Business is ethics for Sanjay Dang who runs a successful travel agency
India is a great country, diverse and exotic, believes Sanjay Dang. Here, you find all the four seasons, mountains, oceans, national parks and so much more. In other words, India is a dream destination and taking you there is Dang’s passion and profession. The 39-year-old entrepreneur runs Le Travelworld, an agency that he set up in 1989 just after completing his diploma in management.
It was Dang’s flair for picking up new things that prompted him to begin his own business. Add to that his desire to know more about other countries, a keen interest in interacting with people and the fact that he had travelled extensively as a young boy since his father was in the Army. The initial years were tough but rewarding, remembers Dang. The resources were limited, as was the infrastructure, the market was competitive and he had yet to build up his credibility. But one advertisement in a South Delhi tabloid proved to be the turning point and clients started contacting him.
Today, the business is about Rs 50 crore and growing.
With two offices in Delhi and NOIDA, this successful entrepreneur has an 11-hour day, six days a week. “And the telephone calls spill over to the house,” says Dang with no trace of regret. He loves his work and is proud of his motivated team. Over the years, he has diversified and now offers a range of services. The mainstay is corporate travel, but they handle insurance and transportation—the entire gamut of services that a traveller needs. He sells travel overseas and also caters to the outbound customers.
Dang’s vision impairment has never slowed him down. His degenerative vision disorder started when he was just two years old. He was diagnosed with congenital myopia and had completely lost his vision by the age of 25. Always positive in outlook, Dang took this as a challenge. He started listening to international radio broadcasts to learn about developments the world over. He attended the Army Public School in New Delhi and then went on to study at the Kendra Vidyalayas in Bareilly and Dehra Dun. Cultural and extracurricular activities became an intrinsic part of his life. Dang won awards in dramatics and also contributed to the school magazine.
Travel and tourism fascinated him and began to dominate his inner world. His desire to learn more about the culture of India and other countries grew. This prompted Dang to work with the General Sales Agent of Pan Am for a couple of years where he learnt the intricacies of the travel trade.
Le Travelworld was the path he chose when he decided to do it alone. The appreciation and accolades that followed made it all the more rewarding for him. He has received major awards from international airlines. Dang is quick to attribute this success to his family’s support, the focussed outlook of his team and to some out-of-the-box thinking on his part. He has also evolved skills that, he explains, are normal for a person with vision impairment but come as a real surprise to others.
Dang elaborates: “It is a fact that you will have enhanced memory retention and recall, as other faculties become stronger when your visual functions are not normal. A lot of friends and colleagues tend to ask me for information, such as phone numbers and addresses, which I am able to recall instantly. And, in general, one tends to have a better voice recognition capability than most others.”
Voice recorders and other gadgets have helped him along the way. Dang relies on technology and is well-versed with the latest developments that serve as aids to the visually impaired. “It is prudent to keep checking at frequent intervals,” he advises, “if these products have come out with newer improved versions as technology is ever changing.” For someone who is busy at work organising trips for others, Dang is quick to confess that he is himself not much of a traveller. Given a chance, though, it is India where he would travel—and, more specifically, to two totally different destinations, Rajasthan and Kerala. Sanjay Dang is characteristically full of plans and projects for the growth of his business. On the agenda is an online portal that will help increase his agency’s market share. And the waves of World Space Radio fill his moments of leisure, bringing rhythm to a life of enterprise and endeavour. A life that has translated into moments of reaching out to people all over the world.