More than a very good fit – Interview with Maximilian Lober (Voya) and Markus Orth (Lufthansa City Center)
Two corporate travel providers for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) join forces: Voya as a platform and Lufthansa City Center (LCC) as one of the world's largest travel agency franchise systems. Maximilian Lober, co-founder of Voya, in conversation with Markus Orth, Managing Director of Lufthansa City Center Reisebüropartner GmbH.
A startup founded in 2015 and a travel agency cooperation with 28 years of history meet. A good fit? Was it just a lucky coincidence or have you been looking for each other for a long time? Any cultural challenges?
Maximilian: “This is more than a very good fit for us at Voya. After the first meetings, we noticed that not only is there mutual sympathy, but also a common understanding of the market and a lived service philosophy, which unfortunately is no longer a matter of course in Business Travel. As a start-up you have to go ahead, but if the values are the same, you speak the same language.”
Markus: „LCC has always been driven by technology. That brought us together with Voya in such a short period of time. And the purpose is the same for both companies: providing the best possible content to corporate clients with good technology.“
Regarding the strong competition on the business travel market, how do you expect your business to flourish?
Markus: “Our advantages are 13,500 existing SME customers, our on-site presence at medium-sized enterprises and our full-content-solution. I am very confident that we will convince some new customers within a few months. Our DNA is the same as Voya’s: To be present, listen and then deliver. This is what it’s all about.“
Maximilian: “The desire for online booking combined with service is currently the strongest customer demand in the market. Pure online approaches as well as pure offline service will sooner or later not be enough. It attracts many customers, if you do something in a completely different way.”
What will business travel bookings look like in the distant future?
Maximilian: “In the end, traveler centricity or platform economy are just buzzwords. What really counts is user experience. And that is one of the reasons why I believe in personal, digital service with all my heart.”
Markus: „I would like to add the keyword seamless: closely linked with all touchpoints and devices that the customer uses – and with a strong connection to the leisure sector. Think about bleisure – the combination of business travel and leisure. It is my strong believe that this topic will play a much bigger role in the future.“