Pat Fragale, President, TakeTwo North America
Business travel is bouncing back in the US, with 85% of US companies planning corporate trips in April 2022, up 20% increase since January. By the end of this year, US business travel spend is projected to reach 65 - 80% of 2019 levels.
TakeTwo opened its US office in the fall of 2021, very shortly after launching in the UK. Over the last ten months we’ve quickly established TakeTwo as a major disruptor to the mega-TMCs who are struggling to adapt to a greatly changed corporate travel market.
A NEW DIFFERENT
I've known Chris Thelen, CEO, and co-founder of TakeTwo, for 25 or more years and am completely signed up to his vision for the future. The way he helped so many people who were compromised financially during the pandemic, by bringing them into TakeTwo says everything about him and the business I’ve joined.
Another remarkable thing about TakeTwo is the number of people who have chosen to join us instead of somewhere else. It’s feels like a real movement because our team are all supercharged, incredibly flexible - unlike the mega-TMCs trying to navigate the new normal. Compared to them, TakeTwo can react quicker and has none of the legacy debt or baggage.
As we grow, our challenge is to retain that agility. It’s easy to get lost in process, so the way to avoid that is to realize we have no ambitions to become a mega-TMC and have no exit strategy. For us, it's about the journey, not the destination. And we're all going to have fun along the way.
When people say to me “you're new”, I disagree because we have the best of the best in talent and expertize - with a long track record - from the travel, hospitality, and airline industries.
Travel Managers and business travelers' outlooks have changed since travel returned. Thanks to furlough and retirements, airlines don’t have the staff they used to, so travelers are now facing missed connections and long delays, They need access to the technology and human expertize that can help them out.
We're seeing a lot of concerns from travelers who are having to navigate around cancellations and overbooking. They didn't have to deal with these challenges in the past when there was sufficient inventory.
TakeTwo acts as a travel advocate for our travelers. Thanks to our next gen technology we can anticipate problems and create back up plans for them. By using historical data available to us around performance, weather and so on, we can be more analytical and pre-warn the customer about any potential risks and provide alternate solutions.
For TakeTwo, the sweet spot is our hands-on approach to travel management, building our brand on service, industry-leading technology and being able to flex to that.
We will be keeping our eye on the ball and remain very selective on who we transact with. If an organization is looking for an order taking TMC, we're not about that. We want to be able to engage meaningfully with and be accessible to our customers.
Although I’m the President of the company, customers and colleagues have my cell phone number because I want to know what's going on and be able to help them.
We have over 100 employees who are out there talking about the TakeTwo environment, our open door policy, letting people know that they have a voice and that we're supplying them with the tools to deliver great customer service. Our people are creating a buzz, and we want to keep that going.