May 18, 2024

Festive Road founders to part ways

Paul Tilstone, co-founder of Festive Road, is leaving the consultancy at the end of March to start his own business, specialising in supplier consulting. 

He will fully divest his shares to form temoji, which will focus on marketing, communications and advisory in the supplier sector to build “social and intellectual capital” between suppliers and their audiences.

Caroline Strachan, the company’s other founder, will stay on to become CEO and sole shareholder of Festive Road to focus on buyer consulting and outsourcery services, retaining the Festive Road core clients and team.

See our in-depth interview with Tilstone and Strachan on the split, their differences, their special bond and the future

Strachan said: “Paul and I have created an amazing purpose-led, people-first company together. We’ve experienced unimaginable growth and success over eight years.

“As we planned and examined what the industry, our clients and our people need going forward, we could not escape the significant commercial opportunity we were turning away due to restrictions around potential conflict between buyer and supplier services.

“This move makes logical and commercial sense, opening significant opportunity for Festive Road and our team to forge ahead and become – the largest independent T&E consultancy, working towards a purposeful travel and meetings management world across all T&E categories.”

Tilstone added: “Caroline and I, together with the extraordinarily talented team we’ve developed at Festive Road, have had an amazing run of business over eight years.

“It’s been a wonderful partnership and I’m proud of all we have achieved together. temoji gives me the opportunity to create a single-minded service offer that’s dedicated entirely to supplier consulting and removes restrictions that were preventing this before. I am extremely excited for us all, at both Festive Road and temoji, by what is now possible and still to come.”  

The split comes after 18 months of discussions to shape the company’s future purpose and vision.

“As we have discussed expansion and growth alongside this, we also considered the significant increase in demand for Festive Road services from buyer and supplier communities,” said the announcement.

“To date, we haven’t been able to fulfil this supplier demand as we restricted the service range to avoid any conflict for our buyer clients. We’ve found ourselves saying no to supplier projects a lot!

“It’s with this in mind and following lots of discussion and planning that we have very amicably taken the decision to ‘split’ the two sides of the business, into buyer, and supplier, creating separate dedicated businesses.

“The division creates clear delineation and importantly enables us to better serve our customers and the industry, opening opportunities for growth and career development for our teams and for each other.”