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Tuesday, 16 August 2016
15. blog post ENG
SOCIAL INNOVATION AROUND US
in love and come up with an innovation tailored to globetrotters
At the beginning there was a moment of sudden
understanding how things could work differently. Imagine that you are a young
man happily in love with someone that you want to travel to Portugal with. You
want it to be as enjoyable as possible but the budget is limited. You dive into
the internet and eventually, you find it: by combining budget airlines your
flight may be much cheaper than the one resulting of a quick comfortable pick. The
innovation is up.
It got materialised as a start up in 2012 and
as far as I know it has been dashing bright and shiny through the universe of
air travel and related services. Now, thanks to Kiwi.com, one may impress his
partner by securing a money saver version of their travel in the fraction of
time that Oliver Dlouhý, a founder of kiwi.com, had to invest in the pre-kiwi
era. With his kiwi.com crew he helps to make travelling accessible also to those
that could not have afforded it. My idea of an interview for our blog met with
willingness of two company representatives, Tomas, a Business Development
Manager and David, an Affiliate Business Manager. To be honest, I was wondering
if the guys who contributed to the business turnover rocketing by 1500 per centin one single year can still feel the social innovation value behind their fast
was the most difficult part of Kiwi.com realisation?
David: As for technology, it was data
acquisition. We need them to be accessible in our databases real time to feed
about 18 billion of combinations an hour.
Tomas: In terms of business, it was to get
accepted on the market where big players set the tone, to create a
distribution network and to build a brand. We had to seek partnerships with the
biggest search engines in the world, such as Skyscanner, KAYAK, Momondo, and
get included into their databases. Last but not least, it has been getting the
right guys to work for us. There has been ongoing recruiting since 2012 with
key focus to build a strong team of developers as they must keep the search
operations in the state-of-the-art.
experience gained with Kiwi.com do you value most?
Tomas: Inspiring people in the team who have
motivated me to do my best. I have been broadening my knowledge and skills all
the time while being a part of a great team, creating a very good working atmosphere.
David: I appreciate the possibility to be a
part of the enormously dynamic environment. The company sees a rocket growth (the
number of staff has risen from 30 in January 2015 to 700 in July 2016) and we
have to face various challenges. In one year here I have learned more than at
the university. Thinking out of the box, developing new skills and building up
one´s knowledge is a must.
the people behind the team Kiwi.com?
T + D: They are people from various cultural
backgrounds worldwide. The average age is 27 years. Everyone is good in something, everyone is overlooking their own small project. Together, they create a very friendly
and relaxed working environment which is also pet friendly. In the summer, we
do barbecue parties. Shortly, the Kiwi.com feels young.
innovative about Kiwi.com?
T: It is the algorithm we use. It enables to interconnect
flights of different airlines including those that do not normally cooperate. We
have created a new market segment by offering unique flight combinations. Now,
other companies have started to copy this approach.
D: Also, the Kiwi.com guarantee is an
innovation: we help our customer to solve a transportation problem if it occurs
on the way, such as a delay of one flight which would cause loosing the
interconnected following one. We are monitoring data real time so when a delay
occurs, we start searching for suitable options to offer our customer a
solution at the moment when he faces the situation. This service is unique on
people benefit from the Kiwi.com services?
T + D: Everybody who needs to get a flight will definitely find it using our flight search, which is very effective as we offer solutions
based on real time data analysis. Primarily though, we are here for the price-sensitive
buyers. Most commonly, our customer is a low cost traveller who will get a
unique solution – a flight combination which will get him to his destination
for a surprisingly low price. They just need to be a little bit flexible with travelling
dates or accept a different starting airport. Price variety depends on
differentiating days of the week and airport available for budget airlines. We
also think of those who consider the flight itself as a part of the travelling
fun. They might not have a destination preference, they just feel like having a
trip somewhere. They do not want to waste time by scouring the internet for an
uncertain result. We are able to offer them an itinerary combining means of
transport, including flights, so that their travel would be smooth, enjoyable and
interesting. It is a new approach to travelling – for a very good price one is
able to interconnect destinations which he would not think of before, with
minimum effort, and knowing that all services are under one roof and with a
you plan to upscale the innovation?
T + D: It is related to new partnerships and the
need to constantly develop our services. We are piloting land transport and are
now mapping customers needs. These extra services are meant to function as „one
stop shop“ in the future – Kiwi.com will take care of you from A to Z, so
that you could fully enjoy your experience.
would you tell to those who would like to realise a social innovation?
David: Just go for it. If
your innovation solves a problem, improves people´s life, saves their money and
brings new value to the community, it will always work. Be prepared though that
the initial idea will have to be followed by hard work. The founder of Kiwi.com
first lead a very modest low cost life while investing enormous effort to
bringing his idea to shape. That was the initial price for great value he was
about to bring to the community.
Tomas: Follow your dream and do not give up,
get the right people around and most importantly, do not fall behind and keep
developing the thing all the time. If we did not do that at Kiwi.com, we would not
probably have existed by now. Interview with Tomas and David was recorder by Polina Text was written by Anna
This blog is a part of the project Empowering Youth To Become Social Innovators, realised under the Erasmus+ partnership programme. The project is coordinated by a Czech NGO DYNAMA, z.s., seated in Brno and an Estonian NGO Youth Club Active, seated in Tallinn. This project contributes to the development of non formal learning of the youth.