Donald Raad CEO MSWLI Travel Group
Published on May 2, 2002
Donald Raad CEO MSWLI Travel Group- WWW.MSWLI.COM
Imagine being the head of a $7 Million travel agency in Feb 1995 and all of a sudden have the airlines announce they are cutting your commissions? You may think this spells disaster. Not Donald Raad. To him, it meant here’s a huge opportunity to increase his competitive advantage.
Before the airlines cut their commissions, company’s like MSWLI had trouble competing against the big travel industry players. Their volume of business was so large they were able to give back some of the commissions to their customers in the form of rebates. Small companies like MSWLI could not compete as well because their volume was not as great. Once the commissions were cut, the industry leaders could no longer offer the rebates and in Donald’s mind, the playing field was leveled. Now, everyone had to rely on the value of their service to gain business and in many cases, they had to start charging fees for their services.
So, how did MSWLI provide their value? They immediately held every employee accountable for their actions. Agents not only sold the deals, they also provided the customer service. They had to perform what they promised, otherwise their business would go elsewhere.
Every office was given their own P&L responsibility. They had to find ways to increase their productivity while at the same time increase their service quality. By concentrating on finding out what their customers wanted, how they wanted it, why they wanted it and what was missing for them with the way they were currently booking their travel plans, MSWLI was able to provide solutions their customers found invaluable.
These are just a few of the ways Donald Raad and his management team tackled the problem of disappearing commissions. Their results are staggering! In 6 years, they went from being a $7 million concern to a $29 million thriving business. 75% of their revenue comes from corporate travel. They also have developed thriving niche markets in entertainment travel and the meeting and incentive business. While many travel agencies cried foul, Donald Raad and MSWLI proved the business axiom that says in every problem there is opportunity. Congratulations Donald Raad- our Titan Profile of the month. A classic example that if you build a valued service, the clients will come, even if they have to pay for it.