experience that Sourabh designed which I think is going to change the way education happens in the next few years.
What is your success metric 12 months from now?
- Drivers training sold for 20,000 drivers using scalable learning experience
- 10,000 individuals sign up for the selling skills and customer service products
- We are able to deliver our promise on SKIP model â€“ Putting Skills and Knowledge into practice in our three modules
- Raise a Series A round to build a larger library of TTH focused library
- Our products will converted into other languages ( Indian and international) to reach out to more students
NB: Disclosure – Tnooz CEO and co-founder Gene Quinn has a minority investment in GlobalTHEN.