Friday, January 26, 2018

TISSAA : Truly Virtually Yours Forever

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"We must share good news with our readers, as excitedly, as we do with our mother" -- Fundamental of Journalism. 

Alma Mater is almost like a mother, as it provides the much needed intellectual nourishment to its students at the crucial stages of their lives. TISS, your Alma Mater wishes to bond, connect and get closer to you; wants to help you rejuvenate your career. It takes great pride in sharing all your stories… your tales of struggle, success, challenges and much more, with your fellow TISSians.

TISS is proud of it's luminous Alums, of their grand successes as well as of their social and personal joy. The Institute takes great pleasure in welcoming and sharing their accolades, expertise, life-experiences, expectations, commitments, gratitude towards their very own TISS.

Tata Institute of Social Sciences Alums Association, (TISSAA) strives to unite TISSians across globe for their mutual growth in respective fields through mentoring, guidance, internships, fieldwork opportunities, job postings, references, scholarships, awards, research and projects, etc.

'Give the ones you love, wings to fly, roots to come back and reasons to stay' - His Holiness The Dalai Lama has been quoted on the website. The easiest, fastest, surest way to connect, to communicate, to rejuvenate the ultra special bond with TISS and TISSians is right here, right now on our very own TISSAA website which is trendy and up to date.

TISSians are the perfect Brand Ambassadors to spread the fame and glory of TISS. It has enlightened our lives, brightened our futures with holistic education. Now, it's our turn to show our love, respect and gratefulness by Re-imagining TISS

The most awaited TISSAA website will be dedicated to TISS alums all over the world, on February 3, 2018. The website launch is turning point in TISSAA's journey. The website will magnetize the diverse TISS community and it will also act as a message board with latest information about your campus, school, center, faculty and peers.

TISSAA website greets us with the sprawling TISS campus among lush greenery, backdrop of azure sky studded with tanned mountains and a vintage ambassador reminiscing those dreamy days... the possibility of having a dream come true, gushing with youthful exuberance, aiming for nothing less than stars. 

The first look of TISSAA website is slick and spacious. It's easy to navigate with all necessary options and sub options. Each and every kind of information is available at the click. Connecting with fellow alums has never been so easier with sub-categories such as campus, maps, centers, degrees, batch, groups, cities, chapters etc. 

The most important feature of TISSAA site is the campus-activities, events (Past, Present, Future) around the world. Upcoming reunions are the most awaited and exciting events for alums. Volunteering is ingrained n TISSians's mindsets like DNA. Please take your own pick. You may wish to volunteer for a cause, with your exclusive skills and expertise, would like to mentor as a guest faculty or prefer to donate your time. Each picture in TISSAA Gallery evokes thousand memories.

Time stands still ? No Time develops as TISSians team up with Library 

TISSAA website flaunts a fresh and contemporary look. It is interactive, dynamic and  exhaustive. It allows you to sign up with a chapter, a groups, a club. It updates details from campuses, articles, blogs, newsletters, announcements, TISSians’ success stories in the News and Blogs section, projects that need volunteering, missions that need attention and financial aid are all available. The Programme section highlights ongoing , future and successfully completed projects. This will highlight the value added creation for TISSians and business associates.

The most prominent feature of TISSAA is Membership, to participate actively in the process of making a positive impact on humanity, which is integral to TISS.
Your valuable feedback is most welcome as it will take TISSAA website to next best level at the earliest. We are sure that you all will always be in touch with TISSAA through facebooktwitterLinkedInInsta and youtube

Team TISSAA is thankful to all the amazing people who gave their time and energy to make this site wonderful. For any questions, suggestions, feedback or comments, please Email us at

Stay connected, stay networked, stay updated...

#TISS #TISSAA #TISSMemories #TISSiansBond #TISSiansMeet #TISSians #Proud2BTISSian #TISSiansConnect

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Piramal Realty Presents the Annual Vaikunth Flower Show

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 Following its two successful editions, Piramal Realty organizes the third edition of the annual Vaikunth Flower Show (VFS) 2018 on 26 to 28 January 2018 between 4pm to 8pm at Piramal Vaikunth in Balkum, Thane. The Vaikunth Flower Show will showcase 20 themed gardens with over a million blossoming flowers from farmers across the country. This initiative is a part of Piramal Realty’s commitment towards developing vibrant communities that promote natural living, and spaces where residents can thrive.

Dr. Swati Piramal, Vice-Chairperson, Piramal Group, “This year visitors can stroll through 20 unique themed gardens, each with a story of its own to narrate. We want our visitors to experience a show that is at par with international exhibits. This reinstates Piramal Realty’s endeavour towards creating spaces which induce community living. We are also celebrating the India-UK year of culture through gardens.”

Anand Piramal, Executive Director, Piramal Group, Designed on the principles of Biophilia, Piramal Vaikunth promises a fresh, vibrant lifestyle surrounded by nature. It is a thoughtfully designed project tailored to provide a perfect balance between city life and nature.”
Voted as one of the Top five flower shows in the world, the Vaikunth Flower Show recorded a turnout of approximately 50,000 visitors, including hundreds of children in the past years. At the Vaikunth Flower Show visitors can experience one of the greatest floral displays and see some of the exotic and rare flower species such as dahlias, cosmos, zinnia, silver-dust and lots more.
The Flower Show will also feature several attractions such as Fairy Gardens – miniature gardens with fairies and gnomes, Hill Station Berries–A farmers market from Mahabaleshwar and London Lights which are seen on Bond Street and Regent Street during Christmas. Visitors can also indulge in joy rides aboard the life-size toy trains ‘Little Sultan’ and ‘Little Badshah’ which commemorate the first trains from Victoria Terminus to Thane in 1853.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

OTM 2018 the largest travel show in Asia Pacific receives overwhelming response

98% of the participants likely to return in 2019

OTM Mumbai, the largest travel trade show in the Asia Pacific region concluded on an optimistic note. 1000+ sellers from 50+ countries and 27 states networked with 10,000+ trade visitors, at Bombay Exhibition Centre, between 18th to 20th January.

The show was inaugurated by Shri. K J Alphons, Minister of State for Tourism (I/C), Government of India. In his inaugural address he expressed his delight seeing the turnout of the global participants. He also expressed satisfaction about the mix of international and national participants at the show floor - approximately 400 and 600 respectively.

Guest of Honour Shri. Jaykumar Rawal, Minister of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra remarked that Mumbai was proud to host the leading travel show in the Asia Pacific region. He also marvelled at the long history of OTM as an offshoot of the oldest travel trade show in the country.

In an exit survey, 98% of the participants confirmed they are likely to return to OTM 2019. More than 90% opined that participation in OTM was a must. They also found the organisers humble and applauded them for best client servicing.

Many sellers appreciated the quality and value addition ensured by Fairfest Media, the organisers of OTM. According to their feedback, OTM is the best in class travel show globally and has assisted them in generating a large number of business enquiries from the Indian market.

Visitors included hosted buyers from Delhi, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Pune, Bhubaneswar, Visakhapatnam, Kochi, Nagpur, Rajkot, Surat, Coimbatore, Indore, Lucknow, Haryana, Allahabad and Chandigarh. The highest number of hosted buyers were from Delhi.

Several hosted buyers confirmed that they have been ensuring their presence at OTM for many years now. A number of them exclaimed that they had graduated from visitors to hosted buyers. The access to online meeting diary has assisted them to plan in advance and spend quality time with decision makers one on one.

Hosted Buyer Quotes

Fairfest Media is the best in what they do, said Datta Sukre, Hosted Buyer from TTGAC. He called OTM a great platform with a quality presence of exhibitors and corporates. The online meeting diary and sessions arranged were well executed and served as an ideal platform for business networking, he felt.

The global participation of the who's who in the travel trade differentiates OTM from run of the mill travel shows, stated Mahip Agarwal, Hosted Buyer from Shreejee Holidays has been associated with OTM for a very long time now. The online meeting diary feature enabled him to garner good contacts and information about the new products in the travel domain.

Dhruv Saxena, Hosted Buyer, Gionee also participated for the first-time in OTM and he found it at par with the global standards. It was a great place to meet all suppliers under one roof and this is what makes OTM unique, he added. He liked the exhibitor mix the most and confessed that he is eager to come back next year as well.

National Tourist Organisations of Turkey, Greece, Indonesia, Thailand, Egypt, Nepal, China, Kenya, Maldives, Rwanda, Macao, Bangladesh, Korea, Japan, Bhutan, Tanzania, Romania, Cambodia, Palestine, Cyprus, Croatia, New Zealand, Fiji, Botswana, Finland, Estonia and Lithuania displayed colourful country pavilions, along with a large number of local hotels, attractions and operators.

Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Dubai, Germany,  Hong Kong, Iran,  Kazakhstan, Laos, Latvia,  Malaysia,  Oman, Peru, Philippines, Qatar,  Russia,  Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA, Uzbekistan and Vietnam were represented through private operators at OTM 2018.

At OTM, Knowledge Partner - Cox & Kings introduced the Baltic States comprising Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland. It also introduced Indo-China package showcasing Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

Outbound Sellers Speak

Egypt Tourism had a fantastic experience at OTM this year. Ismail A Hamid Amer, Regional Director, Egyptian Tourism Counsellor said he always believes that OTM is their partner. We have started our year by participating in OTM and are looking forward to good business ahead. He added, “OTM was a great opportunity as it helped us in knowing the Indian travel trends and their travel expectations. We want to congratulate the organisers on such a successful show.”

The China Tourism delegation ensured their attendance in a big way at OTM 2018. Tian Xin, Director, China National Tourist Office, New Delhi termed OTM as a very effective platform. OTM has undoubtedly helped us understand the travel needs of the Indian market as well as the requirements of the travel trade, he said.

Participation from India included Tourism Departments along with private operators from Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Goa, Gujarat, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Punjab, Andaman & Nicobar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chandigarh, Tripura, etc. which had set up enchanting state pavilions, with local suppliers.

Indian Delegates Speak

OTM 2018 had a balanced mix of participants from outbound and inbound, outlined Smt. Neela Lad, Regional Director (West), India Tourism Mumbai Office. Driving an enhanced response from the travel show, she added OTM assisted in creating awareness on destinations in North East. Through OTM, the North Eastern travel destinations in India initiated a dialogue with Indian film producers.

Tater Mize, District Tourist Officer from Government of Arunachal Pradesh appreciated the efforts of Fairfest Media. He asserted OTM was a great platform to showcase their tourism products and a great way to attract the travellers to the North East, especially to Arunachal Pradesh. Kudos to the organising team on putting up such a great show and we are surely looking forward to attend the next OTM!

OTM is one of the key events on our calendar, agreed Suku Verghese, Associate Vice President - Sales, MICE India, Taj Hotels Palaces Resorts Safaris. He praised the humongous scale of the travel show and the buyer mix. We are happy to see OTM pioneering in tapping niche travel segments of wedding and film tourism.

OTM has emerged as the largest travel trade show in the Asia Pacific region, on the basis of number of participants and gross exhibition area rented.

In addition to buying and selling travel products and services on the OTM showfloor, hundreds of crores of business leads were generated, along with number of meeting sessions, workshops and panel discussions on the sides. Enriching and thought-provoking meeting sessions brought together industry leaders and professional experts from India and abroad.

Business Sessions at OTM

Dignitaries at the panel discussion - Cine Locales by Film Tourism Consortium brought to the fore the permits involved and the reasons why film producers find it easier to shoot a film abroad.

Jaykumar Rawal, Minister of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra thanked the panelists for bringing up the concerns at OTM 2018 and assured the producers that by OTM 2019, the said issues will get resolved as far as shooting in Maharashtra was concerned. He also asserted that Mumbai is home to Bollywood and all should work at selling Mumbai first and then the rest of India.

“We are happy to play a bridge between the film fraternity and the government to identify and address the roadblocks,” said Sanjiv Agarwal, Chairman and CEO, Fairfest Media Ltd.

Promoting Tourism to North East by DoNER session comprised a presentation on the eight breathtakingly beautiful and scenic landscapes of the North East - Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. The presentation was followed by an official release of the Report on Film Tourism in the North East.

The panel discussion was graced by government officials of DoNER and members of the film fraternity. After viewing the presentation, film fraternity members expressed their desire to come and shoot in the North East.

They also brought up various issues and obstacles regarding permissions and infrastructure that restrained them from shooting in the North Eastern destinations.

Travel Technology Track, an initiative by TravHQ and OTM was a knowledge sharing platform to showcase innovative technologies in the travel segment. It decoded the Indian traveller and outlined that customer experience was one aspect which was observed as being missing nowadays.

Major focus on customer experience was termed as the highlight of 2018 where technology will be playing a key role, remarked speakers. The session also brought to notice that we still have a long way to go as far as technology is concerned and called it the way forward.

The session Millennials are the next frontier by Phocuswright observed that one cannot understand a millennial (travellers below 35 years) completely as their wants and desires keep changing time and again. Hence it is difficult to be 100% ready for a millennial traveller.

During the session what came to notice was that millennials value experience more than the price. Millennials are the driving aspect of experiencing a destination. Hence, the industry needs to personalise as per their desires to win over a millennial traveller. 20% of development in tourism can be seen if the personalisation is enhanced.


Group Participation Award
Himachal Pradesh Tourism
Jammu & Kashmir Tourism
Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Limited
Tourism Council of Bhutan

Best Print Promotional Material Award
Air India

Most Popular Filming Destination Award
Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation

Most Promising New Destination Award (International)
Palestine Ministry of Tourism & Antiquities
Rwanda High Commission
Croatian National Tourist Board
Travel Designer & Horizon Manor (Qatar)
ACF Tourism (Iran)

Most Promising New Destination Award (Domestic)
Arunachal Pradesh Tourism
The Enjoy City

Best Information Dissemination & Education Award
Cox & Kings Ltd.

Best Decoration Award - Small Pavilion (International)
Korea Tourism Organization
Japan National Tourism Organization
Tanzania Tourist Board

Best Decoration Award - Medium Pavilion (Domestic)
Andhra Pradesh Tourism
Karnataka Tourism
Goa Tourism
The Leela Palaces, Hotels & Resorts
The Indian Hotels Company Limited (Taj Hotels)

Best Decoration Award - Medium Pavilion (International)
China National Tourist Office
Nepal Tourism Board
Bangladesh Tourism Board
Kenya Tourist Board
Maldives Marketing & PR Corporation

Best Decoration Award - Big Pavilion (Domestic)
Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board

Best Decoration Award - Big Pavilion (International)
Turkish Culture & Tourism Office
Ministry of Tourism Republic of Indonesia
Egyptian Consulate Tourism Office
Tourism Authority of Thailand
Greek National Tourism Organisation

Most Promising Destination Award
National Tourist Union, Russia

Most Promising Film Promotion Tourism Award
Cyprus Tourism

Certificate of Appreciation
All Kargil Travel Trade Association

For more information on OTM visit -

Asia-Pacific's largest travel trade show OTM 2018 in Mumbai

·         The largest Asia Pacific travel show was inaugurated by Shri. K J Alphons, Minister of State for Tourism (I/C), Government of India

·         The event will be witnessing 300 hosted buyers and more than 15,000 trade visitors

·         Host State Maharashtra has a powerful presence led by Shri. Jaykumar Rawal, Minister of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra

·         Close to 1200 sellers, 50 plus countries and 25 plus states represented at OTM 2018

 OTM is the largest travel trade show in the entire Asia Pacific region. The three day event is being held at Bombay Exhibition Centre in Mumbai beginning from today. The event was inaugurated in the presence of the Chief Guest Shri. K J Alphons, Minister of State for Tourism (I/C), Government of India and Guest of Honour, Shri. Jaykumar Rawal, Minister of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra.

Speaking at the inauguration, Shri. K J Alphons, Minister of State for Tourism (I/C), Government of India remarked, “I am happy to know that OTM has emerged as the leading travel trade show in the Asia Pacific region, India has 5000 years old civilisation and a huge heritage for the world to explore. The country has innumerable tourist destinations from The Himalaya Mountains in the North to the backwaters in the South.

Indian tourism also offers spiritual tourism and cultural heritage with its widely spread civilisation in the sub-continent. I am grateful to the Government of India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for their effective efforts, regular outreach to the world community and the Indian Diaspora, which has positively changed the outlook of India for tourism in the country. The Ministry of Tourism is working to bring in confidence building mechanisms to establish India as a peaceful and safe destination,” he further added.

India is one of the largest markets of travel and tourism in the world. Indians take some 22 million trips abroad and more than a billion within the country. Mumbai is the largest source market of domestic and outbound travel for Leisure, Business, Meetings, Incentive, Conventions and Events (MICE) and Weddings. It serves literally as the ‘gateway of India’ to the largest number of travellers going abroad from other cities and towns in Western and Southern India.

OTM is Asia Pacific’s Largest Travel Show. People from across the travel industry participate in this event which helps in promoting the tourism industry. This event has a legacy of 28 years and after Germany and London, OTM Mumbai is one of the largest travel trade shows globally. With the help of this platform, our efforts are to showcase the treasure of tourism that we possess in Mumbai, Maharashtra and the rest of the country, said Shri. Jaykumar Rawal, Minister of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra.

Over the decades, OTM has emerged as the largest travel trade show in Asia Pacific region, in terms of rented area. It is also the most international travel trade show in India, with more than 50 countries and over 25 states being represented in OTM this year. The three-day travel show is focused on B2B transactions between close to 1200 exhibitors and 15,000 plus trade visitors and buyers.

With $ 209 Billion spend in 2017, India’s tourism industry was ranked 7th largest in the world. It contributes about one-tenth to the GDP and employment. The public policy thrust of the present government in the centre and the state, OTM hopes to consolidate its lead as the largest travel trade show in the Asia Pacific region in the coming years.

India’s leading tour operator Cox & Kings is conducting destination workshops, as the Knowledge Partner. “OTM is the premier show in Western India that is growing faster and it gives us an opportunity to engage with the B2B market,” said Karan Anand, Head-Relationships, Cox & Kings.

“Turkish exhibitors wait for OTM. Western India is a very promising source market for Turkey, contributing 35% of all Indian arrivals, most of it through the gateway city of Mumbai. This makes our participation in OTM Mumbai all the more important,” says Ozgur Ayturk, Coordinator of Asia and Pacific in the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

National Tourist Organisations of Turkey, Greece, Indonesia, Thailand, Egypt, Nepal, China, Kenya, Maldives, Rwanda, Macao, Bangladesh, Korea, Japan, Bhutan, Tanzania, Romania, Cambodia, Palestine, Cyprus, Croatia, New Zealand, Fiji, Botswana, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania have set up colourful country pavilions, along with a large number of their hotels, attractions and operators from every destination.

“This year we are promoting ourselves as MICE as well as a Wedding and Film destination and OTM is a right platform for us to do so,” said Demetrios A Theophylactou, High Commissioner of Cyprus in Mumbai.

“We participate at OTM every year and consider this to be very important event. Special workshops on Wedding and Films are good signs that the show is evolving every year,” remarked Ismail A Hamid, Egyptian Tourism Counsellor in Egyptian Tourism Office, based in Mumbai.

Technology is driving disruptive changes in the travel industry. OTM is also hosting travel technology tracks, with sessions on innovative travel tech solutions, panel discussions with industry’s thought-leaders, innovation showcase, and digital skill development, in collaboration with TravHQ.

AustraliaBulgaria, Canada, Dubai, Germany, Hong Kong, Iran, Kazakhstan, LaosLatvia, Malaysia,  OmanPeru, Philippines, Qatar,  Russia,  Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA, Uzbekistan and Vietnam  are represented through private operators at OTM 2018.

Greece is returning to OTM 2018 in a much bigger way after its debut last year. “Tourism Ministry of Greece is extremely delighted to be a part of this beautiful and big exhibition,” said Elena Kountoura the Greek Tourism Minister.

Indian destinations have as much strong a presence in OTM as their international counterparts. Tourism departments of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Goa, Gujarat, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Punjab, Andaman & Nicobar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chandigarh, Tripura have set up enchanting state pavilions, with operators from their respective states present.

“J&K gets the maximum number of domestic tourists from the states of Gujarat followed by Mumbai, both in Western India. Therefore both- the tourism board and the private suppliers in the region eagerly wait for the OTM,” remarked Mahmood Shah, Director, Kashmir Tourism.

In addition to buying and selling activities on the OTM showfloor, hundreds of crores of business leads would be generated, there are a number of meeting sessions, workshops and panel discussions on the sides. These are enriching and thought provoking meeting sessions, with leaders and professional experts from India and abroad. 

60% of the travel show is all about India. About 22 mn Indians travel abroad, but there is immense scope to boost the inbound travel in India. We should also look forward to bring more tourists from the rest of the world to India and serve this an opportunity to explore the exotic tourists destinations in the country, said Sanjiv Agarwal, CEO, Fairfest Media Ltd..

“For the stakeholders in the travel trade who are looking for serious business and networking opportunities, OTM is a must-visit,” remarked Mahendra Vakharia, President, Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI).

Promoting tourism through film shoots is an attractive strategy adopted by many countries and states. For example, Cyprus offers 35% cash rebate and a host of other benefits to producers. Cine Locales @ OTM is a session aimed at connecting film and television fraternity with international and domestic destinations interested in catering to the lucrative market of film and TV producers.

Phocuswright, the global travel market research company, will be conducting a session on understanding the Millennial Travellers, whose needs may be very different from the previous generation.

To promote relatively unexplored North-East region of India, a special session is being organised, under the aegis of Ministry of Development of North East Region and NETDC.

“For adventure tour from the region,” added Captain Swadesh Kumar, President, Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI). Western India is the strongest market. OTM is indispensable in connecting to the tourism stakeholders.

Buyer-seller speed networking sessions add a new dimension to the show, where selected hosted buyers are seated in a smaller hall and the exhibitors go around to meet them, reversing the normal process of buyers going around in the exhibition to meet the sellers, for a limited time on the first day.

India’s Ministry of Tourism is flying in international buyers, to buy from OTM, which also boasts of the largest display of Indian destinations under one roof. 

OTM is supported by leading travel trade associations like TAAI, OTOAI, NIMA, TAFI, IATO, ADTOI, ATOAI, IAAI, TAAP, MTOA, TAAN, SATA, SKAL, ETAA, UTA and Titanz.

“OTM has reached an international level where the whole industry comes down. It is one of the most sought after travel marts,” opined PP Khanna, President, Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India (ADTOI).

OTM is the best travel trade fair in India. It is of international standards and is way better than any other travel show in the country,” remarked Gajesh Girdhar, Founder and National Coordinator, Network of Indian MICE Agents (NIMA).

Over the decades, OTM has emerged as the largest travel trade show in Asia Pacific region on couple of parameters. One is the number of participants and the other is the gross exhibition area rented by the organisers. It is also the most preferred international travel trade show in India, with more than 50 countries participating in OTM 2018. The three-day show is focused on B2B transactions between 1200+ exhibitors and 15,000+ trade visitors and buyers.