Ruby Walji director of Ideal Travel Limited in Mombasa Kenya talks to KATA Weekly Travel News on her journey in the industry.
- How long have you been in this industry?
I have been in this business for exactly 8 years.
- When did you start this business?
I have always had an intense passion for travel. For about 20 years I handled my boss’s travel plans then one day my boss decided to open a travel agency at City Mall and I became the manager in 2011. In 2014, he decided to sell the business to me in 2014 where I have run it since. I am always thankful for the opportunity.
- What were the challenges then and what continues to be the challenge now?
There are a number of challenges in this industry but the one I have dealt with most is fraudsters and conmen. Luckily, we dust off the experience and carry on. Another thing is when business is slow and we have to make do with the situation.
- What has been the highlight in your journey in this industry?
I was once conned by one of my clients from Nairobi. It was a devastating loss but the highlight of it was being able to rise up and move on with business. We were able to recover from the huge loss.
- What has been your lowest moment?
When business is down is a low moment for me. It means we do not make revenue yet the expenses and bills have to be paid.
- What would your advice be to women interested in this industry?
This is a great industry to be in, especially for women. The exposure and experience are very worthwhile and satisfying. It however takes passion, patience, hard work, aggressiveness and good communication skills to survive. Give your work 100 per cent, give excellent services and go the extra mile for your clients.
- What changes would you like to see?
I would like to see the travel trade industry grow to greater heights. That would also mean that businesses like mine are doing great. Growth in the travel trade industry means that tourism is flourishing and the country in general benefits too.
- How do/did you manage to strike a balance between family and work?
It is not easy but one does have to strike a balance because both are very important aspects in one’s life. I plan ahead and accordingly to ensure that my family and my job both get ample time and do not suffer from my absence.
- Anything else you want to add
It is always a great joy for me to serve my clients well and this gives me contentment and fulfilment. I urge more women to take on this path as it is a fulfilling journey. Seeing a client that is happy is always rewarding.