Travel Business: Travelstart appoints CM for Nigeria, seeks increased market share in West Africa

By Renn Offor

Travelstart, the online travel booking portal has, in what could be seen as a strategic move to ease its operations just announced the appointment of a new country manager for Nigeria.
In the statement released by Russell Jarvis, Head of Communications, Travelstart, it says that, ‘Travelstart is pleased to announce that we have hired Philip Åkesson as Country Manager for Nigeria, effective 1 June 2016. Philip will be based at Travelstart Nigeria’s office in Ikeja, Lagos taking over the reins from Andre Van Straaten who has held the dual positions of International Markets Project Manager and Country Manager’.

It is therefore obvious that this is a strategic move to lessen the burden off the shoulders of Mr. Van Straaten who has gained popularity and the confidence of the company’s operations and suppliers within the West African Sub region, and to allow him become strategically more efficient in stimulating and sustaining the business growth in that region.

Mr. Jarvis, went on to state that, ‘Under Philip’s leadership Andre will continue to manage strategic relationships with suppliers in West Africa. Philip will be responsible for overseeing commercial and operational strategies for Travelstart Nigeria and spearheading initiatives to grow the brand across the region’

Travelstart CEO Stephan Ekbergh said: “Philip brings a wealth of experience and we are delighted to welcome him to the Travelstart Nigeria team. As an ecommerce business leader he will be an asset to Travelstart and will bring a depth of practical knowledge that our customers and partners will benefit from.”

Mr. Philip Åkesson is a Stockholm School of Economics alumni, and he was previously a founding member of which in only a few years rapidly grew to become one of Africa’s largest online marketplaces. At Konga, Philip took on various roles ranging from operations, strategy, investor communications, business intelligence and strategic partnerships which equipped him with a goldmine of commercial and online expertise in the region.

Mr. Åkesson commented, “I am excited to start a new challenge within the Travelstart group and look forward to working with the team to expand its presence across verticals in the region, leveraging my experience in the local ecommerce space.”

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