February 24th, 2016

Getting to Know a Global DMC Partner: Ola Kastensson

DMC Interview Spotlight: Ola Kastensson, Managing Director of Russkie Prostori in Russia

Ola Kastensson

GDP: What is the one thing most clients probably don't know about Russia, but should know? Give us the scoop!
OK: Russia is one of the most amazing countries with rapid development and has been working hard to change from the Soviet Union times to the modern Russia– and this new side of Russia has yet to be discovered by most! A friend once described Moscow as Manhattan surrounded by L.A and I so agree as it offers so many opportunities for the active, young people and even for children. Everyday there are so many activities, shows, entertainment and leisure activities and as they say - Moscow never sleeps!
GDP: What is the biggest change in the industry since you've started?
OK: The biggest change in our industry is the ever changing world conditions and technology. You always have to be on alert and at the forefront of new innovations and alternative ideas. You have to adapt quickly and fast, especially when it comes to communication. We learned that early on, and we’ve adapted by holding weekly video meetings between our offices, virtual presentations for our clients, and remote access to our system for all staff.
GDP: Where do you see the DMC Industry in 10 years from now?
OK: Companies will be more driven by personalization and trust in combination with proven risk management. To achieve this, I see us acting as Global Contractors on behalf of our clients -  with the main focus on local knowledge. To achieve this, a global manager will be connected with you face to face with the help of video devices and systems. With internationalization, different time zones, and the need for quick decisions and requirements in a competitive environment I believe this is the direction we are headed.
GDP: Where is the most interesting place you have traveled to and why?
OK: Africa - it's such a beautiful and fascinating continent (from the North to the South). I’ve been able so far to see Morocco, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana,Seychelles, Mauritius & South Africa and there is so much more to explore. The combination of the wildlife and adventure is amazing and I cannot wait to explore other areas of Africa.
GDP: What do you never travel without, or what is your best travel tip?
OK: Electrical adapters & plugs and an extra pair of reading glasses! The majority of hotels let us crawl on the floor to connect our multiple gadgets to one circuit behind the bed or under the table. Think about it - we usually bring a phone, tablet and a computer per person + some other devices. Then, the extra pair of reading glasses stays in the bathroom as the hotels market their brand in big letters and the type of liquid (Shampoo, conditioner, bath gel) has a text so small. So the back-up pair comes in handy in order to avoid running out wet from the shower in order not to apply the wrong stuff - just in case...