- Knut Harald Marius Holst-Hansen
Start-up of a new National Travelling Company based on Arctic Experiences
The Travelling Industry has had a remarkable growth the last years, and the potential is even higher in the future. This situation is therefore very interesting for many investors, i.e., Private Equity Companies. Their specialty is to find Companies with potential and be the catalyst for growth through larger entities and more professional operations.
Yours truly was contacted by such a PE-Company to establish a new National Travelling Company based in the north of Norway. After thorough analyses of the entire Travelling Market, some Companies stood out and was approached for a possible participation in the planned, new, and larger set-up. This was not an easy job, because the Norwegian Travelling Industry was, and still is, quite immature and fragmented.
The project started in 2017 and was launched in 2019.
The base was in north of Norway, and we started to create a central unit to develop world-class services within management, structure, sales, branding/marketing, and distribution. At the same time, plans were made to find growth opportunities for the Companies within the Group and we also looked for new Companies which would fit into the new Company structure.
The experience after two years of planning and one year with operations, is that the assumptions we did about the Travelling Market was right, but we also learned that the creating of a new Company based on acquisitions, is rather time consuming and difficult since several small Companies with strong local management and heritage, not necessarily fits directly into a central managed Company located far away.
The business model of bringing fresh capital into the Travelling Market is a good model, if you take into consideration the local ownership and enthusiasm and how to capitalize on that in a future, larger Company. PE-Companies, with fresh capital to expand local business, combined with local enthusiasm and management, will if it is done the right way, guaranteed be a success formula in the future.
The demand after Norwegian Travelling Products will reach new heights after the Covid-19 epidemic and now is the time to prepare.