The Big Cheese

Big Cheese interview with CEO & Founder of Fastrack Group

This week we got up close and personal with CEO & Founder of Fastrack Group, Adrian Caruso, until he requested we sit further away.

The great thing about my job is…

How the travel industry is constantly changing. Being born in the travel industry (my father owned one of the first travel companies in Australia), I love how the industry is always evolving on a daily basis, and I love being part of that change.

The challenge for the industry is …

Complacency.  You need to constantly change the way you do things and your business model or DIE.

I’ve seen lots of travel businesses disappear because they were too complacent and didn’t change to meet the market or consider new ways of doing things – think OTAs (Booking.com + Expedia, Airbnb, Uber)

My greatest achievement is…

Personal: The bond I have with my family and friends.  They are your rock and never ever judge you.

Professional: Having started my first travel company at the age of 23.  I was Australia’s youngest franchise for Traveland back in 1992, and went up to build a small chain of stores.

Then changing direction and getting into property development and learning how to build a building.  Then being a business coach for some of Australia’s most successful travel companies and seeing them thrive.

And finally creating the Fastrack Group into Australia’s leading travel and tourism digital marketing and media agency, working and creating some of Australia and New Zealand’s most successful travel and hotel brands (some of a start-up stage).

The biggest thing in MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) this year will be…

Maximum Occupancy- It’s THE accommodation industry conference of the year, and it’s back in Sydney this October.

Attendees will get to network with and learn from the industry heavyweights- we’re talking Google, HotelsCombined, Booking.com, Skyscanner, BIG4 Holiday Parks, Expedia, TripAdvisor, and a lot more leading organisations.

I try to relax by…

Spending time with my friends and family.

And my boat that is based on the beautiful Gold Coast.  Being on or near the water has always been my passion. It calms me yet fills me with energy,

I don’t understand why…

People don’t pick up the phone more often or meet people in person instead of using social media to connect.

We are humans and we’re built to interact in real life, not via the internet.

My favourite venue/destination is…

Italy – I’m from an Italian background so I travel there every year. I can’t get enough of it!

I’ve always wanted to travel to…

Antarctica.  It is a totally different terrain to anything else in the world and the wildlife would be incredible.

I am scared to death of…

Snakes

I can’t live without…

My family and friends.

I really wish I had…

I can’t answer this question for feel I am pretty fulfilled with life.

If I could invite four people to a dinner party, they’d be…

Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson)

Donald Trump

Gary Vee

The Dalai Lama

With this eclectic group, dinner would be so much fun and would never have a dull moment.

For anyone starting out in the industry one piece of advice I’d give would be….

Plan your career from the start.  Write it out, don’t just think about where you want go or what job you want. Don’t worry if your path changes for the industry changes every day.

Get a mentor.  Always let your boss know of your career and growth plans. Never stop learning and trying to improve yourself and what you do at work or in your personal life (it’s a Japanese principle I live by called KAIZEN).

And most of all PERSIST, PERSIST and NEVER EVER GIVE UP in everything you do.  Those that do this will always win.

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