Foreign Trips Schemes popularly known as FTS is the most awaited event among the channel fraternity. FTS is considered as the biggest reward conferred to partners for their outstanding business performance. Many brands organise FTS for their partners who achieve sales targets to exotic locations. However, since the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the world, the future of FTS seems gloomy. Though many countries are now opening up their economies gradually for tourism, brands seem cautious about FTS. However, partners are optimistic about the scheme and expect brands to explore the possibility of re-launch in 2022.
“FTS is a major reward given to channel partners and partners work very hard to qualify for the same. In the last two years, no brand announced FTS due to the pandemic. However, the situation is improving, we expect the announcement soon. If any brand announces FTS, I am sure all partners will jump on it”, said Mr. Aniruddha Menavlikar, Managing Director, Monarch Technologies (Pune) Pvt. Ltd.
While a majority of partners are optimistic for FTS, a section of the channel voiced safety concerns over overseas travel. Mr. Biren Yadav, Managing Director of Mumbai based BluecomInfotech Pvt Ltd, “FTS has always been significant for the channel community. However, they will have to wait some more time as many countries are still under lockdown like situations and have put stringent restrictions on overseas travellers. I think both brands and partners will also not like to take any risks for at least the next 2-3 years.”
Among all the channel incentive schemes, FTS has garnered widespread popularity over the years. It is an excellent motivational tool and can be as rewarding as an advertisement. FTS also promotes healthy competition among the partners and ultimately help brands to sell more and earn more. Hence, brands also make a significant investment in FTS to attract more partners to enrol in it.
“We Indians by nature enjoy exploring new destinations and if it is a sponsored tour then it is like “Sone pe Suhaga. I was part of one of such FTS and it was my best vacation. FTS is not just focused on a trip but it is also an opportunity to meet your industry peers and brand owners and strengthen your business ties with them. I wish the situation improves soon and we all get back to our normal life”, said a partner from Mumbai.
RP tech India has organized several grand and successful FTS on behalf of brands for partners in the past in locations such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Bali, Thailand, Mauritius, Australia, Japan, Switzerland, Paris, London, Dubai, Sri Lanka, Tashkand etc. The company says that brands can explore relaunching FTS considering the present COVID-19 guidelines.
“We have managed several memorable FTS in the past, hence, we understand partners’ sentiments. It is like one big family going on a vacation, exploring new cultures, exchanging new ideas and having lots of fun. FTS is not just a token of appreciation for their business achievement, it is also a platform for them to meet and network with fellow partners across India. Brands also leverage the platform to build their image among the channel fraternity. So it is a win-win for both. However, the Corona crisis has changed the industry dynamics and hence, we should consider the present pandemic condition worldwide and strictly follow the safety guidelines for everyone’s safety”, said Mr. Rajesh Goenka, Director, Sales and Marketing, RP tech India.