‘Smallest Multinational’ Defies The Downturn
In the hard-hit travel sector one UK-based company appears to be defying the downturn, with continuing investment in both acquisitions and its own new branch openings.
With a London headquarters staff of just eight people directing operations in seven countries across three continents, The Change Group International plc has:
- Acquired and turned around one of Eastern Europe’s largest networks of bureaux de change;
- Won a new airport franchise against a much larger competitor, doubling returns in the first three months trading;
- Opened a new flagship store in London’s West End, right at the time of congestion charging and when London tourism has been falling;
- Devised a novel ‘now you see it, now you don’t’ retail unit to provide a downtown city presence when no conventional premises could be found at a key location.
The Change Group International plc believes that “there are good business opportunities out there”, even when the sector as a whole is in such difficulties.
Tight control of costs, a hands-on approach, executives who are ‘out there where the customers are’, effective use of technology, a strong focus on people skills and training, and ‘minimal bureaucracy’ – these are the factors that give the company the confidence to build their business while others in the sector are retrenching. The eight headquarter staff support a business with operations in seven countries across three continents, using a combination of Intranet and mobile technology to communicate with each other and with management ‘on the ground’.