Deeper the ocean’s bed, beautiful the experience to cruise on it. The grave storms that gust against the perch kept Nishith Saxena, Founder & Director, Cruise Professionals move upstream all this while and strategise the journey of cruises for Indian audience. Credible, meticulous and detailed are aptly the terms that describe Nishith and his team’s work ethic. From understanding the consumers need to satiate the demands of target masses, the cruise connoisseur has revealed it all.
What is a win if you don’t have an inspiring anecdote to tell at the celebratory event? Success never happens without failed plan ‘As’ and back up plan ‘Bs’. Nishith Saxena, a person who has deep-rooted his footsteps in the cruise business with a plan, too had a moment of realisation before he decided to swerve his career in the cruise travel sector in India. As he recollects his memories, he says, “I envisioned my career trajectory in the field, when I went on a Bahamas cruise as part of a training program. The ship was full of laughter, engagements, activities, food and drinks and happy people. After that short cruise, I knew that I am destined to make my future in the cruise industry and today after three decades, I have not one iota of regret being part of the cruise industry – one of the most promising and organised segments in the travel space.”
Nevertheless, he crossed the threshold of the initial hiccups and settled well in the sector. The insight of the nuances of the industry has made it possible for Cruise Professionals to not only make it to the top notches but also sustain the position.
Nishith says that his passion for the cruise business was defined by his ability to view and take long term decisions. He further talked about how the right opportunities and his foresightedness helped him underpin his foundations in the travel sector. He adds, “Princess Cruises presented an opportunity to become their Country Head and promote premium cruising in India in 1999. At that time, I was confident in Princess Cruises as a premium cruise product and associating with it was a turning point in my business. Fortunately, this relation is still going strong in its 19th year.”
Another milestone in Nishith’s career was when he decided to set up Cruise Professionals as a neutral b2b cruise representation business focused on bringing diversified cruise portfolio closer to home for agents in India. Cruise Professionals would be serving the travel trade and empower them to make ‘Premium Cruise Selling’ an integral part of their portfolio.
It is needless to say that learning is a never ending exercise – many people say it, but few follow this. Nishith has learned from people around him who may be older or younger, he has learned from situations which may be good or bad and from life which has its ups and downs. He opines, “What we learn needs to be applied in our daily personal and professional lives. I do not believe in preaching but a friendly advice to all is – Learn to say ‘No’, ‘Remove clutter’ and ‘Focus on doing what’s most important’. With multiple gadgets around us and notifications from social media, it is very easy to get distracted. Instead of being driven by technology, please tame and use technology to your advantage.
Nishith feels that in India, the cruise industry has finally picked up its pace. Now, the new initiatives by the government has propelled Cruise Tourism to the forefront with two new cruise lines scheduled to start their operations along the west coast of India and more international ships scheduled to touch Indian ports.
At this point, Nishith warns, “It is important that India emerges as a source market for multiple destinations cruising, otherwise, the cruise lines may lose their interest in the India story.”
As for talking about the growth of Cruise Professionals exclusively, Nishith gives a fair and square meticulous data. To corroborate his words, he says, “We deal with over 1800 agents across the country through personal sales calls and e-mode on a regular basis. Our distribution strength lies in the ‘connect’ we have been able to establish with these travel agents over the last 10 years. Our business grows nearly 15-20 per cent year-on-year on key parameters which are governed by five cruise lines represented by us.”
Here and now, Nishith as an individual led his team with the motivation that kept Cruise Professionals not only known in the market for its services but for a progressive workplace where everyday resumes flocked. After spending years in the industry, he realised that control and boundaries could not thrive development and creativity. People needed the freedom to think out of the box and bloom where they were planted. He adds, “Intellectually, financially and professionally, I offer a free realm where they can channelise their strengths for a better output. God has been very fair to all of us – no matter what age, colour, caste, creed and social status – everyone is blessed with 24 hours in a day, time cannot be replenished, so do not waste it and use it wisely.”
“The basic rule remains the same, and that would be ‘Different strokes for different folks’. No two situations are same and no two individuals are same. Act as your instincts guide you in any situation.”