ASSIST CARD, innovation as identity
Despite going through the very hard crisis generated by the Covid-19 in the tourism market, the firm has adapted at full speed. To get an overview, we interviewed its CEO Alexia Keglevich
The Covid-19 pandemic has put many tourism companies in the Americas in checkmate. If there was a common denominator among those that have survived in other minor crisis, it has been innovation, ASSIST CARD is one of them. To find out the latest news about the company, we interviewed its CEO Alexia Keglevich.
How has the Covid-19 crisis affected the operation of the company?
The current global coronavirus pandemic profoundly affected not only our operations, but also the travel industry in general. However, he also came to teach companies the importance of organizational agility.
On the one hand, the commercialization of our travel assistance products, a category in which we have had a sustained leadership for years, was strongly diminished when flights were canceled and borders were closed. However, we had to adapt quickly, and make some innovations not only in the offer of new products, but also making modifications in the instance of purchase of our services. Additionally, we had to redirect our sustained efforts in the travel segment, in order to leverage our healthcare expertise, which reflected our versatility as a company.
What decisions did they make to operate from here on out?
Our operations in the current COVID-19 scenario could be divided into two segments. For our travelers, we make the hiring of our product more flexible, so now anyone stranded abroad can rest easy buying ASSIST CARD. This is in line with having been the first company in the category to say "yes" to the pandemic, regardless of our general conditions. For them, we created a 30-day renewable product at a good price, which includes telemedicine and a home doctor.
For its part, for those who could not travel, the product was left open until December 31 so that they can reschedule its validity when they have a little more certainty about their next trip. Likewise, to our clients with multiple annual travel cards, the benefit of our telemedicine solution (Telemed) was extended at their place of residence, so they can use this modality without exposing themselves to contagion centers and / or saturating local health systems.
Finally, leveraging our expertise in the field of health, we recently launched Medicall, our new healthtech business unit that provides primary health solutions to people in their country of residence, such as a home doctor, an indicative video consultation with health professionals and even psychological assistance. Soon it will incorporate a product for the elderly.
Talking with business partners and direct customers, do you think that the perception of the services they offer has changed?
I believe that the coronavirus pandemic and its consequent global health crisis exposed the need to revalue human health. I can not imagine a near future where, on the one hand, travelers leave without comprehensive assistance such as ASSIST CARD that protects them in their improvised medical and non-medical, and, on the other hand, that world destinations do not make tourists enforceable a product like ours to guarantee income. Today human health is what nobody will skimp on again.
On the other hand, understanding this concept of health, we decided to also redirect our expertise in the local market, becoming now a provider of health solutions in the country of residence of travelers. This broke a paradigm, since ASSIST CARD not only assists you on trips, but also in your place of residence.
In your experience, what do you think would be the best option for international tourism to operate again?
The return of the international tourism activity is a cumbersome challenge, since, on the one hand, it involves many actors, public and private, and on the other, the conversations and realities are geographically different, since the consequences of the virus were not the same everywhere.
However, I believe that everyone's articulated work is important in order to guarantee an early recovery in the industry, which unlike other crises where tourism is the first to contract and then reactivate, this time it will not be, so which will require greater efforts and consensus. It will be necessary to evaluate the trends of what the future trip will be like, aligned with the corresponding sanitary security measures. The travel experience will be totally different and the leading companies have a commitment to adapt quickly.
In that case, how do you imagine the "new normal"?
Leaders need to be cautious about what the new normal will be like, especially since the fabric of tourism involves multiple actors. Regarding the category of traveler assistance, I have no doubt that it will be part of the travel experience of anyone in the world, since it was clear the importance of taking care of our health and feeling protected when we are outside of House.
In this sense, the new normality will bring new sanitation and hygiene measures applied to all aspects of daily, work and civil life, which in the framework of the tourism industry are likely to be reflected in more controls at airports, hotels and centers. tourist attractions. With them, we also imagine possible new penalties for non-compliance, to compel travelers and providers to know and abide by the rules, for the care of all people.
In all processes, the human becomes more than ever in the center of attention and the collaboration of all, the most important value. In this line, from ASSIST CARD we are in tune, since our purpose is to put the human before any other scenario and, today more than ever, we work with the aim of taking care of our clients, no matter where they are.