Business Line Manager for Customer Solutions at Amadeus Africa Bafana Sithole is passionate about matching the right product to the right client. “I understand the customer very well, which allows me to find the right products for the right clients.”
According to Sithole, it is crucial to have detailed knowledge of the product and the customer. He says: “If you don’t know where a product fits in on the customer side, then chances are you will misunderstand the product and misunderstand what the product is supposed to do.”
Super Power – Amadeus Link & Amadeus Fares
Started at Amadeus – 2007
Hobbies – Tennis, Mathematics, Reading, Travelling
Bafana has worked in the travel industry from a very young age. He gained experience in travel agencies, tour operators, airlines and even sold train tickets for a while. When an opportunity presented itself at Amadeus, a company Bafana describes as young, friendly and dynamic, he jumped on the occasion. “I get to learn something new every day. There’s always something new to investigate. No two scenarios are ever the same at Amadeus,” he says.
An expert at Link and Fares, Bafana has seen these products make a significant impact on his clients’ lives. He says: “We introduced Amadeus FareXpert at a tour operator’s office in Johannesburg. This tour operator had no fares in the system: he had negotiated special fares with each and every airline in the market. When we provided him with FareXpert, he was able to load the fares on his system and automate his pricing structure. This helped reduce the amount of time he spent on bookings from 40 minutes on average to less than two seconds.”
Even though Bafana greatly enjoys his areas of expertise, he explains one of the greatest opportunities at Amadeus is that there are always new products to explore and discover. “I’ve taken a keen interest in online solutions. I know nothing about online yet, but I’ve made a promise to myself that in the next few years I will master online products.”
Bafana has an incredible thirst for knowledge and is currently studying towards his Master in Economics, which he would later like to complement with a PhD. Mathematics is another subject he would like to study one day.
“If I wasn’t in travel, I would be a school teacher. From childhood, I always enjoyed passing on knowledge. I firmly believe it’s important to be able to explain complicated concepts to people in simple terms,” he says.
However, it’s not only work and no play for Bafana. In his spare time, he likes to listen to music. Especially the world music scene piques his interest, but he also enjoys classical music and jazz.
Of course, being in travel, Bafana also loves to travel. Mozambique and Angola are two of his favourite destinations in Africa, as he enjoys the fact that these countries are fun, young, jovial and have an eclectic pace.
Internationally, Hong Kong is one of Bafana’s preferred destinations. “This is where the East meets the West. You’re never alienated, but you’re still able to experience the full Asian culture. It’s a fusion of two cultures.”