“A lion doesn’t have headaches!” This is the quote that inspires and drives Blaise Obot who took over the reins of Amadeus Ghana as new country manager at the beginning of this year. “It means a leader or a “strong” person is immune to small sicknesses or small problems,” he explains.
Blaise has ambitious plans for Amadeus in Ghana and says he strives to “Keep Amadeus Great” in the entire region. The key to do this, according to Blaise, is training.
“I want to help our customers understand and take full advantage of the various solutions and products that will help grow their business. We have to make it easier for new Travel Agents to be trained on our platform and offer refresher courses to existing clients. A good training strategy will also help us earn customer loyalty,” he says.
We sat down with Blaise and chatted with him about Amadeus Ghana, about his new role and about his family life.
How do you see the travel and tourism industry in Ghana evolve over the next few years?
Ghana has a lot of potential.
The country’s growth forecast is estimated at 8%, the fastest in the world. In fact, a city like Accra is a mega construction site with quality constructions ongoing. The people are nice and welcoming, and the number of expatriates jogging in the early hours in the streets of Accra speaks volumes.
Ghana’s local carrier AWA is doing great and more international airlines have started flying to Accra. I expect sustained growth in the travel and tourism industry in the region.
What do you feel are some of the greatest challenges of your new role as Country Manager?
Compliance! We are all stronger and safer when we follow due process and seek advice when in doubt. We must work like a team and always aim for excellence.
We have to move closer to our customers and listen to them. We have to help them make great decisions and strengthen our partnership, and most of all: we should never forget that they are part of the family.
What is your favourite Amadeus solution?
Without a doubt: Amadeus Ticket Changer. ATC helps Travel Consultants save time when it comes to voluntary or involuntary reissues. It also helps them avoid ADMs caused by manual entries.
Automated reissues can now be done for one passenger or for a group of passengers. In addition, Amadeus guaranties the fare applied. Thanks to Amadeus the reissue nightmare is gone for good!
In three words, how would you describe working for Amadeus?
Passion, Efficiency, Excellence.
What does a typical day at Amadeus look like for a country manager?
Usually, before even getting to the office in the morning, our team has already communicated via Whatsapp or email.
When I arrive at the office, I move to each desk to greet the team and to discuss the daily outings. If there are any red flags from the market, we go into session and address the issues immediately. Pending requests (from various offices or customers) are treated.
Whenever possible, I accompany the account managers to visit our customers to have first-hand feedback and to build trust. Some meetings can go beyond closing hours, but I don’t mind. I find these meetings useful and I’m always satisfied when I meet our customers’ needs and keep them happy.
Do you have any travel anecdotes of your many trips that you could share with us?
Last year I travelled with my youngest daughter. We had a morning flight back home so I woke her up early. As I was rushing downstairs she shouted: “Daddy, wait! There are still things in the fridge! Since you have already paid, we have to take them… “
What?? I tried to explain that I paid only for the room, but it was too late. The chocolate, biscuits and the juice were four times more expensive than anywhere else! I sincerely thank God she didn’t take whiskey and wine…
And finally: who is your greatest inspiration?
My father! He never showed the pains he felt when faced with serious challenges. He was always helpful without saying or claiming it. Generosity is the only solution to save our world!