Business travel is something almost every business has to do at some point. Our next Featured Company is Flight Specials – the company’s offices are on the Ground Floor of Building 9 at our Berkley Office Park. Here is the interview with Lenor Botma, Owner and Manager of Flight Specials.
Q: How would you be introduced by a close friend at a social event? i.e. Name, age, company, title, interesting fact etc.
A: This is Lenor, owner of Flight Specials, call her if you need a holiday or help with your travel arrangements.
Q: Tell us something that not many others know about you. This could be anything related to your family, children, their achievements, hobbies, interests etc.
A: Shortly after graduating I traded a career in accounting for the travel industry, probably the most impulsive decision I ever made without any regrets.
Q: What do you enjoy doing when you want to get away from it all?
A: I love travelling, preferably always some place new as I have quite a long bucket list. I find new cultures and the faces of people fascinating. I am not a city girl and prefer going to remote off the beat and track places or exotic beaches or travelling with big crowds. All that said, I have to admit I love New York, Central Park and Times Square, there is just a certain vibe that your don’t find in Paris or Zurich.
Q: Which book had the biggest impact on you and why?
A: My utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers – it is filled with a lifetime of wisdom.
Q: Who is/has been the most important mentor in your life and why?
A: No one person in particular. Nobody is perfect, but there is good in each and every one.
Q: If you could invite any three South Africans to a dinner party, who would you invite?
A: Zelda le Grange, Mark Shuttleworth and Jo-Anne Strauss
Q: Which gadgets do you personally use on a day-to-day basis and if you had to pick a single gadget you could not live without, which would it be?
A: Definitely my BlackBerry
ABOUT FLIGHT SPECIALS CENTURION
Q: When was Flight Specials founded?
A: Southlake Travel was founded in 1996 by Lorraine van Schaik, from 2000 till 2005 Southlake Travel where affiliated to the SAA City Centre Group. In 2006 we joined the Xcel group under the Flight Specials brand. In 2007 Lorraine retired and moved to Port Elizabeth and I took over the company. Today Xcel is the 3rd largest consortium in South Africa, affording us tremendous bargaining power while we still retain our independence in the day to day management of the company. We are big enough to be powerful yet small enough to be personal.
Q: What do you specialise in?
A: We offer a complete travel management service, to both the corporate and leisure traveller.
Our service include the following:
- Standard travel services – Air, hotel, car rental, tour, rail, coach and event reservations. Visa assistance and processing. Itinerary preparation and travel options. Document delivery and management accounting. Traveller’s cheques and foreign exchange delivery service. Travel insurance.
- Group and incentive travel – Our special events division will gladly take care of any large groups or sales achievers or rewards programmes that you may have.
- Conferences and meetings – We can arrange small intimate meetings for 10 in a quiet venue, or large groups & conferences.
- Travel Policy – We are experienced in establishing travel policies for our clients. Through discussions we can structure a policy for your Company that will clearly define the objectives, the procedures and the controls for a balanced and effective portfolio.
- Travel Management Reporting – Measurement is vital for management and we will provide comprehensive reports on a monthly basis setting out details of your travel spend as well as cost savings schedules that easily identify price benefits on every travel transaction.
- Client Profiles – We record our traveller’s preferences and requirements and automatically transfer these into the reservations thus avoiding errors or omissions. The profiles are available to all consultants and allow for consistency in service. In addition we can cater for individual travel and manage passport expiry dates.
Q: How do you find and retain a great team of employees?
A: My team is my greatest asset; our individual strengths make us a formidable team.
Q: What has been the single biggest reason for your success?
A: The hard work, dedication and unique strengths of each team member. I believe in setting goals and incentivising staff – it gives me great to joy to reward someone for hard work.
Q: What relationship building tips do you have for other business owners?
A: Our relationships are built on mutual respect, integrity and trust. Our goal is to be partners with our clients in the provision of travel solutions, understanding their needs, managing their travel portfolio and delivering arrangements to their most exacting requirements.
LIFE IN PRETORIA AND BERKLEY OFFICE PARK
Q: What do you most enjoy about living in Pretoria?
A: I love the climate and Pretoria feels more like a big ‘dorpie’ than a city.
Q: Favourite restaurant for a business lunch?
A: Crawdaddys in Brooklyn for dinner and Coffee @ Berkley for lunch.
Q: What do you enjoy most about having your offices in Berkley Office Park?
A: It is more peaceful and spacious than the street level shop we had in Southlake Centre. Security and convenient parking is a plus. The support and assistance offered by TSA exceeded our expectations.