Karolina Saviova, founder of accommodation service Altovita, speaks to TTG about setting up her own travel business and meeting challenges
Self-described “digital nomad” Karolina Saviova launched her first business at 29.
Her background in travel was cemented as a child by parents who loved travelling, taking her around the world with them.
“I was an adventure-seeker from an early age so when I was 18, I moved to France and then to Vienna to study international affairs,” says Karolina.
After interning for the UN in Geneva, Karolina then spent the next few years working as a journalist in the energy industry, moving around every six months to far-flung destinations including Jakarta, Singapore and India.
Karolina eventually met her business partner, Vivi Cahyadi, another digital nomad, while on her travels and together the two founded corporate accommodation service Altovita in January 2019.
She explains: “We were frustrated with how difficult it was to find proper accommodation while travelling for work, so we decided to set up Altovita. The company negotiates with landlords to find good prices on high-quality apartments intended for extended stays.”
Although the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted her business, Karolina is currently working on extending the company’s geographic reach.
“Under normal circumstances, I would be in meetings from morning to evening and then networking, but with all that’s happening I’m on calls most of the day with suppliers. I’m currently focusing on expanding our reach into the US and Asia-Pacific regions.”
For young hopefuls dreaming of setting up their own company, Karolina has two pieces of important advice.
“Picking the right business partner is vital – your work ethic needs to be aligned and you both need to be extremely committed and proud of your team.
“Also, don’t build a product for yourself or your relatives – instead always think about the target audience.”