TOFT India

Minakshi Pandey - Executive Director (TOFT INDIA)

Minakshi Pandey - Executive Director (TOFT INDIA)

Fun loving, warm and friendly, Minakshi Pandey, originally from Uttarakhand, spent her formative years in Shillong, in the north east of India. Following a bachelor’s degree from The Welcome Group Graduate School of Hotel Management, Manipal, Karnataka, she spent many years working with the Food & Beverage and Sales & Marketing Department of the Taj Group of Hotels in New Delhi. She subsequently worked with Indus Cruising & Shipping, managing their office and Culinary School in Gurgaon and with Far Horizon Tours & Travels, helping them create a Domestic Sales department.

Being happiest out of a city, she then choose to spend a couple of years training to be a river guide,did some travel writing for Outlook Traveller Guide Books before finally settling by the edge of Corbett Tiger Reserve, Uttarakhand, where she and her husband owned and managed a TOFT award winning lodge, Camp Forktail Creek, a small jungle camp, for over twelve years. Under the brand name Avisfera Adventures, they now promote low impact wildlife holidays across India’s natural landscape.

Very recently, after years of research, she has started work on her pet project of making India, garbage free and is working towards a sustainable waste management and disposal programme for her region with an eventual aim of spreading the good work to other reserves with TOFT’s support.

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Directors

Vishal Singh

Vishal Singh

Vishal is a passionate about conservation and travel savvy. He has wealth of local connections and regional knowledge. His childhood was spent in Tea Estates on fringes of the Kaziranga National Park where at a early age experienced human animal conflict and degradation of forest cover. His schooling is from Indian’s premier public school Mayo College in western India, and then Graduation from Welcome Graduate School of Hotel Management in southern India. He worked with Sheraton in Mumbai and Delhi did then did his MBA for IMI and established Royal Expeditions. He has been associated with TOFT since its inception.

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Shyamendra Singh - Ken River Lodge

Shyamendra Singh - Ken River Lodge

What Shyamendra thinks about TOFT:

"Travel Operators for Tigers (TOFT) is much more than its name speaks, as it involves the lodge management and staff, the local and foreign tour operators and the guests. It has provided the much needed bridge between all stake holders in tiger conservation and wildlife tourism and taking it forward to guests is building a large strong base of wildlife supporters. Though most lodge operators are aware of good wildlife tourism practices, seldom are they put into practice?  With TOFT initiative and surveys it has provided motivation and a check to ensure good practices. Our team will continue to support and patronize TOFT"

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Advisory Board

Aditya Singh – Ranthambhore Bagh

Aditya Singh – Ranthambhore Bagh

What Aditya thinks of TOFT:

“Responsible practices make sound business, ecological and social sense. Most accommodation providers realize this and are striving to achieve the same. The process can be speeded up by “support” inputs by organizations like TOFT. Most of us are not even aware about how to improve our practices. TOFT by applying pressure through the supply chain and by providing technical and other support to the different links of the chain can small accommodation providers like us, improve our practices, which in turn would help the campaign”.

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Balendu Singh - Dev Vilas

Balendu Singh - Dev Vilas

What Balendu thinks about TOFT:

"The very foundation of businesses run by TOFT members is directly linked to the success of conservation programmes in India.

The ideals of TOFT help us in providing Yeoman services to conservation initiatives, by creating continuous employment opportunities. This helps in decreasing biotic pressure on the land bordering our National Park. It also creates conservation awareness linked with economic and social upliftment of the local community.

TOFT with its international membership can create awareness and generate public opinion which assists in policy formation.  TOFT ideals help in putting pressure on both Public and private sector to practice sustainable Wildlife Tourism."

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Ritish Suri - Camp Forktail Creek

Ritish Suri - Camp Forktail Creek

What Ritish thinks about TOFT:

"We (my wife and me) own and manage Camp Forktail Creek on the periphery of the Corbett Tiger Reserve.

We live and operate entirely out of Camp; we have seen how tourism has become a big conservation tool in this area over the years. So much so that now unregulated and mass tourism is seen as a nuisance and is detrimental to a National Park.

TOFT provides a good base solution to the problem. The tour operators can be at the right end to demand changes in a protected forest area and can help bring about a major change in the policies and working of tourism related activity, which in turn would reduce conflicts between tourism and conservation.

Effectively tourism can be used as a conservation tool. "

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Administration

Deepika Chowdhry

Deepika Chowdhry

A highly reputed and respected professional marketer with more than 18 years’ experience in the world of hospitality and tourism. Well connected not only with MICE and leisure buyers but also within the wildlife, adventure and travel agent community in India and overseas. Her extensive experience includes roles with renowned international exhibitions such as IMEX, ILTM, and IT&MA, Luxperience, AIME etc to name a few. She is the Founder CEO of Candid India, a tourism & hospitality representation company based in New Delhi- India.

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Shiela Chopra

Shiela Chopra

Shiela is working with Candid India for the last 8 years. She is involved in day-to-day communication with the members of various associations represented by Candid India. He role is to develop membership, communication with members, invoicing and collection of dues in addition to handling the award ceremonies for our top clients. Shiela is a tireless and efficient professional with keenness to learn new things.

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