Cos warm up to online travel expense tools
City: 

Automated solutions to manage travel expenses are fast catching up with Indian companies as they look for solutions to save time, effort and money. 

India is the world’s tenth largest business travel market and is likely to clock the fastest growth in this segment in the next five years. As $30 billion B2B travel in India is expected to triple to $90 billion by 2030, the task of managing the ever-growing travel expenses of employees is becoming a humongous task for companies. While airfare and hotel stay forms the larger cost, there are several other micro spends like luggage fare, meals, local travel expenses etc that has to be compiled from varied sources into a central management system.

 Automated solutions that help companies track spending data of employees across different sources and provide real-time visibility and control are being adopted by small, medium and large companies.

 Happay, a business expense management solutions provider, has 4500 companies as clients including, Aditya Birla Retail, V-Guard, Eastern Spices, Urbanladder and Oyo Rooms.

 “The automated solution benefits both employees and the company. The travelling employee can link all the expenses made during the travel into the account and the reimbursement time comes down for him from an average 45 days to less than a week,” said Varun Rathi, Co-Founder & COO, Happay.

“Companies do not have to spend days on approving bills. For the company savings is on two fronts- it completely checks leakages through fraudulent bills and also by saving time and effort on collating and approving expenses. Around 5 per cent of the operational expenses can be saved by checking leakages. Further, expenses can be brought down by 15 to 20 per cent due to efficient management,” he said.

“We implemented it last year as we have a large sales force travelling the length and breadth of the country. Further, there are supply chain and sourcing depatement employees who travel. Happay Card works like a company credit card. It has saved a lot of time and effort of the audit trail as well as the finance team,’ said Mithum Chittilappilly, managing director of V-Guard Industries.  

 Advanced analytics also helps to infer spending trends and make changes accordingly. “Companies which found that employees were using the service of certain travel and accommodation service providers in large numbers could also bargain for better corporate rates. They could also find out how early employees were booking tickets in order to save costs. Such data analytics help them to make relevant policy changes,’ he added.

According to Concur, a global travel expense management solutions provider operating in India for the past few years, cost of every travel can be brought down by around 55 per cent by automation.

Columnist: 
Sangeetha G.