In a short period, George and Schlesinger family became so close like they have been knowing each other for years. Finally this ended up as Schlesinger family in Wicker, Germany accepted George as one of their family members which gave him confidence in expanding his marketing in Europe. George still gratefully recollects that he was so lucky to stay in a European family which gave him the best insights on the European approach and this was his best tool in designing the hand crafted tours to discerning travellers. And he started travelling to Germany frequently to explore the expansion possibilities since 2007.
At his stand at ITB Berlin in 2009, George met, Jana Tschitschke, a Travel Writer, and already a fan of India. Later they became family friends and she also helped George to establish his marketing base in Europe. George’s close association with Punarnava Ayurveda Hospital Group since 2004 brought him a great exposure towards the holistic alternative medicinal branch of India, Ayurveda along with Yoga.
In the meantime, George and his partners mutually decided to say bye to their business partnership, though still they maintain their friendship and respect each other. George was given an option to buy the 85% of shares held by his partners .He had to mobilize a huge amount to pay off the shares but he managed with the help of his savings, family support and mortgaging his villa. In 2007, the Company became George’s own. Still it took another five years to enable the Company to rebrand as Keralavoyages India Pvt. Ltd. as there were some restrictions in using the name of the State as a part of a Company name.
In 2016, George was lucky enough to meet Mr Hubert Siller, Head of the Tourism department at MCI Management Centre Innsbruck, Austria, an AACSB-accredited University and Entrepreneurial School for Graduate and Masters Programs in the fields of Management & Society and Life sciences & Technology. The meeting and a later student’s group visit to Kerala through Keralavoyages all resulted in a lifelong professional relationship. Tourism Business Studies coordinator Theresa Mitterer-Leitner also played a major role in evolving a meaningful mutual relationship.
George is now a Guest Lecturer at MCI University for the operational side of Tourism “Beyond Academics” and Sustainability in Tourism. He delivers his lectures to both undergraduate and Master students every year at MCI.
Team Keralavoyages got an opportunity to handle its biggest Corporate group Lakshya 2019 of Abbott Laboratories Ltd, a client of Ergo Consulting. Handling the logistics of around 3200 delegates from different parts of India for 6 days was not an easy job especially when something seriously went wrong with the flight reservations of the delegates. This was informed to team Keralavoyages just one day prior to the first arrival that they need to expect delegates in any flight coming from anywhere. The team worked 48 Hours in a line and handled everything smoothly. Apart from the high appreciations from the client, the Event Management Association Of Kerala (EMAK ) honoured Keralavoyages by giving the Silent Heroes Gold Award for the best logistics partner in Kerala.
Management of Keralavoyages is happy to see that they did not send any of their employees’ jobless in spite of the complete lock downs and zero business due to Covid. They are now looking for a Sustainable way forward to protect the interests of People, Planet and the Economic results for the local community. A long way to go but they are hopeful because of their strong partnerships across the globe and the local community. They have just started the ground work of their new project NATURE TO HOMES, a virtual Mart for the Eco & Natural products made by the Social Entrepreneurs across India. This is to complement their commitment to the Sustainability elements- People, Planet & Profit.
George still recollects his days in St. Berchman’s College, Changanacherry, Kerala where he was the assistant stage Director for staging Shakespearean Plays every year. At this juncture of his business in Tourism, he has in his mind the brave Antonio in the Shakespearean Play, “Merchant of Venice’’ who survived the terrific days in his career and looking forward towards a more peaceful future.
This brand story is real and published after contacting all individuals whose names are mentioned. Keralavoyages team is thankful to all of them for their instant permissions and encouraging words. Few of such messages are as below.
Schlesinger Family: Hey George! Impressive story you can really be proud of your achievement. We really feel honoured to be a part of it.
Groening Family: Dear George, Very interesting reading, you can be really proud on the achievements. We are absolutely fine and pleased in the way you mention us in the text.
Jana Tschitschke: Dear George, Thank you very much for including me in your brand story. I‘m honoured!
Theresa Mitterer-Leitner & Hubert Siller: Dear George, MCI and we are proud to be mentioned in your Brand Story!
Alexandra Pastollnigg: Dear George, Thank you for your time earlier, transparency and sharing your brand story. I’m inspired by your story (very impressive!), and honoured to be mentioned. Feel free to publish/mention along those lines.