Andreas Scheck: This is an award given by passengers, therefore, having been recognised by them gives us great satisfaction and it inspires us to continue looking for innovative ways to fulfil our customers’ needs and improve their travel experience.BTN: How useful are accolades such as the World Travel Awards for airlines such as LATAM when it comes to promoting the brand to consumers?AS: We have focused on understanding the new needs of the Covid-19 and post-Covid-19 customer – focusing on how much travellers value safety in their journey, flexibility in the purchase decision process and connectivity across the network. – Advertisement – OlderBTN interview: Alexandra Vila, global senior manager, brand strategy and communications, LATAM BTN: Can you describe the mood in South American aviation in late 2020 – are we looking for a recovery as we head into next year?AS: As IATA announced, we expect the industry to recover pre pandemic demand by 2024, at a much slower pace than what the industry projected. But we are optimistic: LATAM Group is ready to fly when our customers are by implementing the highest safety standards, offering passenger peace of mind when they purchase their tickets through commercial flexibility and servicing, to date, 106 destinations around the world. Our mood is of service: we will be ready when you decide to fly. BTN: How will the new LATAM relationship with Delta Air Lines help both carriers meet the needs of passengers moving forward?AS: Our long-term alliance with Delta is focused to allow our passengers to access more connectivity with our complimentary destination networks. This alliance will offer our clients a better travel experience between Latin America and the USA.More InformationLATAM Airlines Group is the leading airline group in Latin America with one of the largest route networks in the world, offering services to 145 destinations in 26 countries, including six domestic markets in Latin America – Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru – in addition to international operations in Latin America, Europe, the United States, the Caribbean, Oceania, Africa and Asia.Find out more on the official website. This recognition motivates us to keep improving every day. We have never stopped flying during the pandemic, despite the multiple restrictions imposed by the authorities worldwide. More than 33,000 people returned home within the region thanks to the special flights we carried out, despite the limitations of the pandemic. – Advertisement – Voters at the World Travel Awards have honoured LATAM with a number of top titles – here we find out how it feels to have won from vice president of sales, Andreas ScheckBreaking Travel News: Congratulations – LATAM has been recognised as South America’s Leading Airline by voters at the World Travel Awards – how does it feel to have won?- Advertisement – NewerBTN interview: Gloria Gallardo, president, Guayaquil Public and Municipal Company of Tourism – Advertisement –
Gone are the days when women worked from home or joined their family’s business. Women have now ventured into manufacturing, technology and other businesses. And Deepa Shah, chairperson of Business Women Committee of the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry agrees, “During the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors summit 2011, 60 entrepreneurs expressed interest to set up business at the proposed Women Economic Zone (WEZ). These women mean business. From Shetal Shah, who heads a company that offers Geographic Information Services (GIS) to Meena Kaviya whose business had almost shut down and she had to rework the entire model. From Siddhi Shah who embarked on entrepreneurial journey to earn her pocket money to Sejal Shah who is supporting the local artisans throught her unique venture.Jewel queen She loved to mix and match and has been a creative person throughout. Shweta Pachauri, 30 studied fashion designing, then went on to study gems and jewellery and even taught at an institute. But realised her true calling lies in beads, stone and metals and started her own label, Kalash.Deciding factor: I started with diamond jewellery but then realised that there are a lot of people doing it already. So I ventured into stone jewellery.Metallic hues: I mix and match metals with stones. A combination of brass and stones in a pendant is much liked by my clients.Sports freak: I love to play badminton and have even represented Gujarat University at the state level.Travel bag: Uttarakhand is my all time favourite. I just love the picturesque hills and the thrilling adventure activitiadvertisementMapping Success Whoever said women can’t read maps should eat their words. Shetal Shah not only reads maps but prepares them which are used by different sectors like disaster management and transportation. While working at CEPT University, Ahmedabad, Shah was introduced to statistics and GIS. There she started Geographis (India) Pvt. Ltd for the same group. And in 2006-2007, she embarked on a new journey with Spin Systems. Today, her company is one of the few in India that offers GIS services.Major projects: She has been involved with projects such as preparing master plan for Kolhapur City, Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) of Ahmedabad, GIS based disaster preparedness tool for Gujarat.Biggest challenge: This sector is dominated by men and I am one of the few women in this field. Today hers is one of the few companies that provides professional services in remote sensing, analysing information.Fighting fit: I like classical dances and have learnt Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi. I spend one-and-a-half hours daily doing yoga.Big dream: I want to take GIS, mapping and remote sensing away from a jargon and technical environment to a level where it is used by the lay man. Also that GIS applications get widely used for urban planning, emergency management and other purposes.Light upSiddhi Shah’s mother once told her in a candid way to earn and then shop as much she wants to. This left her mind churning and she started designing dresses to begin with.Teething problems: I wanted to stand on my feet, without taking any finance from my parents. So the intial years were very tough.Differentiating factor: I customise for my clients so you won’t find a piece being repeated. Also, I have handpicked the artists who work for me.Book worm: I love reading Empires Of The Mind, Rich Dad Poor Dad, Stay Hungry Stay Foolish.Big dream: One day I want to come out with a book with my sketches of designer dresses.Business diaries Difficult circumstances forced Shilpa Panchal, 40 to step out of her comfort zone. “We were living a very comfortable life but then our family was facing financial problems. I decided to do something substantial to contribute my bit.” She started manufacturing plastic parts for energy meters with one machine set up at home. Her firm has grown rapidly and today she has a manufacturing unit at Odhav with eight machines.Guiding light: My father-inlaw, a practising engineer, told me that there was a need for precision plastic parts for various applications.Big challenge: Having invested in the machine and workforce, the first challenge was getting orders.My space: When I am alone I listen to old Hindi songs- Mukesh Kumar and Mohammad Rafi are my favourites.Play time: I have a son and daughter and they are a great source of joy. I love to play basketball, football, board games with my kids and their friends.Magic weave She loved doing it as her hobby but is now pursuing it for a living. Designing and embroidery were her passion which she turned into a small business 15 years ago. Encouraged by the response she got, Sejal Shah, 40 bought her own place, looked for good artisans and in no time was on a roll making ethnic wear and home linen by the name Gunthan.Number game: She has 70 artisans working for her on a contractual basis. In 2008-09, she was making 1,000-1,500 pieces in a year. Since then her business has grown by 250 percent.Recognition time: She won an award for the best women entrepreneur in the manufacturing business from Gujarat Chamber of Commerce in 2008.Support system: It would have been difficult to do it alone. My family has been very encouraging.Break free: I love dancing and I am a trained Bharatnatyam dancer. I love going to Thol Lake, the bird sanctuary near Ahmedabad.advertisementMen’s worldShe always wanted to start something of her own and when she zeroed on one, it was something unusual-manufacturing of men’s shirts. “My husband has been in the yarn business so I thought he could give me tips on the selection of quality fabrics as I didn’t want to compromise on quality,” says Meena Kaviya, 39.Initial hiccups: When one talks of women entrepreneurs in the garment sector, people only think of someone who is into womenwear or runs a boutique. So people did not take me seriously.Turning point: In 2006-2007, my main client closed down its shirts department and I had no work, which forced me to rework the business model. “I then started buying the yarn and got it woven myself to ensure quality, consistency and cost effectiveness.”Number game: Today her unit has about 100 machines with a monthly manufacturing capacity of 25,000 shirts.Great escape: Playing with my two kids, listening to songs, reading autobiographical and historic works and travelling.