This is part 2 of our interview withAdrian Matt. Adrian is an outstanding personality in the German-speaking business travel community. After 20 years in leading roles within the industry, he decided to found TravelBrain. Today, TravelBrain is the leading provider of consulting and project management in the industry
Adrian loves his job. This is apparent in every moment of a discussion about the business. Today, he will reveal the secrets of his success with TravelBrain and ExpenseBrain. And he will share some of his dreams…
Adrian, TravelBrain enjoys a brilliant image in the business travel industry. Whatever project you take on, succeeds. What is TravelBrain and what are the reasons for your success?
TravelBrain is not a typical consulting company. It is a network of outstanding experts. We advise and support clients in the travel industry to streamline their businesses. This starts with clean analysis that is often followed by hands-on project execution.
A good example is the complete backoffice automation for a global TMC. But we have a broad range of knowledge, including midoffice projects, event and meeting management, and profile management.
As a network of independent experts, we are able to get the best experts for each role and project on board. This translates into excellent results and happy clients.
Since July 1st, 2016, TravelBrain has been an official implementation partner for Umbrella Faces. How do you approach such a project and when does it make sense to contact you?
Well, Umbrella Faces is refreshingly easy to implement on a functional and technical level. But getting your travel profiles straight requires much more than just the technical part. You need to define useful profile standards, migrate massive amounts of data, communicate new processes to clients, and do proper change management internally. You also need a project lead with solid knowledge of all related processes.
Many TMCs or corporate travel departments will have quite some difficulties finding and allocating the necessary internal resources for a profile management project. They should be aware that we can execute such a project quickly and effectively, with guaranteed results.
We typically start with a free half-day workshop to get a solid picture of what needs to be done. Based on that, we’ll either create an offer, or simply agree to work on the basis of “time & material”.
I understand that your clients are primarily TMCs?
Our clients are actually from all over the travel industry. TMCs, travel agencies, GDS, Travel Departments within large corporates and even travel tech companies.
And we operate globally. TravelBrain is a global network of experts.
Why did you start your own company after more than 20 years in the business travel industry?
The trigger was when Kuoni sold TRX to the US and shut down the office in Switzerland. I was TRX’s GM at the time and obviously needed a new position. Looking back now, this was the best thing that could have happened. TravelBrain is still a lot of fun.
And you’ve got another venture called ExpenseBrain! What do you do there?
ExpenseBrain is a separate company, based in Öhringen, Germany. It helps anyone from mid-sized companies to international corporations implement Expense Management solutions.
We’ve realised how many corporations struggle with the diverse and often complicated country-specific tax regulations.
Due to our international footprint, ExpenseBrain can help with all relevant solutions, including Cytric Expense, Concur, Mobile Xpense and Deem.
Speaking of “good advice”: what would you advise your 30-year-old self?
The “young” Adrian should definitely do what I have done. But he should pursue the idea of his own consulting company right from the beginning. He would consciously build up specific know-how on consulting, business travel and technology right from the beginning.
That way he could start his consulting company earlier. He would then be able to benefit from a much better, much broader view of market developments.
How do you travel privately?
Like so many people in the industry, I love to travel and prefer authentic experiences. I don’t need much luxury.
Our family loves to travel to Tuscany. This is somehow going “back to my roots” because my grandmother was born there. Other frequent destinations are Greek or Spanish islands. We usually stay in mid-class hotels or B&Bs.
Definitely my favourite trip was two-weeks seeing the mountain gorillas in Uganda. I went there with a group of friends. We took a safari-bus and slept in two-man tents. What a wonderful trip, and absolutely recommended!
Which trip is on top of your bucket list?
That’s an easy one. I want to travel through South America, following the trail of Erich von Däniken. I have been fascinated by the secrets and wonders of the Inca world since I was a young boy.
Thank you for your time and these wonderful insights!