Interview with Philipp Straub
Founder & CEO @ Titan International

Titan was established as a company in 1993 and has been a leading agency in Central Europe. In the past it mainly focused on artist booking & event management, and they are currently supporting and consulting many international promoters as well as global brands successfully on their activities within the world of electronic music.
Hi Philipp! Could you please introduce your work with Titan International and tell us a bit more about what led to your founding the company?
Hello everyone, my name is Phillipp Straub, and I have the pleasure of giving this short interview. I want to tell you a little bit about my history. We're here in Vienna, in my office. My company is called Titan International. You can see on my desk there's a lot going on, like every day. I started my company 26 years ago, after actually finishing hotel management school. I didn't know really what to do with my life. I tried to work in the travel agency for a short while, but somehow didn't really feel happy there. Somehow only executing other people tasks was not really life-fulfilling for me, but I had very good skills of organizing things for others. And at that time, some of the promoters who were doing concerts and shows asked me to book flights for their talents, because I was going out a lot and they knew my face. And after, a lot of these people noticed my skills: organizing things very particularly and clever. They asked me if I don't want to launch my own business and look after their careers, partly, and handle their bookings and handle some of the events. So, in 1993 I launched my company and it's going ever since. Of course in that long time, we always kept the focus on our core knowledge which is based on electronic music, connected to DJS and events on a global scale, but there were different phases. We, for many years, had been the exclusive sub-agency for nearly all the talents coming to central Europe. We represent a lot of international talents on that level, still. But a couple of years ago, maybe 10 years ago, I thought it's really important to go also abroad and outside of my region. And I had the luck and pleasure to, again, connect well with the right people. So since two-and-a-half years I am a head consultant and music director of the biggest event development in Dubai called Soho Garden, which includes seven venues at the moment. They are open every day. We book more than 400 events and shows on an annual basis in the seven-month season. I'm trying to develop new projects from Morocco, to Iraq, to Bahrain, to India - and just to go with the flow and follow my passion. So this is my short story - more questions to come.
How has Titan International defined how European brands and electronic artists interact in places like Vienna and Ibiza?
Well it's very important, if you work on a global scale, to still notice the differences in each individual territory, especially and particularly if you work with artists who are touring and playing between 120 and 200 shows a year, and travel nearly every other day to a different country and different place. So if we bring over artists - no matter if it's to Vienna or to Ibiza, or other places - we really try to look after the local market, and check the individual circumstances: economy, potential growth, long-term strategies, local partners to work with, media partners to work with, and so on. So it's really important to not only handle this business on a global scale from a desk, and to just the answer requests and execute possibilities. But I think the difference is if you look into the detail - this will have everyone involved on the long term, and I think this is one of the main reasons that, after all these years, we are still around and so am I. So think about that.
What are some of the most well-known brands and artists you've worked with? How did you built up your clientele in the early days of Titan International?
Hi! My name is Philipp Straub and I'm here to answer your questions. So what were some of the most important, or maybe well-known, brands and talents that I've worked with in my 26-year-history with my company Titan International? So for the last eight years I was working very close with Coca-Cola and Monster Energy, and my company started to develop a program for them to support upcoming talents, which we used to organically embed the brand into the target scene. Which, in this case, was my environment of electronic dance music. There was an amazing project, we had over 9000 contestants from 133 countries every year, and it gained a lot of momentum. We were able to multiply sales in the first two years by seven for the brand, and also helped a lot of talents around the world. Some of the well-known artists that I partly represent are, for example, Carl Cox, John Digweed, Sasha, all from England. But I also did a lot of concerts and shows with artists such as Paul Kalkbrenner - who I had in Vienna today, actually - Chemical Brothers, Faceless Solomon, David Guetta, Tiesto, Black Eyed Peas. We did a lot of shows in those years so those are just some for the name dropping.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions the general public has regarding your work?
Some of the biggest misconceptions about my industry -and particularly my work - is that maybe that it's all only about showing off, and that it's only about partying and getting drunk, and posing, and it's very artificial. This is what a lot of people think. In reality it's actually the opposite, because if you don't dedicate 110 percent of your time very focused on realizing your targets and goals you would just not make it, because there is so much distraction. Of course you have to party, of course you have to be present on these events, of course you have to be in a good mood and all of these things. But it's absolutely important that you - very, very, fast and early - find your balance, in order to still have enough energy and focus, and a clear mind to realize all your targets in the office - or wherever you work - on a daily base. A lot of people try to make career in this particular environment, and a lot of them - most of them, actually - fail. So it's a little bit like Hollywood and all the waiters, they are waiting for that big career - like everybody wants to be a D.J. or wants to work in the industry connected to electronic music, because it's obviously so glamorous and so nice. It partly is, but the challenge is the balance.
What's next for your work with Titan International? What are the main projects, partnerships, and markets you'll be focusing on in the next year?
Well, future projects: it's always important to, not only execute what you have already and try to be in your comfort zone, but also try to think ahead of the game, especially. So what potential ideas and possibilities you can follow up in order to grow your business, in order to keep your career and your company developing. So like I said, from my work in Dubai - of which I'm very proud of - I organically connect, at the moment, with a lot of the regions in the Middle East. I also am going - next week, actually - to India, for a four-city site visit, because I have been offered to look after a big company and help them to redevelop some of their event strategies. I have an offer, also, to go to China to do, actually, the same. We have possibilities around, like I mentioned, from Iraq - I was in Iraq in the beginning of the year, which was quite an adventure, but there's a lot of potential. It's a bit early, maybe, but it's good. Well, I particularly enjoy going to territories where not a lot of business is there yet. I really try to be one of the first in these individual countries. I was in Eastern Europe for example, when, in the early 90s, we were one of the first people doing parties and bringing talents to the former Eastern European area - like Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia. So now I try to do the same in hand-picked territories and countries where I think there is a long potential, but I can follow my heart and my passion. Creatively building up brands, building up events, venues and structure. So these are some of the ideas that I follow at the moment. There is of course much more going on - there is one particular project I hope to be able to realize in the next one or two years in Marrakech, which is one of my most favorite cities in the world. So follow my activities, follow my company's activities and I'm sure you would find out more. Thanks for the interview.