An Interview with Prem and Kamini Cohly, CEO and President of Hariworld Travel | TravelResearchOnline

An Interview with Prem and Kamini Cohly, CEO and President of Hariworld Travel

 

From a modest beginning in Toronto, Canada, in 1968, Hariworld has become one of North America’s most influential and respected consolidators. In 1982, Prem Cohly opened Hariworld Travel’s first office in the heart of New York City’s Rockefeller Center. Kamini Cohly, his wife and Hariworld’s current President, joined the company in 1987. The two now operate Hariworld from their New York City offices.

TRO: Tell us a bit about the history of Hariworld.

Kamini: Prem joined the family business in 1976 with his father. Using the business acumen that he gained through his post graduate studies from Delhi University, Prem greatly expanded the company’s client base and increased revenue for the company. He enabled us to open our first United States office in Rockefeller Center.

Hariworld’s initial mission was to address the needs of a growing population looking for a more affordable way to travel. We were eager to accept the challenge when Hariworld became one of the agencies selected by the airlines to be a prototype of a relatively new concept called consolidation. Today we have five offices in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco and New Delhi and we generate over $120 million in annual ticket sales. The company’s ongoing commitment in developing the latest technology is a big part of our mission to assure future growth.

TRO: With a history that long in the industry, Hariworld has worked with many, many travel agents over the years.  Tell us about your relationship with the travel agent community.

Kamini: For Hariworld, it’s all about making business easier for the travel agent.  Hariworld works closely with its agents, has a 24/7 support network and maintains and active presence in the industry by way of participation at trade shows and constant communication with our travel partners. Our management team has more than 130 years of combined experience and we’ve gained a reputation for integrity, excellent service, and support even under the challenging conditions we have all together faced through the years.

TRO: Many travel agents think of Hariworld as primarily a consolidator for India. Yet, you have contracts worldwide, isn’t that correct?

Prem: Absolutely! Hariworld has negotiated preferred agreements with over 45 US and international airline partners offering service to world wide destinations. We offer First, Business and Economy commissionable and net fares. All of these fare structures encompass discounts of up to 60%, with the very same airline partners agents would book on published fares. Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe. Mexico, Middle East, India, South America and New Zealand…all are a part of Hariworld’s contract matrix with the airlines.  Our product line has also expanded to encompass hotels, tours, and car rental.

TRO: What do travel agents need to know about working with a consolidator and net rates?

Prem: Using a consolidator provides your client with a better value and provides the travel agent with the ability to earn higher commissions and revenues and enhance customer loyalty. Consolidators have the ability to negotiate last minute ticket deals.  Hariworld is a member of the United States Air Consolidator Association (USACA), an association of consolidators that have established and maintained high standards of business practices.   Net fares allow the travel agents to mark up the ticket according to their market. Discounted published fares allow the agents to get up to 60% off the published rate available in the CRS. This affords travel agents the ability to offer lower airfares at significant savings to their clients.

TRO: In what instances does it make sense for a travel agent to consider working with a consolidator?

Prem: Anytime a client is traveling internationally, the travel agent should think of using a consolidator. When the agent is looking for more commission to compete with the larger travel companies, using a consolidator should be a first consideration. Bulk fares allow the travel agents higher mark up for air tickets. Consolidator contracts allow mileage accrual with the major airlines. Most consolidators have systems that allow travel agencies to obtain quotes via any CRS or web booking tool, saving significant time to the agent allowing them to deliver superior service to the passenger. Consolidators have the ability to negotiate last minute tickets and offer lower airfares to your clients along with the best possible negotiated group rates.

TRO: I know you have some significant investment in booking engine technology at Hariworld.  How does your booking technology differ from other consolidators?

Kamini: Hariworld was one the first consolidators to have an online pricing engine. Not only that, our system was developed in-house with the close cooperation of travel agents. We designed our booking engine to compliment a travel agent’s workflow in dealing with clients. Hariworld is the only company that has a booking engine which can reserve bookings for up to 48 hours while a client makes up his or her mind, show live availability and accurate tax calculation.

TRO: What are Hariworld’s strongest benefits that travel agents should consider?

Kamini: Unrivaled expertise! We are privately owned so we know our travel agency customers and can react swiftly to their needs. Hariworld has been an established, recognized brand in the travel industry for over 40 years. We provide
24/7 customer service and support with both commissionable and net agreements for First, Business and Economy class to worldwide destinations. With the flexible features of our booking engine, agents can manage their own bookings. We really are one stop shopping for all our travel agency clients.

TRO: What is it like working as a husband and wife team in the same business?

Kamini: It has been quite rewarding to see our joint efforts, myself with technology and Prem with sales and  marketing resulting in the continuous growth of the Hariworld brand. We have held true to our goal of making sure that the customer’s needs come first. As is the case when you have a husband and wife in the same company we find ourselves bringing the work home with us more often then we would like. Our ability to prioritize and take ownership of projects has been essential to completing the projects in a timely manner.

Travel agents can see Hariworld’s website at http://www.hariworld.com/ or call call their offices at 888-889-2968.

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