Nov 8, 2019

How Les Roches Graduates are Driving Growth in Southeast Asia

Careers Team

The Swiss hospitality school, Les Roches, interviewed two of their alumni who now work in our Bangkok office. Abhinav Kumar, regional manager for Southeast Asia & India, and Vincent Sim, senior destination manager for Indonesia & Singapore, share insights on how they use their education to drive growth in their respective regions.

Les Roches considers itself to be one of the world’s leading hospitality schools and two of their graduates, Abhinav and Vincent, work in our Sales team in Bangkok. Their roles focus on expanding our inventory of incredible things to do in India and Southeast Asia.

The two alumni sat down with Les Roches to talk about how they’re applying their learnings from the Crans-Montana campus in Switzerland while working for a fast-growing tech unicorn. Read the highlights below or find the full story on Les Roches’ blog.


On what makes GetYourGuide successful:

Abhinav (class of 2013): You can’t ignore the power of timing. In this digital age, the market is very receptive to our product. Tours and activities are the third layer of online travel, after flights and hotels. But unlike the other two layers, they’re yet to be commoditized – tours and activities are still very experiential and overwhelmingly booked offline. For us, it’s an iceberg waiting to surface.

Vincent (class of 2011):  Another important factor is that everyone in the company has the same, clear mission: To offer customers incredible experiences. It sounds simple, but always putting customers first is definitely one of the reasons why we’ve been so successful.

On their Les Roches connection:

Abhinav: I went to Les Roches because I was very much into the hospitality and travel industry. However, my first internship was in hotels and that was a turning point for me, I realized that this wasn’t my path. After graduating, I stayed in travel technology and joined GetYourGuide around three-and-a-half years ago to set up the Asian operation. That’s when I started looking for destination managers and brought Vincent on board.

Vincent: My role is to onboard our suppliers, the tour operators and attractions we offer to our customers. I have to make sure their product meets our standards, and that every part of the customer interaction they offer – from pre-booking to the post-experience review – is easy and smooth.

On why they chose to build their careers in a startup:

Vincent: The big appeal to me is that we’re continually learning. Even our founders consistently do a customer service rotation to learn from our customers. They do this to understand their pain points and to make sure we deliver our promise of incredible experiences.

Abhinav: It’s a big learning curve and when you’re early in your career it helps you progress and learn much faster. If you compare it to working in a hotel, where everything is structured and hierarchical, then start-ups are the exact opposite. There’s less structure and you have to go and figure things out – it can be messy and scrappy, and that’s something you have to get comfortable with very quickly.

On what they remember about campus life:

Vincent: I’m naturally quite an introverted person, and English is not my first language. So going to Les Roches taught me a lot about communication; plus meeting so many people with different nationalities and backgrounds has really helped me get used to an international environment like GetYourGuide.

Abhinav: [The Practical Arts semester and internships] showed me how challenging work can be. Now when I’m facing difficult situations, or I’m feeling a bit stressed and overwhelmed, I can put things in better context because I’ve been through something similar before. Oh, and I met my wife at Les Roches too.

Read the full interview and learn more about Les Roches here.

Are you interested in joining our international Sales team? Check out our open positions.
Also, meet more of the
team members from across the world here.

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