Good morning, Delphine! How is Amsterdam treating you?
Great, we love it here! I’m celebrating my 10th anniversary at Amadeus this month. Can you believe it? After Belgium and Paris, this is my third Amadeus stop. The funny thing is: in each location my colleagues have tons in common. There’s something about the company culture that transcends border.
Is company culture important to you?
It’s crucial, I reckon. I’ve worked for both Oracle and Google in Ireland—two huge IT corporations, both American. After 6 years, I wanted to come back to the continent. One of the things I looked for was a good atmosphere and stimulating company culture.
I live for change, you know. Some people react badly to it. I don’t. My life motto is: “Change is never easy, you fight to hold on, and you fight to let go but change is the law of life.” Moving your family across Europe isn’t easy, but the experience has been truly invaluable. For all of us.
What are the cultural differences between European and American companies?
For starters, Amadeus Benelux is a lot smaller than the Oracle and Google offices I worked for in Ireland. Secondly, at Amadeus, we can have a lot more local impact. Sure, we have a global vison and strategy, but having influence on the ground is not easy in a complicated industry such as ours.
Is that complexity your biggest professional challenge?
My biggest professional challenge is timing. We have to get in touch with our client at the exact right time to get their attention, and prove our value.
The challenges of the travel industry as a whole are different. Decreasing margins and increasing competition make our industry a real jungle: only the strong survive. Success does not happen by chance. Our clients need a combination of solid internal structure and superb technology. Trusted partnership with a shared vision is at the heart of sustainable growth.
Could mobile apps bring about positive change for smaller travel agents?
Sure they do. Although I think responsive web design is at least as important. The crux of the matter is capturing the attention of the customer when it matters most. Apps are most useful for customer service, after the initial purchase, I have found.
Do you like to travel yourself?
I love to travel, especially when deep diving is involved! Diving has always been crucial to our choice of destination. I first learned to dive in France, and we’ve been to Mexico, New Caledonia and Thailand since. Once, we were diving in French Polynesia, surrounded by hundreds of sharks. Surreal!
These days our trips are a little shorter. In a few years, when the kids are older, we’ll start expanding our borders again. Discovering other cultures is a necessity in today’s world. You have to keep an open mind—it’s part of our upbringing.
What do you love about deep diving?
Discovering a whole new world, underwater. Suddenly, everything is silent. That’s a real challenge for me, personally. (laughs) But, seriously, watching the fish and seaweed dancing silently in the current is truly magical. Time just stops. Incredible.
Thank you, Delphine, for the stimulating conversation. Who would you like to sit next to?
I’d like to hear from our Spanish colleagues! I think Oscar Gurpide, our Sales Analyst here in Amsterdam, would do absolutely fantastic.
Care to link up?Find Delphine Emond on LinkedIn here.
Account Manager Online & Leisure