Aditi Balbir: Leading the Charge in Sustainable Tourism and Women’s Empowerment
In an era where global awareness of the environmental impact of travel and the imperative to empower women in business is on the rise, Aditi Balbir emerges as an inspirational figure. Serving as the Founder & CEO of V Resorts, she has redefined the landscape of the Indian leisure industry by embracing a sustainable and inclusive ethos. Aditi’s journey serves as a profound testament to her steadfast commitment to reshaping the travel landscape and fostering women’s entrepreneurship.
The Genesis of V Resorts
The trajectory of Aditi Balbir’s career took a pivotal turn with the establishment of V Resorts in 2014. This innovative venture introduces a unique perspective to tourism, concentrating on providing upscale, offbeat travel experiences across India. V Resorts goes beyond being a mere collection of resorts; it embodies the authentic spirit of India, revealing hidden treasures far from conventional tourist routes. The brand prides itself on identifying, engaging, and managing distinctive resorts, hotels, and B&Bs, ensuring genuine and locally immersive customer experiences.
Aditi’s vision for V Resorts extends beyond the conventional tourist encounter. Her unwavering dedication to sustainability and local community involvement distinguishes her venture. Over the years, V Resorts has seamlessly integrated local villages into its operations, with 90% of the staff being locals, sourcing ingredients from local markets, and promoting regional handicrafts and cuisines. Each V Resort is constructed on a sustainable foundation, encapsulating the essence of authentic India while adhering to global service standards.
Champion of Sustainable Tourism
Aditi’s endeavours in sustainable tourism have garnered well-deserved recognition. V Resorts was honoured by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) at ITB Berlin in 2015 and received the prestigious “Best Upcoming Resort Chain” award from Lonely Planet in 2016. Her focus on aligning her venture with the 12 sustainable development goals endorsed by UNWTO underscores her commitment to establishing circular and inclusive economies.
Empowering Women in Leadership
As a pioneering figure in an industry traditionally dominated by men, Aditi Balbir recognises the crucial role of empowering women in business. She envisions a future where more women assume leadership positions in India. This vision is palpable within her own organisation, where women are actively encouraged to explore their potential and take on challenging roles. Aditi challenges stereotypes by appointing women to key positions such as pre-operations and content creation, roles that often demand extensive travel and interaction with local staff.
Aditi’s commitment to fostering women’s entrepreneurship extends beyond her business. In 2009, during her tenure as faculty at the Infinity Business School, she launched the Young Women’s Leadership Program (YWLP). This initiative aimed to equip and empower women to initiate or manage their own businesses, offering essential business knowledge, networking opportunities, and fostering an entrepreneurial spirit among the next generation of female entrepreneurs.
Awards and Accolades
Aditi Balbir’s significant contributions to entrepreneurship and sustainable tourism have earned her numerous prestigious awards. In 2016, she was named one of the “Dell Foundation’s 200 Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs in the World.” The following year, CNBC TV 18 recognised her with the “Young Women Business” award, and she received the “Exceptional Women of Excellence 2017” award from the Women Economic Forum.
Aditi’s sense of social responsibility extends to her involvement in organisations such as TIE, Jan Madhyam (an NGO focused on employability for mentally challenged girls), and Round Table International, where she actively promotes community service through fellowship.
A Visionary in Travel and Entrepreneurship
Aditi Balbir’s transition from a finance career to a trailblazing entrepreneur in the travel industry reflects her resilience, dedication to sustainability, and passion for empowering women in business. Her steadfast commitment to sustainable tourism and entrepreneurship has not only reshaped the travel experience in India but has also set a compelling example for aspiring women entrepreneurs worldwide. Aditi’s narrative stands as a testament to the transformative power of vision, commitment, and a profound sense of purpose.