Expedition and exploration – these two words resonate how we define adventure rinsed life in today’s date. Never was the world of unveiling new cultures eyed with such ease and approachability. A little less than two decades back, the world was becoming a global village but only for the financially-able. Mr. Kulwant Singh’s walk-in transformed lives. Lama Group, launched in 1997, sought to enable masses for global travel – a vision he had as an inkling when he first took a group of people for a tour in Dubai. Rest is, as we know, history.
BLAZE TO BRILLIANCE
When the whole continent lay home-sick, Lama Travels unravelled the marvel of elementary and affordable travelling for the layman. There was a time when Dubai tourist spots stood steadfast over their words which said, “Are you kidding? Indians are not travelers, Indians are not tourists.” and the UAE government exclaimed in unison “Are you serious? These people don’t shop!” Today, Indians are the biggest market of tourism. Managing over 200 events in Dubai itself, and having over 100 others who seek sponsorship to establish association, Lama Group is by and large accepted as more of an Events company world-wide than just a Travel company.
Started as a sole carrier of this dream, today Lama Group has 500+ people involved in keeping the dream alive and real. Catering to diversified interests on this date the company boasts of a sumptuous infrastructure of three desert safari camps (two of them in Dubai’s Conservation Zone), a cruise business, a fleet of buses, cars and stretch limos, as well as two Dubai hotels — Seven Sands and Arabian Sands. Lama Tours, or Lama Group, as Mr. Kulwant prefers to call it, has expanded into Russia, China, and across GCC. But the company’s main focus is the Indian market which, as he says, has “exploded” in recent years.
In a bid to grow traffic from India, last year Lama Tours started the first charter flight service from India to Dubai. The IndiGo aircraft, dubbed the ‘Lama Flight’, landed in Dubai on 11 August, 2012 from Delhi carrying 167 passengers. The second flight had flown in Sept and there after there have been constants flights during the busy season into Dubai.
ENGAGEMENT THAT ENTHRALS
A fond relation that Lama Group shares with its copacetic customer-base does not come a surprise to anyone since their efforts to engage with audience from its nascent stage has been given utmost attention. Lama Tours was ahead of the curve when it came to capturing the burgeoning Indian market and now brings in around 70% of Indian tourists to Dubai, with 150,000 guests every year. But the ever-ambitious chief of travel insists this is not even the tip of the iceberg, and says his target is to bring in at least 250,000 tourists a year from India. His attitude that resonates “Do it while you still can” is the reason why impressive embellishments adorn the walls of his organization.
It is clear that the success of Lama Tours has much to do with Mr. Kulwant’s constant drive for innovation, and he is the first to admit that some of his ideas have been more successful than others. When asked how industries have been transformed with innovation his impromptu response was, “I don’t know how many should I list.” The ‘Lama Kiosks’ – an in-house invention for Lama Group – which involved an investment of around $1.5 – $1.8 million, print out tickets on the spot after customers’ swipe their credit cards, and can be spotted around various malls in Dubai.
The concept was received with great enthusiasm, especially in Russia. Statistics and Mr. Kulwant, sing in unison about how 50 pieces of this device were an instant buy of Russian Tourism Board and were fixed for St. Petersburg – a reason for Lama Group to set up an office there for product servicing. Another milestone in innovative concepts was the “Make my Holiday” intervention. The idea was simple enough – serve coffee! These consultants who serve coffee were not actually their office boys or cleaning boys or cafeteria girls. These were actually consultants who give you coffee and sell you a holiday. That concept has spread into malls too. So the girls who’ll be selling coffee are not waitresses, they are consultants. And while you get a coffee made from them you can discuss your holiday with them. They re-branded the coffee mugs, calling it “Make my Holiday”.
The promise is to touch lives! A brand that ensured transformation of various facets in a person’s life – gifting him the basic amenity and bringing down a “luxury-for-affluent” to come within the reach of anyone who has the wanderlust. Lama Group has done what our world desperately needed – a change in perspective. If there is one name people can count on for making a 3 day voyage, more or less, into a memory for an eternity – Lama Group has turned out as “irreplaceable”. What else do they promise? Their belief – Let’s Grow Together!
1. Managed over 200 events in Dubai itself, and had over 100 others who seeked sponsorship to establish association.
2. It came to capturing the burgeoning Indian market and now brings in around 70% of Indian tourists to Dubai, with 150,000 guests every year.
3. The company boasts of a sumptuous infrastructure of three desert safari camps (two of them in Dubai’s Conservation Zone), a cruise business, a fleet of buses, cars and stretch limos, as well as two Dubai hotels —Seven Sands and Arabian Sands.
- 2001, understanding the potential and demand of Cruise Operations in Dubai, Lama Tours expanded their operations under a new company called Lama Dubai Floating Restaurants.
- 2005, having grown over 200%, Lama Dubai Floating Restaurant launched the largest three Decker cruise in the U.A.E. with a seating capacity of 250 passengers.
- Tours and excursions across UAE, India, Russia, Philippines and growing. Lama Tours launched Lama Touch Screen (Kiosk) ‘Tours on Spot” machine.
- 2012 – The IndiGo aircraft, dubbed the ‘Lama Flight’, landed in Dubai on 11 August, 2012 from Delhi carrying 167 passengers.