Bonjour Samuel, are you looking forward to moving to Nice?
Absolutely! I will be leading a product development team for the business travel sector and I’m already taking on some of the new responsibilities that await me at Amadeus Central.
Of course, I will miss Belgium and the city of Brussels in particular. I moved here from Paris when I was 13 and it’s just such a great, international city. I will miss that cultural diversity in Nice, but the South of France has other perks. It’s an exciting new chapter for me.
How will your new job differ from your current one?
Here, at Amadeus Benelux, I’m in charge of the product management team. We have 3 colleagues in Brussels and 3 in Amsterdam. Together, we manage over 50 Amadeus solutions. That means we are the designated experts on our products’ functionalities, but we also keep in touch with market demand so that we can provide input for the product development team.
My role, personally, consists mainly of coordinating the team and being the link to other department within Amadeus.
Why did you choose Amadeus in the first place?
I was already working in the IT sector, with a focus on travel and expense in business travel. So, naturally, I already knew Amadeus quite well. When I saw the vacancy for a Unit Manager 1.5 years ago, I knew it was the right career move.
So far Amadeus has exceeded my expectations. It’s a huge company, with well-defined structures and processes. And we’re constantly growing thanks to large investments in R&D. That’s important to me.
Is your move part of a bigger change within the company?
Indeed, Amadeus has decided to reorganise its structure to align it with its customers – whether it’s online, retail or business. Such a change is always accompanied by some small hiccups, but I think we’re dealing with it quite well.
Our clients are very diverse, are constantly changing and have their own needs. As a provider, Amadeus has to organise itself to answer to those needs faster and more personalised.
Were you always passionate about travel?
During my studies in business and finance, I joined an NGO that helps students find international internships and brings them into contact with organizations that are looking for interns. Our goal was to foster leadership competencies, but for me, it was especially fascinating to see the complexity of the travel industry up close.
My favourite trips were to the Amalfi coast in Italy. But Petra in Jordan was also really stunning.
How did you feel after the World Cup semi-final against Belgium?
Honestly? I hoped the game would never happen. As a Frenchman, it was a lose-lose. If Belgium would have won, my colleagues would have teased me in perpetuity. And now, everyone hates the French. I hope it’s temporary though. (laughs)
Overall, it was a truly stunning tournament by the Belgian team, I feel a bit bad for them. But, as you know, it’s not a beauty contest.
What is the biggest challenge facing the business travel industry today?
Tough question. I think a lot of travel agents are struggling to find enough quality content. Lately, some airlines have started adding charges to content or are removing it completely. For Amadeus, this is a highly strategic topic. That’s also partly why we’ve launched our new distribution platform – with content from a high variety of sources.
Thank you, Samuel. Who would you like to sit next to?
I’d love to hear from Eddy. He’s an Account Manager in our team and a fervent Red Devils fan. He even promoted a petition to re-do the semi-final against France. Naturally, I didn’t sign it.
Care to link up?Find Samuel Griehser on LinkedIn here.
Unit Manager Products and Solutions