Welcome to 60 Second Interviews. Here you can get to know a little more about some of the business travel industry’s most successful buyers, suppliers, and practitioners in just one minute.
Devine’s Worldwide Chauffeur Services is a real family enterprise. Started by Colin’s father in 1978 after getting the idea by looking after the Beach Boys for a few days, the company grew by providing chauffeur services to the growing Irish music industry. After graduating in 2007, Colin naturally joined the business in an operations/customer facing role to learn from the ground up, before finally taking over the reins as CEO in 2014.
Name: Colin DevineFirm: Devine’s Worldwide Chauffeur ServicesPosition: CEOHobbies: Boxing, Football, Movies, Gigs, and Reading.One Interesting fact about yourself: I have a Jack Russell/Terrier mix named after Mick Jagger.
How did you get into the business travel industry?
I was brought up in the family business, and solving problems has been talked around the family dinner table for as long as I can remember.
As a CEO, what does your role involve?
I work with our executive team to implement strategy. We are really passionate about the customer experience, so I spend a lot of my time supporting and planning with my front line staff to make the right decisions for our clients.
What are you working on at the moment?
We will be launching new software in November with GDS integration for travel managers, and a booking app for passengers.
Mobile connectivity has changed everything when it comes to making choices. The experience of being able to make quick and easy decisions, then watch your chauffeur arrive with a photo id and contact details, and finally printing your own receipts, is the future. The technology is now out there and traditional companies like ours are catching up. Mix that with the really tangible duty of care focus that companies like us have; it’s going to be a really exciting few years ahead.
What are you seeing as your biggest challenge in the next 12 months?
Watching what the impact Brexit will have for our clients. There may be changes to where people are travelling to, and how often. For us, we will want to remain close to our clients and see what we can do to support them with the challenges they will face.
Devine Chauffeur Services won the ITM Ireland Conference 2016 award for ’Best Ground Transportation Provider’, how did it feel when you found out you won, and what did it mean to your company?
It was a tremendous honour to be recognised by the ITM members. We work hard to understand the challenges that travel managers face, and to be recognised among this group means we must have been doing something right. Winning the award has also helped us with new introductions and referrals, and we are excited about building new meaningful relationships.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in business travel?
Deliver on what you promise. If you also don’t get it right, you need to make it right.
Quick Fire Questions
1. What do you enjoy most about your role?
Seeing our employees grow and develop to be really excellent service professionals. I still get a buzz from the job satisfaction we get when we receive a really positive customer letter.
2. What frustrates you about the business travel industry?
Nothing comes to mind.
3. Where’s your favourite holiday destination?
The best holiday I can remember was to Florida with our entire family. I’m looking forward to returning there later this year for a Convention I’ve been asked to speak at.
4. If you were stranded on a desert island, what 3 things would you take with you?
Music, sunscreen, and fire.
5. If I had that magic wand and could change one single thing, what would it be?
I’d position everyone in Ireland along the coast and give them a paddle. Then I’d have us row like a boat until we moved the whole country south to somewhere with warmer weather- like next to Portugal and Spain.
If you would like to be part of our 60-Second Interview series, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Nominations for Ireland Conference Awards 2017 close on 22nd September 2017, more information can be found here.