Managing travel

When Aamir Suharwardy enrolled for a tourism management course at Aligarh Muslim University, many doubted his choice. Today he is manager in a top travel management company. Ibrahim Wani reports
A chance newspaper advertisement introduced him to the world of travel management. “I was actually searching for a part time job,” say Aamir Suharwardy who had come to Meerut University to do a graduate program in agricultural science.
Aamir, who hails from Doda, had made the choice of coming to Meerut, on the insistence of his parents. “Here I used to spend most of my time playing cricket,” he says. Even then he managed decent grades.  “But I somehow did not see a career for myself in this field ,” he adds. So he started looking for other options.
The advertisement he saw in the newspaper was a call for interview in a company called Resort Company Club, Gurgaon, which was engaged in selling resorts to people.
Aamir headed to Delhi for the interview from Meerut. “At that time I was just trying out options. My vacations were going on and I wanted to put them to use” he says. When he landed at the interview location, he was baffled to see a huge rush of applicants.
Suharwardy thought that he would have no chance of getting the job. “I knew nothing about this business. I had just come to try my luck out,” he says. And when the list of successful candidates was announced, he was baffled again. Aamir stood selected.
The interviewees had picked up him for excellent communication skills. “We were taken to the Country club, Gurgaon where we went through a short training module which introduced us to the business,” he says.
 Aamir found the job interesting. His job would involve marketing the country club to prospective clients. “I spent three months at the job, and my performance was among the best. I managed to get a lot of business for the company,”
At the end of three months he headed back to Meerut to complete his graduation. But he had made his career choice. “I had sat in the entrance exams for medicine but had found little interest in the field. The same was the case with my graduation. But now I had made my choice,” says Aamir.
While he was completing his final year study, he began searching for management courses in tourism. He came to know of Masters of Tourism Administration (MTA) program in Aligarh Muslim University. “This is where I decided I wanted to go to study.”  
When his parents came to know of the choice, their initial response was that of shock. “They could not initially understand what I was doing,” he says. But ultimately his choice prevailed.
He appeared in the entrance exam to the course in 1998, and qualified. “This was the only entrance exam I took seriously,” say Aamir. Now, he headed to Aligarh.
For the first time he immersed himself completely in studies. “I took to the subject with full passion,” he says. “Apart from class lectures I searched all the study material and tried to understand all the aspects,”   he adds.
After completing the course in  2000, he landed a job with the Sterling Holiday Resorts. He continued here for two years. But on insistence of his parents that he come back, he left the job, and returned home.
“This was a difficult time,” says Aamir. For about two years he tried hard to find a job here, but could not.
“I could not take much more of it,” says Suharwardy. “I went to my father and asked him to give me five years, so that I could do something with my life.” His father relented.
Aamir headed to Delhi, where he got a job with his current employer, UniGlobe. Here his career grew by leaps and bounds. Initially appointed as a senior executive in 2005, in a short span of three years he reached the position of the Manager International Business.
“The Travel and Tourism industry has huge scope of growth and in a few years it will be among the top ranked industries in the country,” says Aamir adding that the demand for qualified business managers is huge.
“As a career option this field is among the best. Not only are the salary packages good, but there is tremendous exposure. You get to see a number of places,” says Aamir. He feels that a number of students from the state who are not interested in a career in the mainstream subjects like science and arts can opt for this course and assure themselves  a good career.
Aamir has a special aim in life. “Doda has a huge scope to develop as a top tourist destination. I want to help it make one.” 


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