“I have a positive view of the future of the rail industry, so I’m sure that in 10 years the sector will be completely different.”
Ever wondered what a rail consultant really does? Yes? Well, today we will help shine a light on these industry professionals by speaking to Andrea Giuricin. SmartRail World reporter, Sarah Wright, took some time to get to know more about Giuricin who began his career with a thesis about the liberalisation of the air transport sector, Giuricin quickly found his place in the transportation sector and is now CEO of TRA Consulting. Founded in 2013 the international strategic consultancy company based in Barcelona use their expertise and collaborative approach to offer solutions to the transportation industry. Alongside this, Giuricin has become head of the Studies Office and Strategic Consultant for Nuovo Transporto Viaggiatori (NTV), the first private high-speed rail operator in Europe. Now then, let’s find out what this experience has amounted to…
SW: How did you get into the rail industry?
Andrea Giuricin (@andreagiuricin) (AG): In 2009, I studied a PhD in Milan on the air transport sector, during this time I wrote several newspaper articles for the Italian press, when I received a phone call from the first CEO of NTV, Mr. Sciarrone. He’d read an article about rail competition that I had written, and wanted to meet with me. I was really surprised as I was just 26 years old! So, I went to Rome and he asked me to make a small consultancy on the Italian incumbent, FS group. Sciarrone liked the consultancy and at the end of the year, he asked to me to create the studies and strategic office of NTV, the first private high-speed railway in open access competition in the World.
I learnt a lot from Sciarrone, and continued in the company as strategic consultant. With experience working in many countries (Italy, Spain, Sweden, UK, Indonesia, China, Malaysia, South Korea), I have in the last few years begun my own company, TRA Consulting.
SW: What do like most about your job?
AG: I like to learn a lot from the top management of the companies. The possibility to work directly with the CEOs of the companies in the railways and public transport permits me to overview all the department of all the RU or PTO.
In consulting, I see and I give my opinion across many departments of the companies I work with. Every day it is a complete different work to do. It is never the same job, which I prefer, every day gives me completely different work to do.
SW: What’s the biggest challenge in your role?
AG: To afford the complexity of situation for new entrants and operators is one of the main challenges of my job. It is important to understand quickly what it is the main problem for the company and to find viable solutions.
Every CEO has a completely different approach to the solution, so human relations is also very important. Many times, the solution is very difficult to find as it is not just technicality and economical problems that I have to solve, so I need to approach each problem from the different views of the entire business, a panoramic view. Flexibility is a must, because the problems are continuously different.
SW: What will be some of the biggest differences between rail now and in 10 years’ time?
AG: Is rail ready for the challenge of the future? This simple question has to be the base for the development of the sector which needs new innovative solutions to compete. The competition between operators is the first driver of the innovation. We saw in Italy, the arrival of a second rail operator in competition with the incumbent has led to the development of new solutions.
The development of technology permits innovation and the railways will continue to implement new solutions. From an operational point of view, the development of IT systems has enabled a new one to one relationship with their customers. At the same time, there will be more and more outsourcing of the non-essential operations (IT system or maintenance for example) and real time information will become further available to customers. Revenue management will be implemented in a new smarter way to increase revenues without any investment in rolling stock or infrastructure. I feel optimization will happen as it has in the aviation or hotel industry.
I have a positive view of the future of the rail industry, so I’m sure that in 10 years the sector will be completely different.
SW: What’s your favourite rail journey?
AG: It is quite easy answer for me: the Milan – Rome route for the high-speed rail, because it is very convenient and where many of the services are free for the customer.
As for traditional rail, I have a different favourite journey: the jungle train in the continental Malaysia (pictured to the right), an old connection from Kuala Lipis to Gua Musang that the SPAD is now developing. It is like being in the past, on an adventure with the nature and the jungle, reminding us who are the real owners of the rail trail!
SW: Thanks so much for your time Andrea!
5 minutes with… You? Each Friday the team here at SmartRail World will bring you a great new 5 minutes with... interview. This fun, fast-paced feature will help you get to know more about personalities across the industry, their ideas and experiences and of course their own favourite rail journey! Want to take part? Email: email@example.com to find out more.
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