An entrepreneur, a developer, a traveler, a photographer, a French who became a Greek, but for me he's my father, my role-model, my hero. He is the CEO and Founder of Multi and makes software solutions for the travel industry for more than 30 years now. In this interview I focused on the past, the present and the future of the travel industry, in which he specializes.
At the time I studied information technology in France, the only famous methodology there was called Merise. This system proceeds to separate treatment of data and processes, it helps you design tables with relations to make a relational database.
But it was quite heavy to use and not very adapted to small to middle projects, so I mainly just kept some inspiration from it.
Beyond the methodology you use, I believe it is very important to choose the right tools before to start working on a project, this can be a framework which will organize your job and save you lots of time, the choice of the database is also very important.
Of course, all this is coming after the analysis of the project. All my life, I have tried to build software easy to use and that covers most of the needs of my customers. Now, with our new cloud developments, my son Victor is bringing new methodologies to ensure the best success.
For almost 30 years now you are providing software to numerous tour operators, DMCs and travel agencies, how much has the travel industry changed during these years and where do you see the industry post-pandemic?
You are right, things have changed a lot in the travel industry. The tour operators have lost an important part of their job, even if Greece is not yet so much affected as other countries around. Many people are now organizing and booking their holidays by themselves, that was difficult to do when we started Multi, our business here in 1990.
It seems that the pandemic will bring new changes beyond the online systems and connectivity. Smaller specialized structures based more on quality and less on quantity should appear, especially in the domain of activities and tours.
How is the life of an entrepreneur / software developer in Crete, Greece? What are the pros and cons of living and doing business there?
There are some fantastic things you enjoy when you live in Crete. Beach, nature, nice people and food are some of them.
This is the nice part that makes you feel like if you were on holidays.
The business reality is a bit different, even if things seem to improve lately, there are still facts making our life complicated (heavy tax system, rules and laws changing too often, communication with some public organizations…)
Evening in Heraklion Port - Photo captured by Bernard Lecomte
What do you do in your spare time? Do you have a fun hobby or a side project?
I enjoy watching international football when I am at home and relax.
About hobby, my best is to go in the nature, especially at lakes or at the mouth of the rivers and do wild bird photography. I can spend hours there when it is not too hot.
How do you keep your team motivated in the face of tight deadlines?
This is not an easy question.
I believe the most important thing is through the communication inside the company. I try to keep the staff informed about new requests we receive and make them understand the importance of being ready on time.
We are discussing most of the things internally during our weekly company breakfast.
Where people can find you?
I am not highly active on social media, but you can find me on LinkedIn.