Founded in 2001 as a start-up by two friends in Denmark, Infare today is the largest system for comparing airfares in the world, collecting data from more than 800 websites and servicing more than 125 airlines. In 2011–2013, the company’s profits grew by 30% year on year.
The Infare database has more than 90 billion entries, which is supplemented everyday by 160 million new entries. Using Infare Knowledge – the world’s largest airfare database and data analysis tool – airlines can monitor and understand changes in competitor pricing. The clarity of its data visualisation and its warning system, which tracks changes in pricing, allows Infare customers to take timely action. This quality is particularly important in the dynamic and competitive market of passenger air transport. Infare counts airlines such as Lufthansa, SAS, Emirates, Air Lituanica, and British Airways amongst its customers.
The Infare office in Lithuania started with just 4 employees who worked on developing virtual robots capable of checking airfare prices around the clock from more than 800 different sources. However, according to Vytautas Baronas, Managing Director of Infare in Vilnius, at present Lithuanian employees perform many more functions.
“Lithuania was chosen because of it being culturally and geographically close to Denmark. Lithuanians, like the Danes, are very devoted to work and search independently for creative solutions”, said Mr Baronas. “In addition, the flight time between the offices in Denmark and Vilnius is less than two hours. This is actually very convenient for us, because team members from Lithuania as well as from Denmark regularly work in offices in our other locations.” Having previously worked in the Infare headquarters in Denmark, Mr Baronas said that currently there are some employees in the Vilnius office who were enticed back from abroad by the opportunity to work for an international company.
Andrius Francas, a partner of Alliance for Recruitment, which works in close cooperation with Infare, added that the company is noted for its application of the horizontal management structure that Scandinavian business culture is synonymous with. “The company aims to be the best in its sector, and consequently when selecting new employees it doesn’t only assess their technical competence. It also takes into account their ability to work as a team player whilst at the same time being able to work independently without supervision. This kind of attention pays off: the overall turnover of employees in the Vilnius office is below 5 %, which is a rarity in the highly competitive IT sector.”
According to Justinas Pagirys, Director of the Investment Development Department at Invest Lithuania, the country’s foreign investment development agency, Infare is an excellent reflection of how the advanced data analysis sector is developing, with companies increasingly often looking towards Lithuania: “Previously, foreign companies used to choose Lithuania for its customer service centres. However, now we see that Lithuanian specialists are increasingly entrusted with the analysis of complex data and system development. The fact that such companies attract emigrants back to their offices in Lithuania shows that they can offer Lithuanians attractive jobs on an international scale and with a competitive salary”.
In the future, along with expanding its team, Infare also plans to expand the scope of its operations. It hopes to apply the experience gained while collecting flight fare data to the analysis of hotel offers, car rental prices and other offers. Moreover, it is also planned to focus even more on data visualisation and customer convenience.