Bassam Almohammadi: Shaping FlyAkeed’s Destiny By Value-Based Travel-Tech Innovations

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In the vast entrepreneurial crowd of the current times, some soar through the skies with their unwavering determination and innovative spirit. One amongst them is Mr. Bassam Almohammadi, the visionary founder and CEO of FlyAkeed, whose journey is a testament to the power of resilience, passion, and disruptive thinking. 

Under his leadership, the 2017 founded company raised a whopping $15.2 million (SAR 57 million) last year led by PIF’s Sanabil Investments and Elm Company, with participation from Artal Capital and Al Rajhi Partners. Today, the Riyadh-based FlyAkeed stands out in the travel industry as a holistic provider of corporate travel services, meticulously designed to revolutionize the conventional travel management experience. Speaking about his entrepreneurial journey,  

Bassam Almohammadi: An Entrepreneur Born Young  

Mr. Bassam Almohammadi’s entrepreneurial journey was sparked by a blend of personal experiences and opportunities that fueled his passion for technology and innovation. At the age of 13, his father, a navy admiral, introduced his family’s first PC at home which had Adobe Photoshop 4.0. This ignited his curiosity in digital design, leading him to experiment and create school projects for himself and his family. What started as fun gradually turned into the beginning of his entrepreneurial journey where he offered services like logo design, poster design, custom font design, and more. This early experience taught him to always go the extra mile to stand out in the competition.

Going further, he pursued computer science for his undergraduate degree while delving deeper into the intricacies of algorithm design and software engineering. Driven by a passion for creating impactful work, his graduation project in 2005 focused on developing a software solution for navigating university campuses, a precursor to the widespread use of applications like Google Maps. “This project secured me a position at a leading R&D products company in Saudi Arabia, where I contributed to developing innovative products, such as an automated meter reader system,” adds Mr. Bassam Almohammadi.

After further studies in Vancouver, a city known for its high quality of life, he was deeply inspired to contribute to making a positive impact back home in Saudi Arabia. His involvement with the Saudi Students Association of British Columbia enabled him to serve over 5,000 students and their families, gaining invaluable experience in the process. Upon returning home with a master’s degree and a wealth of experience, he fully embraced entrepreneurship and found several technology and design companies that quickly gained recognition. His dedication and hard work paid off, as his ventures secured significant investments from prestigious names in Saudi Arabia. 

The Inception and Journey of FlyAkeed

The inception of the Riyadh-based travel and expense management solutions provider was initially driven by a desire to address the gap in the travel industry, specifically catering to business travelers. However, as the journey progressed further, the company realized that business travelers required comprehensive solutions to meet their unique needs. This led to the development of its innovative travel management solution, complemented by a self-booking app, designed to provide business travelers with the flexibility, efficiency, and convenience they need while on the move.

FlyAkeed: A One-stop Solution to manage all corporate travel needs including management of flights, hotels, and car bookings for any organization. Here are some of its salient features:
Easy Travel Bookings For StaffThe platform lets organizations seamlessly book flights or hotel rooms on behalf of their employees on the FlyAkeed Business Dashboard. Multiple trips for multiple employees can be booked in a few easy steps. Flight TicketsHotel RoomsCar RentalChauffeur serviceEmployees Self BookingTravel Manager BookingChanges and Cancellations
Manage BookingsLast-minute changes in travel plans can be managed easily as users can easily track flights, cancel bookings, get refunds, or reschedule flights.Flight TicketsHotel RoomsCar RentalLive map
Guest InvitationUsers can send travel invitations to guests, customers, clients, job candidates, and anyone else important to the business anywhere worldwide, to allow them to choose their flight options.Invite via EmailFlights filteringGuest Self Booking
Travel PoliciesCreation of company, department, and employee policies and travel purposes to easily approve or reject booking requests from the employees. Auto-approval can save significant efforts and provide higher satisfaction to employees by getting their bookings immediately processed.Route controlsManagement of dependentsApproval workflow
Multilevel ApprovalWith a larger company organizational structure, administration and execution of the entire approval process of business trips can be simplified into a single and simple workflow.ValidatorsFinal approverApproval timeline
Data Analytics and ReportsThe platform allows analysis of a company’s travel needs through more comprehensive reports customized and tailored as per their needs.Bookings and Travel ReportExpensesHR level reports

FlyAkeed’s foundation is built on the premise of simplifying and enhancing the corporate travel process through the integration of automated, cutting-edge solutions. This approach not only streamlines travel arrangements for the end customers but also positions the organization at the forefront of the industry’s shift towards digital transformation. 

Advantages of FlyAkeedTime-savingOver 90% reduction in time and effort on lengthy travel planning and coordination. Cost OptimizationThe platform allows users to decide how their travel budget should be spent, and monitor how they can save more.Improvement in ComplianceFlyAkeed allows easy implementation of travel policies that help boost the compliance rate.Smooth ReconciliationEasier reconciliation and allocation of expenses, saving precious time and efforts of the accounting teams. 

“What sets our services apart in the current market space is our commitment to addressing the entire spectrum of the traveler’s journey. We go beyond the basic functions of traditional travel management to offer a comprehensive suite of services that cater to every aspect of corporate travel. From seamless booking experiences to real-time travel updates and personalized travel recommendations, our platform is tailored to meet the dynamic needs of today’s business travelers, ensuring efficiency, convenience, and a superior travel experience.”, explains Mr. Bassam Almohammadi.

Presently, FlyAkeed’s services perfectly align with Saudi Vision 2030, supporting the kingdom’s ambitious goals for digital transformation and economic growth. As the Saudi economy and the tourism and travel sector continue to expand rapidly, the company’s services contribute to this evolution by offering digital solutions that streamline travel processes. “Our platform not only simplifies travel arrangements for business professionals but also supports the broader vision of modernizing and enhancing a traveler’s experience in line with the country’s development objectives,” adds Mr. Bassam Almohammadi.

Fostering a Vibrant, Inclusive, and Forward-thinking Culture

The work culture at FlyAkeed revolves around the philosophy of “humanizing work”, which primarily focuses on the use of technology that encourages constructive human interaction instead of restricting or replacing it. The leadership ensures that technology empowers and supports employees and does not raise their stress levels. The organization constantly pushes to create an atmosphere that acknowledges and appreciates employees beyond their professional contributions. The same is achieved by building a culture that is transparent and allows enough space for the employees to grow on both personal and professional fronts. 

FlyAkeed boasts of a culture that is deeply rooted in four core values as explained below. These values guide the company’s actions and decisions, making it vibrant, inclusive, and forward-thinking.

  • Customer Centricity: FlyAkeed’s team stays customer-obsessed, always prioritizing customers’ needs and experiences above all else. This focus drives the company to continually refine its services, ensuring delivery beyond customer expectations. 
  • Competency: FlyAkeed strives to set new benchmarks and lead by example. The company takes pride in its team which comprises industry experts who bring unparalleled expertise and a commitment to excellence, ensuring that the company stays at the forefront of the travel sector.
  • Creativity: Creativity is at the heart of how the organization addresses the complexities of the travel ecosystem. It employs innovative problem-solving techniques to navigate challenges, turning potential obstacles into opportunities for improvement and growth. This creative approach allows the company to offer unique solutions that cater to the unique needs of its customers.
  • Curiosity: The 8-year-old travel-tech company fosters an environment where questioning the status quo is encouraged, and diversity is celebrated. As curiosity fuels the firm’s continuous growth and learning, new ideas and perspectives help the team adapt to the dynamic nature of the travel industry.

Unlocking Value Through Effective Leadership

Expressing his views on what makes a leader effective, Mr. Bassam Almohammadi shares that a great leader not only sets a clear vision for the team but also inspires them to reach for the stars. At the same time, a leader has to be flexible and open to change, ready to pivot strategies in response to ever-evolving challenges and opportunities. “Effective leadership is a mix of vision, empathy, adaptability, and decisiveness. Empathy allows a leader to connect with people on a personal level, fostering a supportive and inclusive environment”, he adds. 

The founder & CEO regards integrity, innovation, and collaboration as the core values that a business leader must inculcate. Integrity ensures transparency and trustworthiness in all business dealings, forming the foundation of strong relationships. Innovation drives the organization to continually innovate and implement new ideas and solutions. “Similarly, we achieve far more than we could individually if we can unleash the power of collaboration, leveraging our combined strengths. These principles guide my leadership approach and are embedded in the culture of our organization as well.”

“My advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to stay resilient, be open to learning, and always keep the customer at the heart of your business. Remember, every setback is a setup for a comeback, so embrace challenges as opportunities to grow and innovate,” the CEO concludes.

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