VALLETTA, Malta, and SAN FRANCISCO, – Dyninno Travel, which incorporates the travel businesses of the Dyninno Group, today announced a rebranding in response to accelerated growth and the revisal of its corporate vision. At the heart of the rebranding is a structural change of the division as well as the official name change – from Dyninno Travel to Trevolution Group.
“The rebrand and launch of the new website represent our ambitions and reflect how the business has evolved. Our business has gone through extensive development and now, given our restructuring, we feel a necessity to consolidate our entities under one umbrella brand. We reposition our travel division to increase the market value of the business,” said Alex Weinstein, the Founder of the Dyninno Group.
According to Alex Weinstein, the brand now reflects a vision to deliver much more than airfares. “In the post-pandemic world, the value of service and the ability to provide the proper level of support became essential; that is only possible with a standardized level of service quality. The aim of the new Trevolution brand is to combine the human touch with innovative technologies. This is where we stand – developing, shaping, and evolving the travel industry. Therefore the name – Trevolution,” Weinstein commented.
The group’s rebranding includes restructuring and consolidation, as well as a top-to-bottom redesign of the website, a name change for the division, a new corporate logotype, graphics, communications, and correspondence.
Throughout the years, Trevolution, which operates International Travel Network, ASAP Tickets, Skylux Travel, Aviajet, TravelTech, and other travel brands, has established itself as the market leader in the travel business, specializing in the visiting friends and relatives segment. Over 50,000 air tickets and package holidays have been sold by Trevolution Group monthly, which makes it the seventh-largest consolidator in the US.
The gross bookings of Trevolution Group (ex – Dyninno Travel), calculated as the total dollar value of all travel services booked by its customers net of cancellations, generally inclusive of taxes and fees, increased by 77% compared with 2020, amounting to $480 million.
Dyninno is a group of companies providing products and services in the travel, finance, entertainment, and technology sectors in 50 countries. It was founded in 2004 in San Francisco by Alex Weinstein. Today, 3,900 professionals work for the group globally.
The original article is available here.
The pent-up demand for travel this summer has driven travelers eager to resume Covid-interrupted trips to rapidly snap up flight tickets. Consumers in the U.S. alone spent an estimated $8.3 billion on air travel in May, a 6.2 percent increase from the previous month.
But a growing number of those travelers are buying two one-way flight tickets, with travel advisors saying that soaring airfares in recent months and a reduction in flight schedules has made them more appealing to customers.
“Before the pandemic, round-trip flights were more cost-effective. That doesn’t appear to be the case any more,” said Tracey McGoughy, an advisor at travel agency Carib Compass Travel & Wellness.
“If I were to estimate it, 100 percent of my clients’ itineraries pre-pandemic included round-trip flights on the same airline. Now, about 50 percent of my clients’ itineraries involve one-way flights, usually on different airlines.”
McGoughy is not alone is noting a jump in one-way tickets purchased. Twenty-five percent of plane tickets sold by U.S.-based advisors in 2021 for international travel were one-way tickets, according to Genadij Pugachov, the chief operating officer of the Dyninno Travel, a division of U.S. global information technology company Dyninno Group. The figure was only 12 percent two years prior.
So what’s sparking a surge in one-way plane tickets being sold?
“This is partly because of the surge in airline prices and partly because of the cuts in airline schedules,” McGoughy said, adding that airlines have started charging a premium for nonstop flights and flights with only one stop to certain destinations.
“Some of the round-trip flight combinations just don’t make sense and I wouldn’t book them for my clients.”
While McGoughy believes one-way tickets are acceptable for short flights, she acknowledges long-distance journeys pose a challenge if they require multiple one-way tickets to reach their final destination. She alluded to the possibility of travelers having to check in their luggage again upon arriving at a different airport.
Peter Vlitas, the executive vice president of partner relations for the Internova Travel Group, also sees one-way tickets providing hurdles for both advisors and travelers.
“The biggest challenge, if you purchase two one-way tickets, (is using) them as a connection,” said Vlitas, whose company represents more than 70,000 travel advisors across the agencies in its portfolio.
“If the first flight is delayed, you have no protection on the second ticket. And if you no show on the second flight because the first flight was late, you lose the entire value because the two tickets are not married.”
Both Vlitas and McGoughy view selling one-way tickets as more time consuming than round-trip flights on the same airline. Vlitas cited additional service levels required from the separate transactions while McGoughy said that finding the right airline and flight combinations often isn’t a quick process, asserting the primary business implication of booking one-way flights is the amount of time spent doing so. In addition, the two admit they don’t advertise one-way tickets, as Vlitas said his advisors’ strategy has always been to compare a one-way ticket to a round-trip with multiple fare levels.
But although McGoughy said she hopes that flight schedules and prices return to normal shortly, she’s more than willing to continue spending the necessary additional time to find affordable one-way flights for her customers.
“Most clients have a budget for their trip so I can work out acceptable one-way flight options that keep them within their budget, they accept it.”
Thank you for joining us in this interview series. Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’?
Happy to be a part of the interview series! My story started over 20 years ago in San Francisco when I began working as a travel agent. To be completely honest — I just wanted to prove myself. I was a young immigrant, and I was hungry for success. So, everything started with two phones and a few ads — I purchased ads in local newspapers, sold flight tickets over the phone — whatever it took. From there on everything is history. Now, 18 years later, Dyninno is a group of companies, operating in 3 large, independent sectors — travel, fintech and entertech. We own travel agencies, talent networks and a few financial companies across the globe and employ over 3500 people worldwide.
You’ve had a remarkable career journey. Can you highlight a key decision in your career that helped you get to where you are today?
I think my start of outsourcing IT to Riga, Latvia — I started to look for software developers and agents outside of the United States. Generally, the idea and understanding that business can, and should be not only in one location was a big stepping stone for us. We expanded our talent pool and extended the global business footprint by expanding in Europe. That was a big thing. What’s the most impactful initiative you’ve led that you’re particularly proud of? There isn’t one — there are many of them. I am happy to have formed a team that helps local communities; our team is responsive and reactive to current affairs and the needs of local communities globally. We take responsibility to serve the underlooked and underserved — some of the recent initiatives include providing food baskets in rural schools in the Philippines, back in December we also initiated a humanitarian initiative to help the travel agents in Cebu, the Philippines after the typhoon. In India, we are continuously initiating humanitarian help for children living in slums. In Moldova, our team has worked with hospices and refugees. Latvian team has also significantly helped refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine. Actually, quite a number of our global offices have hired Ukrainian refugees since.
Sometimes our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a mistake you’ve made and the lesson you took away from it?
I like mistakes! Mistakes are needed. I am a big believer that mistakes make excellent learning opportunities. If you get things wrong, you have a chance to improve your skills. To me mistakes equal lessons. Just need to make sure that each time there is a lesson learnt, too. From our experience — we made some mistakes setting up offices. For example, when choosing one of the locations, we’ve picked a provincial city over the capital — our decision was primarily based on cost. We focused on the budget, but in the end, didn’t achieve our objectives as the desired quality of talent ended up costing more than expected. So we ended up opening another location in a more expensive city.
How has mentorship played a role in your career, whether receiving mentorship or offering it to others?
I did not have mentors. I was always using my own path, not comparing myself to anyone. My parents were my mentors & my moral compasses. They encouraged me and did everything to develop my talents and abilities, and I am forever grateful for that.
Developing your leadership style takes time and practice. Who do you model your leadership style after? What are some key character traits you try to emulate?
Not after anyone. I learn about various leadership models and methods, but there is no person who I am copying. I can of course adapt some of the ways that some people do things, but there is no single person I fully copy and adapt. I fancy the idea of a transformational leadership style; I believe there is a better way to do everything. The world and the market change so fast — you cannot adopt anyone’s style. You can apply what others do to the real-time environment. Things, ideas, processes — everything can be improved. Not only my thoughts are like that — actually, one of our company values is continuous innovation; we always try to find more efficient and effective ways of doing business.
Thank you for sharing that with us. Let’s talk about scaling a business from a small startup to a midsize and then large company. Based on your experience, can you share with our readers the “5 Things You Need To Know To Successfully Scale Your Business”? Please give a story or example for each.
The way innovators solve their problems will help you solve yours. Looking at innovators, entrepreneurs, and the market — all that observation can give great insights into what the market trends and opportunities are. By the end of the day, most companies are not inventing the wheel, but they all differ in the approach to how they solve their problems. Getting inspired by someone else can bring value to you and your business.
“9 women cannot give birth in 1 month”
Improving processes, planning and growing takes time. Otherwise said, the seeds you plant take time to mature and only that is done, you can scale. The trick is to plant those seeds & grow them in parallel without them conflicting and disturbing one another.
Focusing on your team = building a long term success.
Your team is your core asset. As you scale and grow, you will need more staff. Your relationship with the new employees will not be as close as with the first team members, but everyone must understand the importance of your business values. Your team members must be properly onboarded, engaged, and motivated. Think of Google — the company is initiating a number of initiatives and employees are engaged in pro-bono activities for social causes. They offer a number of benefits ensuring that everyone is motivated and engaged. Once people are engaged, they are ready to realize themselves in the company rather than ‘looking elsewhere’ — engaged employees are more productive and committed to the organizations in which they work.
Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.
It is always an issue with starting entrepreneurs — everyone thinks they are the best and they are unwilling to delegate. Successful delegation allows you to hand over tasks to those with better skills, and this, in return, allows you to focus on the “bigger picture”. Passing off tasks will also allow you to reflect and develop growth strategies. So, it is a win-win — you allow other people to show their skills and competencies and reduce your workload so you can focus on other important business areas, like planning, business analytics, etc. Think of Richard Branson, who believes that delegation is crucial to success and he is doing that very successfully. Probably one of his most-known quotes is — “it’s vital to the success of your business that you learn to hand off those things that you aren’t able to do well.”
Small daily improvements over time lead to stunning results.
A good entrepreneur is made, once a number of little steps, that require focus and discipline, are made. And a good business doesn’t scale without perfecting internal processes & operations. Once this is functioning seamlessly, potential growth can be expected. Also, keep in mind that some of the systems and processes that work in a company at its beginning won’t work on a massive scale; restructuring will be of the essence. Think of Toyota: the company can be characterized by its philosophy that focuses on continuously improving the way the work is carried out. They constantly look for faults in the system/process and involve every worker in identifying and solving problems.
Can you share a few of the mistakes that companies make when they try to scale a business? What would you suggest to address those errors?
Not being able to find the balance between their limitation and appetite for risk. What I would suggest — do not be afraid to fail, but rather fail in “small steps”. Do lots of small steps, so if you make a mistake, the loss is not that hurtful.
Scaling includes bringing new people into the organization. How can a company preserve its company culture and ethos when new people are brought in?
A company has three directions it could take on its own culture — preserving it as is, strengthening it, or not worrying about it (yes, that happens..). We at Dyninno know our culture very well and had planned of strengthening the culture by only adding professionals that share our values. To do so, we make sure to test incoming candidates either during the interview or via a standardized test against our in-house cultural values and behaviors.
In my work, I focus on helping companies to simplify the process of creating documentation of their workflow, so I am particularly passionate about this question. Many times, a key aspect of scaling your business is scaling your team’s knowledge and internal procedures. What tools or techniques have helped your teams be successful at scaling internally?
Well, I believe that culture is definitely one of such tools. Having one of the values as a Team is a Force it is a given that when growing, we do not crumble under our own size, but simply adopt the mindset of having a bigger team to work with. Knowing there is support from everywhere around makes us raise the bar even higher. Besides culture, we harness the power of IT and cloud solutions to create and communicate ambitious targets and expectations across the whole organization via the SAP SuccessFactors Performance Management module and some of our own in-house developed CRMs.
What software or tools do you recommend to help onboard new hires?
A quality onboarding process starts already before the actual candidate is hired — it starts at the stage of Job Design when outlining all deliverables, skills, knowledge, and functions a person should be performing. Taking this into consideration, a great onboarding would have to consist of a series of meetings, events, and training that would lead to a happy and engaged employee that would successfully pass the trial period. To achieve that we currently use JIRA while transitioning to the SAP SuccessFactors Onboarding module.
Because of your role, you are a person of significant influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most people, what would that be? You never know what your ideas can trigger.
That’s a good question! Since I am a big believer in lifelong learning, I guess the movement would be related to learning. Perhaps something like learning from each other? People trying out new things & learning from each other?
How can our readers further follow your work online? My work & development can be followed on LinkedIn — Dyninno Group. I am not very active on social media and I do not run personal accounts. Perhaps worth considering changing that.
About the interviewer. Ken Babcock is the CEO and Co-Founder of Tango. Prior to his mission of celebrating how work is executed, Ken spent over 4 years at Uber riding the rollercoaster of a generational company. After gaining hands-on experience with entrepreneurship at Atomic VC, Ken went on to HBS. It was at HBS that Ken met his Co-Founders, Dan Giovacchini and Brian Shultz and they founded Tango
The company currently has a workforce of around 190 employees and plans to increase its staff to over 600 people by the end of 2022, according to a statement.
As part of its compassionate policy, the company extends financial support in the case of bereavement in an employee’s immediate family and offers three to six days of paid leave over and above the other entitled leaves, according to a statement.In the unfortunate event of the death of an employee, the employee’s family will receive extended financial support, as per the statement. The medical insurance also includes employees’ immediate families. The insurance coverage can be up to Rs 1 million depending on the employee’s grade. Dyninno India also offers accident insurance cover that is equal to five times the employee’s cost to the company.
Aleksejs Histjajevs, Director, Dyninno India, said, “Our objective is to establish a culture of compassion by strengthening employee support and care. While we have been following the compassionate policy for over a year, we have now added more features to benefit our employees, especially in the current unpredictable times. We also offer robust medical and accident insurance cover to our employees.”
“Dyninno grows talents. I started as a travel agent with the company over nine years ago, and today, I lead operations for the India office. We offer similar growth opportunities for every employee, and with the massive expansion plans that we have for the India office, we are keen to hire diligent people who are eager to learn and want to grow along with Dyninno India,” added Histjajevs.
The company currently has a workforce of around 190 employees and plans to increase its staff to over 600 people by the end of 2022, according to a statement. It commenced its operations in 2019 and continued hiring even during the pandemic. To accommodate its growing workforce, Dyninno India plans to shift to a workspace spanning 52,000 square feet, which is five times bigger than its current facilities, at DLF Cyber City, Gurugram.
Dyninno Group, a US-based global IT company, is planning to hire 10,000 travel agents and 1,000 IT professionals globally in the next three years. By 2022, Dyninno’s India branch is poised to add 520 people to its headcount. The Group launched its branch in India in 2019. Dyninno India has a current headcount of 120 employees.
Elaborating on the hiring plan, Alex Weinstein, Chairman and Founder, Dyninno Group of Companies, said, “In addition to IT, we plan to hire other profile specialists in Gurugram. As for the operating block, we plan to add an extra 400 team members to the travel division in 2022.”
“This staff increase will lead us to move to a new 52,000 sq feet office at Cyber City in Gurugram,” Weinstein added. Next year, the Dyninno entertainment technologies team will take off in India, and will start with at least five professionals. The company also announced its plan to expand its presence in the Spanish-speaking markets in 2022 and open new travel division offices in a number of Latin American countries.
The skillset the company is looking for in the employees
While hiring an employee, the Dyninno group cross-checks whether the internal values of a person correlate with the company values, which are persistence, accountability, self-organisation, looking for improvement, client orientation and teamwork. Besides this, various culture adherence tests and interviews are also conducted to determine whether each candidate fits the existing culture and has the potential to achieve great success within the organisation.
Commenting on the expected skillset requirement, Weinstein said, “In India, currently we are looking for two different types of employees: travel specialists (operations) and IT experts. As for the professional competencies for travel team members, we look for customer orientation, orientation to result, and impeccable communication skills.” He mentioned that Dynatech, Dyninno’s IT and operating centre, is also looking for a diverse workforce that gives access to the best of developers, DevOps, QA, and HelpDesk specialists in both India and Latvia. “As for IT, we focus on people with solid technical expertise, and most importantly great learning skills. To evaluate this, we use several assessment rounds, both technical and HR. In addition, we apply technical assignments through the Hackerrank tool,” Weinstein asserted.
Pandemic impact on the HR functions in the organisation
The pandemic has induced dramatic changes in the purposes and functions of the HR department. Besides playing a key role in crisis management, HR had to adopt and implement new ways to hire, engage, and communicate with the company personnel. Weinstein said they had to digitalise all the existing processes, including recruitment, onboarding and assessment. Also, the company has launched new messaging and project management tools, including MS Teams and Miro. He further said, “HR has been providing guidance and support both for employees and C-level executives in the company. Using tools such as testgorilla.com and SAP SuccessFactors self-service pages helped us a lot.”
Diversity and inclusion at the workplace
Having a diverse and inclusive workforce is essential not only for the balance of voices but also for catering for the productivity of the firm. An equitable workplace realises the business needs of an organisation by recognizing the unique needs, perspectives and potential of the employees. Commenting on Dyninno Group’s approach to diversity and inclusion, Weinstein said, “We are a multinational, multicultural, and multilingual company. I would say that we live in 360-degree diversity comprising people of different nationalities, gender and sexual orientation, ethnicities, and competencies.” Dyninno has a 50:50 male to female ratio with salaries and commission schemes connected to the position and not the individual person. Weinstein concluded by saying that in order to exclude any subjectivity, the career advancements are based on performance rating, assessment centre, and cognitive ability tests, and not on any other non-work-related factor.
The combined volume of both, one-way and round trip airline ticket sales from the US to the Philippines grew 57 percent in the third quarter 2021, according to a study.
Dyninno Travel said their research showed that operating the ASAP Tickets and International Travel Network (ITN) brands has shown positive outlooks in the airline ticket sales from the US to the Philippines as travel between the two countries has started recovering in April this year. As the pandemic-related restrictions began to ease, airline ticket sales were up 128 percent compared to the same period the previous year. After a modest growth during the summer months, the sales were up 40 percent again in September compared to September 2020.
The pandemic still weighs on travelers’ minds and passengers are avoiding long-term bookings. According to Dyninno Travel research, nearly 36 percent of travelers booked tickets less than 30 days before the trip in September 2021. In comparison, less than 22 percent of passengers booked flights with a 0-30 days booking window in 2019.
Acccording to Dyninno, the average airfare was up by 7.5% in September 2021 compared to May 2021, and by 56 percent compared to September 2020. The average price in September 2021 has reached $1,400 per ticket. At the same time, the average number of tickets per booking remains almost the same in comparison with 2019 and 2020, at 1.4. The research also reveals that almost 50 percent of the travelers bound to the Philippines from the US depart from the airports in California and New York, while the least departures are from the District of Columbia and Alaska.
Almost all travelers from the US to the Philippines arrive at either the Manila or Cebu International airports, due to the convenient transport infrastructure and the availability of connecting direct flights to other cities within the Philippines.
“Dyninno Travel, part of Dyninno Group, is responsible for up to 25 percent of flight bookings sold between the USA and Philippines. This is a very popular route for visiting friends and family. Since the Philippines have opened its borders, we forecast another boom in sales. The Philippines remains an important and attractive destination for us. We opened offices in Cebu and Manila in 2013, so that travel agents could provide tailored services to both local and international customers of DYNINNO Travel. We plan to increase the number of travel agents to 700 by 2022,” said Alex Weinstein, founder of Dyninno Group.
Dyninno Travel is the travel division of Dyninno Group, a US-based technology group of companies that operates services and products in travel, finance, and entertainment in 50 markets worldwide. Dyninno Travel operates the brands of ASAP Tickets, International Travel Network, and Innovative Travel Solutions. The offices and contact centers are located in Latvia, Moldova, Egypt, India, Columbia, Romania, and the Philippines.
Travel and Tourism have been among the worst-hit industries by the pandemic. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, 2020 was one of the most difficult years on record for international tourism as a result of a steep 73% fall in arrivals. The first quarter of 2021 recorded an even greater fall of 83% in international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) year-on-year.
While the scenario and sentiment are enough to dampen the spirits of Travel industry stakeholders, Dyninno Group, a group of companies with its roots in the United States, is very optimistic about the future. Despite the widespread pandemic, Dyninno Travel (a portmanteau of the words Dynamic and Innovations) has managed to improve its worldwide market share by 60%.
Founded in 2004 in San Francisco, the Group has become a multi-million dollar multinational corporation that provides high-tech Travel, Financial, and Entertainment products and has offices in 12 countries, including India.
Dyninno made its India foray in 2019 with its Travel Tech vertical and rapidly grew to over 100 employees as part of the New Delhi office. While the pandemic and ensuing lockdown slowed down the hiring spree, the company plans to double its recruitment efforts in India this year.
The company’s Travel Tech division operates in both B2B and B2C segments, providing complete travel solutions at a competitive advantage to customers. With a focus on people development through training and learning opportunities, Dyninno India plans to hire rapidly for its Tech and Operations team. The Group’s operations are supported by its large Information Technology hubs in Latvia and India, which provide high-tech services and products to global brands within Dyninno. The company plans to further strengthen its India hub by doubling its staff by year’s-end.
“Our rapidly-growing India team is looking for passionate individuals who are keen on learning more about Travel Tech by working on large-scale global projects. We plan to scale our workforce to over 10,000 Travel Agents and agencies, and over 1,000 IT professionals globally in the next three years. Our India office will play a major role in actualizing this vision. We are bullish on the talent pool in India and want to hire and nurture outstanding talent,” comments Aleksejs Histjajevs, Director, Dyninno India.
“While the pandemic did slow down our hiring process, it couldn’t stop it. We’ve continued hiring even at a time when hiring freezes were becoming the norm rather than the exception. We are actively scouting for the right talent and plan to grow our staff in India to over 1,000 employees by 2022,” Aleksejs said.
Besides India, Dyninno has offices in Moldova, Latvia, Colombia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Egypt, Azerbaijan, Romania, Russia, and the Philippines.
When asked about the reason behind the company’s optimism and positive growth outlook, Alex Weinstein, Founder and Chairman of Dyninno Group, said, “We feel that the future for DYNINNO is brighter than ever before. We have discovered new business opportunities despite the pandemic and are leveraging technology to make our systems, processes, and workforce more efficient. We’ve been continuously scaling our international operations, and are in the process of adding various products and services to our diverse offerings. Once the world completely opens up, we will be on our path to becoming the biggest service-oriented Travel Company in the world.”
A cursory glimpse at Dyninno’s growth trajectory highlights aggressive growth from the get-go. What started as a small business with just one employee in 2004, today engages more than 3,500 people around the world. Dyninno plans to replicate in India the same growth and success it has achieved in other markets.
“India offers a huge and diverse pool of talented young people who are well-qualified to add value to our global operations. We believe in people development and career growth for all our employees. Each employee has a clear career plan and the opportunity to move to and work in any of our international offices,” Alex Weinstein said. “For example, Aleksejs, the Director of our Indian office, is originally from Riga, Latvia, and has been advancing in the company for the last 9 years from the position of Travel Agent to Director”.
In 2021, Dyninno plans to launch one of the most advanced human capital management systems – SAP SuccessFactors. “We are proud to adapt such a complex and advanced system of personnel management, and are confident that it will help our agents reach their full potential,” notes Alex Weinstein, – “We must do everything in our power to provide a truly international experience to our team. In addition, we are actively working to ensure that our colleagues and partners in all of our offices and countries follow a common corporate culture. Everyone in the company shares the same values: responsibility, perseverance, self-organization, striving for professional improvement, customer focus, and teamwork. This allows you to connect with colleagues anywhere in the world.”
As the pandemic eases and travel restrictions are slowly lifted, the company is set to focus on a special category of its clients — expats, freelancers, and migrants. The main goal of this approach is to realize their potential through the unique combination of Dyninno’s international presence and linguistic competencies. Dyninno Travel is represented by International Travel Network under the registered brand ‘ASAP Tickets’ – a celebrated brand in the business for 20 years. The division provides personalized travel services to millions of customers in 50 countries in more than 10 languages.