British Airways Awards a Year of Free Travel Worth INR 112m to Help Drive Business Growth for Small to Medium Sized Businesses in India
— British Airways today announced the launch of British Airways Business Opportunity Grants across India as part of the airline’s commitment to help India’s more than 13 million SMEs (Small to Medium Sized Enterprises) and to help stimulate local business.
The global economic downturn saw business travel budgets slashed by more than 56%*over the last 12 months. British Airways Business Opportunity Grants is designed to help drive business growth for small to medium sized companies by focusing on tangible, human connections as a crucial driver of business for Indian SMEs in this critical time.
Fifty small to medium sized companies will be awarded grants giving them free travel for one year to help support their business and seek out new opportunities. British Airways Business Opportunity Grants winners will be awarded 10 return British Airways Club World (business class) tickets to be used throughout 2010. The total value of the tickets is worth more than Rs 112,035,000/-
Judy Jarvis, country manager at British Airways, India, said, “British Airways is in the business of connecting people globally and we’re aware that the key to building successful long-term business partnerships is through face-to-face meetings. This is the best way to grow long-term relationships in business. We hope that the British Airways Business Opportunity Grants will help India’s 13 million plus SMEs to increase their revenues and help with their strategic growth plans.”
The grants will offer winning companies the opportunity to travel overseas and conduct face-to-face business meetings that will result in stronger partnerships, new projects, and revenue for India SMEs. A group of independent judges will select the 50 winners, whose entries are the most apt and original, from among all eligible online submissions.
The British Airways Business Opportunity Grants programme was launched in Mumbai with support from cricketer Mr Sourav Ganguly, Dr Indu Shahani, the Sheriff of Mumbai, and prominent businessman, Mr Suhel Seth. The scheme is simultaneously being launched in the U.S. and U.K., Hong Kong, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates. It is being extended to India, one of the British Airways’ fastest growing markets.
The Grants programme comes hot on the heels of a recent Harvard Business Review Analytical Services study which reveals that 95% of leading international businesspeople said they believe that face-to-face meetings are the key to success in building and maintaining long term relationships, and 89% agree face-to-face meetings are essential for “sealing the deal.”
For a chance to win, companies should visit a dedicated micro-site: www.ba.com/india-grants and state their business objectives for 2010, and how a British Airways Business Opportunity Grant would benefit their organization.
On board, Club World business class customers can enjoy a sleek, comfortable cabin environment; elegant and classically British. From the ergonomically designed wider seating with the six-foot-six ‘z’ bed position, more storage and greater privacy, to the state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment and Club Kitchen, the business travellers’ every need is catered for. On the ground, refreshments and business facilities in the Club World lounges at Terminal 5 ensure the business traveller benefits from feeling refreshed and ready to seize every business opportunity.
British Airways has always been in the business of connecting people. By providing opportunities for people to meet face-to-face, the airline aims to make business personal again.
Source: Press release distribution via India PRwire
Notes to Editor
* Figures taken from the Harvard Business Review study of 2,300 North American, Asian and European subscribers in June 2009
Chance to win free travel for a year
British Airways Business Opportunity Grants invites Indian businesses to make their case for an unmet business travel need and win free travel for one year to attend crucial, face-to face meetings. The grants will allow each of the businesses 10 return Club World (business class) tickets anywhere on the British Airways network, to be used at their discretion in 2010. British Airways is covering the cost of the fare; winning companies are responsible for paying taxes, fees and charges.
Whether it’s a sit-down appointment with a potential client, buyer, investor or a visit to an office that has not been visited because of budget cuts, the programme is designed to help budget-conscious businesses get where they need to go, physically and financially.
Businesses interested in entering the competition should visit www.ba.com/india-grants to complete the entry form telling British Airways about their business objectives in 2010 and how a British Airways Business Opportunity Grant would benefit their business.
A panel of British Airways executives and independent judges, including the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and the Confederation of British Industries (CBI) will review the entries.
Entries will be accepted until 11.59pm on January 15, 2010, and winners will be notified by the middle of February 2010, if successful.
Entries must represent companies with 250 employees or less. Full terms and conditions are available online at www.ba.com/india-grants
About British Airways
British Airways has a worldwide route network that covers more than 150 destinations in 75 countries.
In August 2009, British Airways celebrated its 90th anniversary. The airline has carried more than 1.2 billion customers on its extensive network, and is recognised as one of the world’s elite carriers. It is one of the world’s largest international airlines carrying approximately 36 million passengers around the world every year.
British Airways has been flying to India for 80 years and currently operates 45 flights a week from London Heathrow to five cities: Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. British Airways operates flights to India from London Heathrow’s state-of-the-art Terminal 5 which opened on March 27, 2008 and is exclusive to the airline’s customers and is capable of handling 30 million customers a year.
In September 2009, British Airways was awarded the Best European Airline by readers of Business Traveller at the 18th Business Traveller Asia Pacific Awards.
For further information on British Airways visit ba.com
For more information, please contact:
Dirk Lewis (Senior Account Manager) (L) +91 22 40779103, (M) +91 9004669480