Lessons from Thomas Cook. And Why Partnerships Matter! By Rosheena Seneviratne

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A couple of days ago the world shook over the declaration of bankruptcy of the German Holiday Airline Giant, Thomas Cook. Curious to dig deeper regarding the reasons behind what might have been the causes of this tragedy, I came across the main cause which is the reluctance to adapt to new trends and technology. 

 

This has been a common statement that we hear every now and then but it could really hit you right in feels when it could bring an empire built over 178 years crumbling down to the ground. 

 

Thomas Cook did have its sunny days when they brought modern tourism to the table, back in 1845, however, it is quite ironic how such a revolutionary player was kicked to the curb by the present innovations and platforms such as the Internet, smartphone apps, social media & Do-it-yourself travel. Come to think of it, it’s funny and devious how the obsessive ‘sharing economy’ could dissolve a giant. 

 

Out of all the reasons to blame for Thomas Cook’s bankruptcy, one of the major causes was the rise in Airbnb which utilizes a major part of the sharing economy. This is mostly due to the utilization of digital trends of Airbnb through Partnerships to expand its core business. 

 

“I think partnerships are really the ultimate influencer. They can provide credibility in areas that we can’t, and they allow us to tell our brand story in a unique way” - Rachel Haley (Airbnb’s Global Connections Strategy Lead)

 

That being said, Businesses are generally advised to have an open mind in regard to exploring the trends & forecasted trends in the market. Regarding this, I read an interesting article that explains the concept of Partnerships which is a trend that is emerging and if you really look at it, it does make sense! Here’s why!

 

Instead of building everything by yourself from scratch which happens to be the traditional approach of expanding, businesses have now started to focus on the Partnership Channel. In the HR Industry or the Technology industry as a whole, companies such as OrangeHRM offers Partner Programs and Opportunities to various other companies in which they can earn additional revenues as well as exposure to new markets. 

 

“It needs to be the kind of partner that brings something completely unique that you could never do, and you do the same, and then that is where the magic happens.”- Rachel Haley (Airbnb’s Global Connections Strategy Lead)

 

As for myself, being an advocate for global strategic partnerships, I think that it is largely a trendy area to focus on, mainly for a growing company to;

 

  • Minimize and eventually have no gaps in the features that can be offered to the ultimate client 

  • To create a win/win/win situation to you, your partner and your client, where the client can satisfy everything needed from one place from the best players in the market. 

  • Access and tap into each other’s untapped markets and entering a client base that was not on the radar earlier. 

  • Expose your company brand and platform to a wider and bigger pool of interested parties. 

 

Ultimately, all strategic partnerships come to the understanding that could be portrayed using the following words, ‘If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants’. The key should be to find a partnership that compliments your products in the best possible way.

 

"There is no such thing as a self-made man. You will reach your goals only with the help of others." – George Shinn