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edreams-interview

INTERVIEW WITH JAVIER BELLIDO: EDREAMS CEO IN SPAIN

eDreams ODIGEO is one of our historical clients renting offices at WTC Barcelona. The firm is a world leader in the travel sector, with operations in 42 countries; it is also the largest e-commerce company in Europe.
Running the Contact Centre of a company like eDreams ODIGEO’s Contact Centre requires managing an enormous number of collaborators of different cultures under the same roof.

1. Could you tell us a few statistics to give us an idea of the day-to-day activities in your offices? The number of staff and their nationalities, the number of requests you handle, any special division by territories within your offices…?

Almost 600 of the 1,600 employees who make up eDreams ODIGEO’s staff work at the company’s WTCB offices. We have a multidisciplinary workforce, which is a reflection of a company that signs up talent wherever it finds it, so our offices are like a little Tower of Babel where more than 35 nationalities work side by side, among them people from Russia, Cameroon, Poland, India, Slovakia…

Much of our team is made up of mathematicians and engineers who devote themselves to improving search systems and price combinations, which are crucial to the company’s success. In fact, our technological R & D makes it possible for sales per employee to be 20 times higher than in traditional travel agencies. Another significant part of the workforce consists of travel agents who are responsible for ensuring customer satisfaction prior to, during and after making the booking.

2. The tourism industry is in constant flux. The unstoppable growth of mobile devices for acquiring goods and services and ever-increasing online sales are just a couple of the factors that are changing worldwide travel-purchasing trends. How is eDreams ODIGEO tackling those changes?

E-commerce is an increasingly important reality that has been changing consumer habits radically in recent years. In the tourism sector in particular, e-commerce is a factor for success, since it’s a line of business that very much lends itself to online distribution. Investment in technology makes it easier for a customer to reserve a product handily on a 24/7 basis, and all the more so now thanks to mobile e-commerce.

We’re at the cutting edge technologically, in fact we were the first on-line travel agency to open in Spain, and we’ve always focused strongly on mobility from the beginning We launched our first mobile application in 2011 and since then have developed apps for Windows Phone and iPhone. We’re now working on new applications for iPad and Android.

Our aim is to make things easy for our customers, so we devote a lot of resources to the mobile market, researching and developing mobile goods and services for different platforms: it’s a strategic field for being on top in terms of competitiveness. In the last year alone we’ve increased travel sales through smartphones and tablets by over 200%.

3. It’s becoming increasingly common in the business world to hear that “Keeping a customer loyal is more profitable than finding a new one”. How do you make that saying ring true at eDreams?

eDreams ODIGEO has one of the highest repeat-business levels in the market, and we’ve achieved that through a two-pronged approach based on technology and service. This has enabled us to cut costs and transfer the savings to the lower prices we charge our customers, while at the same time offering personalised service and support throughout the search, booking, payment, invoicing and post-sale process. Our aim from the outset has been to establish a company that improves peoples’ lives. In fact we are totally customer-oriented. We believe we’ve accomplished that, and that it’s been the key to establishing a 14-million strong customer base, to having operations in 42 countries and to billing 4.280 billion euros last year alone.

4. What are the firm’s business prospects for 2014?

On our continent this industry generates some 250 million euros in business, of which 40% is now Internet-based, which makes travel the most important e-commerce market in Europe and the United States. Our prospects are very positive because we’re in a position to give customers the best tourism product at the best price, and we hope to continue growing through our strategy of internationalisation, innovation and diversification.

In 2014 we will continue to focus on innovation in mobile devices, since smartphone market penetration is ever higher and a golden opportunity to us to become everyone’s pocket travel agent. As regards internationalisation, we’re about to launch new markets in the coming months, which speaks of our interest in continuing to boost sales in Europe and other parts of the world. We’ll also continue focusing on other tourism products, which together with hotels and car rentals are showing growth figures of more than 100%.

5. What are the advantages for eDreams ODIGEO and its staff of having their offices at WTC Barcelona?

The World Trade Center is an unbeatable workplace due to its surroundings and services, and is also very well located. The complex has a wide range of commercial establishments that make our employees’ workday much more practical and this is the perfect complement to our open-plan office space, which we adapted to bring it in line with our corporate image, and which has the finest views of Barcelona: all these things make our work much more pleasant.

If you want to know more about eDreams ODIGEO you can visit their website at: www.edreams.es


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