First of all, how are you and your Family doing in these COVID19 Times?
Barbora Nevosadova: Thank you for asking. My family and I are doing very well as we are based in the Czech Republic, which was not severely affected by the COVID19. We were under lockdown for a relatively short period. Things in our country are now slowly getting back to normal, and hopefully, it will stay this way.
Tell us about you, your Career, how you Founded Sygic Travel
Barbora Nevosadova: My husband and I founded the company after planning a trip to Switzerland. We love going on road trips, but planning them was a nightmare, and we wanted to make the whole planning process easier and more fun. Four years ago, we decided it would be great for travelers to see the attractions from different angles before visiting them. We hired Sygic Traveler – a cameraman who traveled the world and filmed 360° videos from 50 destinations. At first, we used the videos on our website and mobile apps only, but later on, we started to license them as well.
How does Sygic Travel Innovate?
Barbora Nevosadova: When the coronavirus pandemic basically stopped traveling, we were horrified, as most of our customers used Sygic Travel apps for international traveling. Our revenue from the mobile apps dropped to 10% when compared to the previous year. However, we were fortunate as we were filming the new 360° videos in South America, and we succeeded to finish shooting in Ecuador and Colombia. When people could not travel in reality, they moved to the second-best option – virtual reality. Travelers really enjoyed our videos, and we licensed them to several partners as well. We then decided to broaden our focus, and apart from filming destinations for travelers, we also started recording chamber music and artistic performances.
How the Coronavirus Pandemic affects your Business, and how are you coping?
Barbora Nevosadova: We can still see a significant decrease in the number of travelers using our apps, and we expect that things will not get much better in the upcoming months. In the previous years, we diversified our revenue streams by offering B2B services, but this has not been very helpful during the pandemic. Other companies in the travel industry have been dealing with the same issues, and they stopped investing in new projects. Licensing the 360° videos helps us keep going so we can be prepared for the next summer season when, hopefully, it will be possible to travel again.
Did you have to make Difficult Choices, and what are the Lessons Learned?
Barbora Nevosadova: We streamlined our costs and made budget cuts, but we were very fortunate that we did not have to lay off any of our colleagues. We stopped developing several new features for our apps, and even in the upcoming months, we will have to assess every new feature very carefully. The situation forced us to laser focus on the most important things that will bring the company forward, and I believe this will help us tremendously in the future.
How do you deal with Stress and Anxiety, how do you Project yourself and Sygic Travel in the Future?
Barbora Nevosadova: Even though the situation has been tough for the whole travel industry, we feel very fortunate as our company survived the last few months, and we can carry on. We may slightly change our focus in the upcoming months, but we will still bring interesting content to travelers, which makes me very happy.
Who are your Competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the Game?
Barbora Nevosadova: In general, our competitors are companies that bring travel information – from Google Maps to Lonely Planet. Some of the companies that offered travel planning apps, as we do, have shut down their businesses recently, but the competition is still fierce. We try to bring the best possible trip planning experience and help our customers plan their trips quickly.
Your Final Thoughts
Barbora Nevosadova: We have started the company during the financial crisis in 2008. Now we believe that this tough situation will help us streamline our operations and be more effective. Now we try different approaches, and we have to make changes very fast. Hopefully, it will move our company forward.
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