General manager Aljoša Stanojević reveals how DIB Travel has improved the organization and realization of business trips abroad.
The biggest source of income for us at the moment comes from partner cooperation with suppliers. We created this possibility by forming one of the largest networks of travel agencies in Scandinavia – DIB Alliance
Aljoša Stanojević became intensely interested in tourism during his studies at the Faculty of Economics in Belgrade. So he got a job in a youth travel agency. “After that, I spent several years abroad, in the retail industry and in a multinational company. When, in 2019, I heard about DIB Travel and the digitization of business tourism, I had no doubts that we should apply the idea in the Balkans as well”, he begins his story for BIZLife.
If we say that DIB Travel is a startup business, and the essence of every startup business is to offer a solution to an existing problem or “fill a hole” in the market – when, how and why did you come up with the idea for this business?
Startup is a term that many people interpret differently; I would say that we have outgrown the startup phase. As for the idea itself, I think it came from the love for tourism, on the one hand, and the lack of digitization of the process, on the other. There is currently a very developed private travel market. Companies such as Booking.com, Expedia group, AirBnB operate in that segment of the market. On the other hand, the business travel segment lags far behind. Connecting these two things was not difficult. The global world problem is that business trips are booked at the level of the 90s of the 20th century, with the exchange of a large number of emails, phone calls, and piles of invoices.
DIB Travel is a platform that allows you to book all the necessary services online, get a unified invoice for all your employees’ trips, set restrictions from your travel regulations and give people the freedom to book on their own, and you, as a company, don’t have to worry about costs.
From the moment you came up with the idea, what did you need for its realization and what turned out to be the biggest challenge?
Difficult question! I think that when you are working on something that is innovative and new, everything can be a challenge and an obstacle. If I had to single out one, it would be market education. To explain to people the added value brought by the digitization of the official travel process and that it is not a bogey and difficult, but very easily applicable, and the benefits are huge.
Is your entire business online, or can the client see you, meet with you, drink coffee, etc.?
Great question! I think that the human side is important in any business. Also, we are aware of the habits of the market in the Balkans, as well as the mentality, so that feature is very important for us. That’s why we have 24-hour support for all our clients, which allows them to get help at any time for everything they need, from booking to advice about the platform. Also, we always like to meet with clients, talk with them, share experiences, because this is what builds long-term cooperation.
Okay, I have to travel to Milan soon for a meeting. What exactly can DIB Travel help me with?
In just three minutes, you can choose and book an airline ticket, hotel accommodation (everything that is available on booking.com and expedia.com is also available here), and even a train or taxi from the airport to the hotel. Everything is paid in advance, and your finances receive a consolidated invoice.
Who are the users of your platform?
All companies that have business trips are our potential customers. Our clients in Serbia are diverse, from IT companies to pharmaceutical companies, all the way to multinational companies. Also, some companies decide to use all the functionalities of our platform, thus giving their employees the opportunity to book themselves, while others leave the booking process to colleagues who exclusively deal with it, and our platform is the only tool they need.
Without looking into your wallet – what is the main source of income in your business model?
Tourism and the IT industry are a very good combination and bring many opportunities and sources of income.
The biggest source of income for us at the moment comes from partner cooperation with suppliers. We created this possibility by forming one of the largest networks of travel agencies in Scandinavia – DIB Alliance. Also, it gives us the possibility to have lower prices compared to the competition.