Being a travel enthusiast and a frequent traveler Joen Schauman personally saw and faced numerous difficulties in planning a hassle-free trip. Completing his bachelor’s in history from the University of Helsinki Finland and later on completing his master’s in Economics from Hanken school of Economics Finland eventually created a potential combination that gave him the knowledge and prowess to create Triprepublic.
With his profound knowledge in Economics and following the latest trend in technology, he came up with an idea of creating a platform on which people can plan and create a very organized itinerary for their journey. Planning a journey using trip republic gives users an unforgettable experience as it virtually creates a travel diary for them, keeping all the memories of a trip intact and safe.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
Trip Republic is a social travel planner and booking solution. We generate recommendations for travellers based on the experience and knowledge of earlier travellers. Users create itineraries for their trips together with co-travellers, and get personalised recommendations based on similar trips on our platform. Our aim is to make travel as easy as possible – planning and booking.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
At our previous projects, we witnessed the rapid expansion of new supply into our sphere (travel). This supply has little of the legacy tech so dominant in travel and provides new opportunities. We are clearly moving into a business environment which is more centered on cooperation. This is crucial for travel planners, which previously were standalone ventures (and therefore often failed). Today, travel planners can lead the way in travel tech and become centers of customer distribution. Trip Republic is in an extremely good position to benefit from technical advances!
What is your life mantra?
Enjoy what you’re doing, and you will do it well.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
For Trip Republic, it is all about speed and finding the right resources. We have to be able to recruit the best and fast – and make sure that everything works around that process. I can see that competition is only getting fiercer in this sphere, and we will have to concentrate more on solving this challenge.
How did you overcome those challenges?
Financing is always hard, and sometimes a bottleneck. However, our team has a pretty good track record that has helped a lot. That’s the benefit of being serial entrepreneurs, the hard parts get easier!
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
We have secured funding from institutions and private investors and we have been able to start working on important industry partnerships. We are starting to see a lot of traction there!
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
For startups, this is not always a crucial problem. I believe it becomes a problem when the growth rate slows. The issue is closely related to incentives – and I believe startups benefit a lot from involving the whole team in share incentives.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
There is no formula – but life is easier if you have tenacity, optimism, and creativity!
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
As our team is based in several different countries, we use a lot of communications tools (like Skype). But the tools we really enjoy working with are always the simple tools – like the simplistic Trello for project management.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
Every day, I think one needs to take short pauses of mind and body. It allows you to refocus!
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
I am working hard on micromanagement – there is no place for it in strong organisations.
Answer in less than 50 words
Make sure you love what you’re doing, whatever it is.
- One mistake you believe every individual must avoid
You don’t need to avoid any mistakes – but only do them once!
- One most important lesson that you have learnt till now
Having the right people in the right places is crucial.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
We aim to make the smartest travel planner around – that’s going to take 3 years!
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
The career starts early on – and the part that I would change is in the beginning. I would try to make more mistakes early on in my career.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
A cottage by the sea in Finland, the Alps, and my bed
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
You pick a general direction and implement like hell (Jack Welch)