Conversations that count with two Travel buyers

Conversations that Count are GBTA Southern Africa’s commitment to the travel industry where we share information and best practices in our endeavour to enable, educate and evolve the travel buyer. We have these Conversations that count weekly on a Wednesday at 10h00 to 11h00.

Madren Pitsi is currently working for Cummins Incorporated as a Travel Analyst for Africa and Middle East. Her responsibilities include providing support to all business units in the AMEA Region in respect of Data analytics, R&D and reporting, Expense Management, Supplier Management, implementations as well as Traveller Support.

Madren supports the internal 6 Sigma and Quality projects teams with process enhancements. Her role is pivotal in driving the Travel function towards a common goal or objective, always ensuring alignment with stakeholders.

On a personal level she co-leads the ‘WE’ Network group (Women Empowerment Group), an Employee Resource program for the Cummins Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.

Joey Kganyago is the newly appointed Travel Manager for IDC (Industrial Development Corporation of SA), looking after business travel for IDC and its Subsidiaries. She has been based at IDC premises since 2011 working in-house for one of the TMCs as a Senior Travel Consultant looking after Executive Management and Board members. In 2014 IDC launched a fully IATA accredited Travel Office, wholly owned by IDC and I was fortunate to be part of the new IDC Travel family.

Some of her past experience includes working for the Rennies Travel, Tourvest Travel Service, Travel With Flair just to name a few. She has worked as a VIP Travel Consultant looking after SA’s biggest Corporates and SOEs.

What was discussed:

Both ladies stressed how important it is to keep your stakeholders and decision makers informed and abreast with the changing landscape. Communication is the best way to keep your traveller safe and to communicate with the leaders of your industry.

The travel landscape is unfolding, some would say its terrifying but perhaps we should use the time that we have now to think of doing things differently. More can be done without being in the office, there are less distractions and you can focus on the job at hand. It is vital to become innovative and using the opportunity to explore and evolve.

Things are different now; we are more cost, safety and health conscious. Travel has to be critical before it will be considered as necessary. Going forward we will be having increasing challenging conversations.

Suppliers are important to the Travel Buyer. It is important to have a good relationship with them. Moving forward the travel industry will evolve to become “new industry”. Communication, sharing information and keeping accounts in order will all be equally essential. Post Covid -19 Protocols will come into play when we align our policy changes.

More about the two guests

One of Joey’s biggest highlights in my career was working as Travel Support for South Africa Investment Conference for HE: President Cyril Ramaphosa which is aimed at attracting investors from all over the world to invest in South Africa and growing the South African Economy.

Prior to Cummins, Madren contracted with The Public Investments Corporation where I was commissioned to establish a Travel Business Unit and implement an online based booking platform. During this same time, The National Treasury was creating a Government Travel policy and looking to also implement an online booking platform.

To read more about the weekly Wednesday Conversations that Count sessions: