A Day in the Life Interview: Michael Pötscher from TourRadar
This week we are thrilled to be joined by Michael Pötscher from TourRadar, one of the world’s largest online marketplaces for multi-day group tours. Founded in Vienna in 2010, TourRadar has grown rapidly, and has even bigger more exciting plans to come.
1. First can you tell us a bit about your job? What does your company do?
TourRadar is an online marketplace for multi-day group tours. We have seen rapid growth over the last year, tripling our booking revenues and expanding our product range to over 500 tour operators, offering trips of all styles to over 200 countries. TourRadar aggregates some of the biggest names in the industry, including: G Adventures, Globus, Intrepid Travel, Trafalgar and many more. Our vision is to bring like-minded travellers together for journeys of a lifetime.
I was lucky to join the team early on which allowed me to wear different hats and gave me the opportunity to help shape the business to what it is today with 4 offices worldwide, 50 talented travel experts and thousands of happy customers.
2. What brought you to this area?
Travel has accompanied my life for as long as I can remember. To me, exploring the world has never been a pastime but rather a priority. Travelling provides us with incredible learning experiences, connects us with cultures both old and new and helps dismantle our misconceptions about the world around us. How could I not want to work in an industry with such noble goals? Of course it doesn’t hurt that both our customers and industry experts are some of the most positive, innovative professionals I’ve had the opportunity to interact with.
3. What time does your day start, and what does your typical work day schedule look like?
My wife and I turned the alarm on our phones off about 14 months ago, instead preferring to be woken up to “apa-pa” and “mmmamamama” at around 6:00am. The sounds of my daughter waking up (and waking us up) beats my phone’s alarm bell anytime.
After a quick coffee, I jump on my bike at 8am and reach the office a half hour later. From then onwards the task list differs from day to day. I’ll check KPIs in the morning, chat with the team to find out where I can support them, liaise with partners, plan upcoming campaigns, and so on. What I enjoy most is brainstorming and testing new ideas with the team.
In the evenings I usually rush home to spend some time with my wife and daughter or I can be found in the climbing gym, on the volleyball court or riding my mountain bike.
4. What kind of projects are you currently working on?
The list is long but one exciting project is the Online Travel Expo, which is launching on September 15th and will run to the 22nd. We’re very proud of the significant strides we’re taking for our industry at large by bringing a traditionally offline industry, online. So why not bring travel expos, which are usually accompanied by masses of people, crammed into a humid convention centre, all trying to grab the best deals on travel, online, eliminating the headaches in exchange for convenience.
5. What do you consider the greatest achievement in your work to date?
I’m very proud of the team I’ve built. I’m humbled to work alongside highly motivated professionals and great personalities.
6. What is the one app you could not live without?
It’s a battle between Spotify and WhatsApp. I’d scrape by without either, but I would miss them dearly.
7. What’s the best thing about working at your company?
The best thing is that it doesn’t feel like work. I leave home to spend the day with friends to transform an industry and connect people to the hidden treasures of the world.
8. Where is the after work hangout?
Our drinking hole is the “dodgy couch place” around the corner from the office, but last night it was unusually fancy on board a river cruise ship with a wonderful 6 course meal and live music.
9. Who is your professional role model?
I’ve been lucky to have met many inspiring people. I try to take inspiration from everyone I meet and form my own personal role model from these bits and pieces. With time, this role model evolves and becomes the person I strive to be.
10. What makes Vienna a good city for startups?
Vienna has come a long way in the past 10 years. The startup ecosystem is maturing and very recently there have even been some attempts to reduce bureaucracy and regulations by the Austrian government. There is still room for improvement, but it’s great to see that startups are getting noticed.
For me, Vienna is the perfect size. It’s small enough to run into familiar faces on the streets from time to time and still large enough to serve a wide variety of interests.
11. What are the top 3 qualities you look for in an employee?
Talent, passion and the cultural fit with the team.
12. And finally, what is the one piece of advice you would give to an entrepreneur starting out?