Why launch a new TMC in the middle of a worldwide health crisis? It’s a fair question. In short, it’s because we love business travel. The longer answer needs some personal and industry context.
Between us, we have a six-decade track record in the TMC sector. We spent several years working together at Chambers Travel Group, driving it to success as the leading pan-European TMC before the merger with Corporate Travel Management (CTM).
Along the way we gained a reputation for client retention, tangible travel programme efficiencies and innovative client servicing solutions.
We achieved this because we share a deep passion for the industry, love working collaboratively with great people, and are determined to provide a premium service to our clients.
Gap in the market
During the pandemic, we watched saddened as TMCs shed expertise and resources through furlough and redundancies. This talent crisis was heightened by a spate of TMC mergers and acquisitions. Sadly, many of those cast aside have since left the industry.
This has created a gap in the market for a mid-size TMC managing travel for international businesses for whom business travel is a key component of their company’s success, as well as high net worth individuals.
These clients need specialised personal service from experienced consultants. They need to know that their TMC is fully staffed and to be engaged about their programme, listened to, know their TMC consultants personally, enabling travellers to trust in their consultants’ knowledge and expertise.
We were determined to do something to stop the exodus of human resources, and to restore some traditional client service values this that have become lost in some TMCs. That’s why we set up TakeTwo.
Whilst other TMC’s have reduced headcount, we have been building our business. We have no baggage, financial or otherwise, so we can focus on our service, clients, and our people.
Financially, we didn’t need to return to the coalface. We’re doing so because business travel is in our DNA. But having made that decision, it was all about the brand. What should we call ourselves?
The TMC market is already full of brands abbreviated to acronyms, ABC this, XYZ that. We wanted something short, memorable yet told a story. As we’re coming back to business travel after a spell away, why not TakeTwo? It has a ring to it and the response we’ve had from travel buyers has been very positive.
We believe that business travel has become over-complicated. For the TMC, getting someone from A to B is the easy bit. It’s all the other elements such as risk management, sustainability and so on that make it challenging, and where the TMC truly makes a difference.
Our philosophy is that travel management can become better by being more personal. Every TMC provides technology – that’s a given for the corporate customer. What they don’t necessarily provide is expert personal service.
TakeTwo is about preserving the ‘art’ of business travel and the skills of our people to provide the right level of support to buyers, bookers, and travellers as they undertake business travel post-Covid.
That’s why our consultants are called Travel Heroes because that’s what they are. They manage complex travel and deliver great service.
For us, it’s about the relationship with our customers and our staff. Above all, we want TakeTwo to be a company with a soul. Our people work hard but play hard too. We keep our sense of humour when things go wrong. Recently our senior management team have begun meeting regularly in person. It feels great to be working face to face and with people all pulling in the same direction.
Business travel today
TakeTwo is starting out with 20 highly skilled staff, each of whom has spent over twenty years in business travel, accumulating unrivalled knowledge and exceptional customer service expertise.
We’ve already won clients in the UK and Europe with a pre-Covid spend of £11.5M and a new business pipeline in the region of £40M. TakeTwo’s presence in the US is in final planning stages with an announcement due before the end of the year.
One of the reasons we are the only TMC to open its doors during the pandemic is that we saw so many good people being furloughed or made redundant by TMCs.
Long term vision
We want TakeTwo to be the kind of TMC that, when we turn up to a new client pitch, our rivals’ faces drop. We want TakeTwo to become a global but still personal travel management company, delivering tailored solutions that give our clients data, traveller safety and sustainability.
When a client tells either of us that one of our Travel Heroes has done a really good job, it makes everything worthwhile. We’ve missed that feeling, so it’s great to be back.