Ashok Patel, the Chairman of Travelpack, has always been involved in travel, joining his uncle’s Travel
Agency Deluxe Travel in 1973. He went on to acquire Travelpack and chose to develop this brand.
Travelpack now consolidates for over 90 of the world’s top airlines and specialises in tailor-made holidays throughout the world. Travelpack have arranged travel for passengers for over 35 years and has won numerous awards from the travel trade and airlines. Under Ashok’s direction, Travelpack now has offices in London, Toronto, Delhi, Gujarat and Goa.
Ashok attributes his success to the strength of his 250 strong team and reveals his philosophy as:
“Teamwork is about respecting each individual and developing them, whilst giving them freedom to express their views and help them shine”.
Ashok admits that he works very long hours, but still finds time to spend time with his 2 children and grandchildren and sometimes gets to the odd Tottenham Hotspur match with his son. Ashok also takes a keen interest in the local community; he regularly attends charity events and participates in fundraising activities for the community.
1) Which place, or city or country do you most feel at home in?
My parents are originally from Gujarat and I grew up in Uganda, however, I have built up my business and raised my family in London which I have always considered as home.
2) What are your proudest achievements?
My proudest achievement was when I achieved an equity partnership with Air Canada. It was a great feeling that a small growing company like mine could form such a special relationship with one of the world’s major airlines.
3) What inspires you?
The travel business is constantly changing and opportunities arise every day. I am totally inspired by taking on new challenges and successfully completing the various projects that come my way.
4) What has been biggest obstacle in your career?
When dealing with the complex world of travel there are often times when obstacles do appear, but I always accept them as a challenge. I am very lucky to say I haven’t faced any big obstacles in my career to date.
5) Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date?
The biggest influence on my career, and a great personal friend, is Robert Milton, the Ex CEO of Air Canada and now Chairman of United Airlines. A very big player in the airline world, he has always been a source of inspiration to me.
6) What is the best aspect about your current role?
The best aspect of my current role is building and growing the Travelpack name into an international brand. I have enjoyed the years of establishing Travelpack as a brand leader in this country and now have the satisfaction of seeing the name becoming stronger in other parts of the world.
7) And the worst?
I completely enjoy my role, it does not have any bad aspects.
8) What are your long term goals?
My long term goal is to give back and contribute more to the community and develop the charities we are currently working with and who are close to my heart.
9) If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change?
I would create special think tank groups that are pioneers/leaders in their specific fields to advise politicians for the benefit of the public.
10) If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why.
I would like to spend my time with Mahatma Gandhi, as he was a great leader and a person with integrity, strength and a wealth of knowledge. I would be keen to hear his stories and learn from him.