Gulf Insider interviews Adnan Gilitwala, Director of Dadabhai Travel.
What would you say is your leadership style,and how has it helped you navigate this period?
My leadership style leans towards empowering the right people in key positions to make sound decisions,which I believe has helped in making people understand the severity of the situation.
What is an unexpected challenge you’ve faced in the past few months?
A major challenge has been the ability to plan for the future, as decisions related to global border openings and travel policies have been very erratic,oftentimes with very little clarity.
How do you, personally, assess the current situation of the travel industry?
In this part of the world the industry is heavily dependent on credit and without some form of revenue generated to fulfill the minimum payments that need to be made to sustain that credit, we have already seen the dire impact on companies and the livelihood of people involved.
Are you noticing people in Bahrain becoming more fearful of traveling, or developing confidence again?
The sentiment is relatively mixed, with some people desperate to get on their next flight and others remaining very cautious to the extent where they claim they won’t travel until a vaccine is available.
Can you tell us about initiatives you’ve undertaken to support your staff and partners?
We are trying to retain as many staff as possible and support them both financially and emotionally. We continue to maintain strong relationships with our existing partners and are even in talks to establish new partnerships to implement innovative plans for a post COVID-19 world.
What are your predictions for the travel industry for the next 2-3 years?
I believe the next 2-3 years will be primarily focused on consolidation and recovery. However, I believe it may take even longer for the industry to reach the same levels it ended 2019 at.
What message do you have for new (travel-related) business owners struggling to stay afloat?
I would recommend that they do everything they can to reduce their costs wherever possible, and also invest in technology, in order to keep costs low and optimize performance.