It was 12 years ago that my dream of eTravel one day becoming a Billion Rand Entity was turned into a goal. Remember that a goal is merely a “Dream with a Deadline”.
In 2004, eTravel generated R198m for the 12 months ending June 30, 2004, and at that stage I believed so strongly in the future of the ITC model that I put my goal down on paper and told the group that by 2016 eTravel would become a billion-rand entity.
We reached the Billion Rand mark on Wednesday afternoon with 1 Day to spare! As Shaun put it “we won the test match with 1 wicket in hand”.
As many close to me will know that in my opinion this Billion is merely a number but what it has done has created a path and plan of action for eTravel to move forward with a clear vision and annual budgets that are put in place for the benefit of the entire group.
So what does it mean to you?
• ITC : It means we are big enough to negotiate the best deals as we have true buying power. It means we can use the muscle to ensure our Preferred Partners are hungry to assist us when we need them. It means that we have enough staff employed by eTravel (65) to ensure that we do not “drop the ball” when someone is ill or away on leave so that the back office fulfilment is a true added value that only we provide as a 100% dedication to you the ITC. It means that you have a team of managers and seniors that are there to help you at the drop of a hat;
• Staff member : It means that you have a powerful entity that pays your salary on time. It means that due to the current Profit Sharing Scheme you get to earn a 13th and sometimes 14th cheque each and every year. It means that you receive an increase if you have performed which I’m pleased to say is the case with each and every staff member over the past 12 months. It means you come to work at beautiful offices with full security and comfort of tea / coffee not to mention warmth in winter and aircons in summer. It means that you are able to perform on a winning team of focussed individuals who set goals for you that are tangible and real and reward you once you get there.
• Preferred Partner : It means that you have a very focussed strategy that drives your company’s sales. It means that when you come to do sales calls you always feel the positive energy of a team that not only focuses on winning but making it fun while we tick off our goals which always include you. It means you look good when reporting your sales figures to your bosses as eTravel has constantly shown growth for our Preferred Partners year in and year out. It means that you can say you look after the Market Leader in the ITC field which is the future of travel and has been for the last 17 years.
Coupled with the above we have the added benefit of being a privately owned and operated business whilst generating over a R1 000 000 000-00 in top line sales for the year to June 2016 – very few companies manage to remain private yet become so powerful. This allows for ad hoc decisions to be made based on the situation at hand rather than a corporate governance / internal auditor policy being inflicted on you as an individual which often results in a loss of passion and motivation. So with eTravel you have the best of all worlds whether you are an ITC, a staff member or a Preferred Partner – it doesn’t get better than this!
It is at this point that I need to thank everyone who has been a part of this dream as this takes focus, planning, teamwork and extremely detailed execution with constant accountability. This is a goal that could never be achieved without the commitment of so many over years and years. Nothing worth anything in life comes easy but oh my word when you achieve greatness from years of dedication and hard work it is so very sweet
Going forward, eTravel will continue to invest in its ITCs. It’s not about the numbers anymore. We’ve created a business with substantial buying power and we will continue to share our success with our ITCs.
So what are we going to do to celebrate this incredible achievement and dream of 12 years in the making? Well we are going to have “Kick Ass eTravel Billion Bash” party in Cape Town at our Head Office at the end of November or early December 2016. And as promised I will be flying all the eTravel Inland staff down to join us with all ITCs and Preferred Partners welcome.
Message from Tammy to Garth:
Garth congratulations on an amazing achievement which I know you haven’t done alone but YOU have lead us to this point and without you none of this would be possible!