Harb Holdings Ltd

Case Studies 01 Mar 2013

Our background with Harb Holdings

Harb Holdings Ltd is a global group that specialises in property investment trusts, corporate property advisory services, the European stock exchange, seed banking, relief agency and exploratory drilling. The company has offices in Tunisia, London, Paris, Brussels and Tripoli.

Our corporate travel team in Tunisia has been managing the travel program for the group since 2009. Our teams provide end-to-end corporate travel and expense management services to the company, including event management, conference travel and emergency medical travel assistance.

FCM Tunisia's flexible approach to servicing, vast corporate travel and event management experience and ability to secure competitive deals has helped Harb Holdings shave almost €65,000 off the cost of its corporate travel.

Here's how we made it possible...

The challenges

Some of the issues faced by Harb Holdings included cost reduction, large-scale event management, specialist VIP travel and emergency medical travel. While a significant portion of the company's spend was allocated to business class travel and upscale hotel accommodation due to the volume of VIP travel, the company has remained focused on cost compression. The focus on cost savings combined with the need for expertise in MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) management meant FCM's service capabilities could competently meet the group's requirements.

It is the combination of FCM's tailored servicing model, travel management for specific events and situations that has seen this relationship grow into one of FCM Tunisia's most successful partnerships.

The success factors include:

a) A strong partnership

Our Tunisian team provides end-to-end travel and event management services to Harb Holdings. FCm works closely with the company to manage their:

  • air travel
  • hotel accommodation
  • airport requirements
  • transfers and car hire
  • VIP and executive travel
  • emergency medical travel
  • event organisation
  • supplier negotiation
  • account and expense management

A key component of the relationship is FCM's 24/7 emergency service, willingness to listen to the specific needs of Harb Holdings and open communication. FCM's flexible approach to servicing meant that travel management solutions could be tailored for the specific needs of each business within the Harb Holdings' group.

b) Event management

FCM was appointed to manage Harb Holdings' recent industry event at Hammamet in Tunisia. The event was attended by more than 400 guests including some of the region's most distinguished political, financial and property industry figures. The VIP list included members from the French opposition party and Senegal Foreign Ministry.

Our service solutions:

  • management of airline ticketing and reservation
  • VIP airport lounge assistance
  • luxury transfer bookings
  • bookings for excess luggage and lost luggage follow-up
  • provision of 24-hour driver service and accommodation bookings

FCM Tunisia also appointed a dedicated travel team to manage this event. Preparations started three months beforehand and staff worked around the clock to meet guest needs. We also negotiated special corporate fares and rates to reduce costs. Our attention to detail for Harb Holdings' VIP travel delivered a streamlined travel experience for guests, which positively reflected on Harb Holdings' supplier relationships.

c) Tailored travel program management

Due to the size of the Harb Holdings' group, various businesses within the company have specific travel requirements. Our teams manage the travel needs for the company's property financing division as well as their property advisory services division. Our service solutions:

  • provision of specific travel management services eg airline ticketing and reservation
  • luxury airport transfer bookings
  • accommodation bookings
  • all-day transfers between meetings
  • effective management of last minute changes
  • meeting and conference management

d) Emergency medical travel

Harb Holdings supports two major charity organisations. Both of these charities extend medical support to critically ill patients travelling from Libya to Tunisia and if required to medical facilities in Europe. Often the travel is last minute and each scenario involves a different set of circumstances depending on the patient.

Our service solutions:

  • air travel, accommodation and ground transport bookings
  • liaison between the charity organisations' managers, airlines, airports, hospitals and ambulances
  • patient status updates for stakeholders involved in emergency travel itineraries
  • travel assistance for the organisation of wheelchairs, stretchers, ambulance transport and any other emergency medical equipment required for travel.

Partnership outcomes

One of the key outcomes of this partnership has been the increased level of trust and confidence that Harb Holdings has placed in FCM to manage all aspects of their travel and corporate events. Growth in the partnership has led to the company consolidating its group travel program with our teams in Tunisia.

FCM's ability to maximise savings through specially negotiated deals with airlines and hotels, client incentives, global airfare capabilities, in-depth travel reporting and analysis, as well as our high contact and personal approach to servicing has ensured many bottom line benefits for the client.

In 2012 Harb Holdings recorded travel savings in excess of €65,000, which was an outstanding result.

*In 2008 Take Off Travel's corporate travel division rebranded to FCM Travel Solutions.

Harb Holdings response

“Time and time again, your actions have convinced me that FCM provides a very high quality of service. Your confidence and professionalism in managing all of our different requests means we'll continue to partner with FCM for the long term.”

Mohamed Khalifa Harb
Group President, Harb Holdings