Song Hoi-See, Founder & CEO, Plaza Premium Group, in an exclusive interview with TRAVTALK revealed the company’s growth plans for India and the world. He talks about branching out to Tier-II cities in India.
Q) What is your growth strategy for India and the rest of the world?
While our business has huge potential, this is a business where I can’t create another branch in the same city because there’s only one main airport in general. After that, I have to go cross country. According to Airports Council International (ACI), there are about 2,000 airports around the world and 1,000 of which would work well for us. Now our network only covers about 35 international airports or in other words just three per cent of this market. We will continue to focus on global network expansion in Premium Airport Services to travellers. Our target is to achieve a total of 200 locations by 2018 from our existing over 140 locations, encompassing development and enhancement of the quality of our four pillars of core business, namely management and operation of independent airport and airline lounges, airport transit hotels, airport meet and greet service locations, and airport dining facilities. We will be investing over $100 million by 2018 to fuel our expansion plans including new airport lounge development in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia.
Q) What initiatives have you taken to promote the brand?
Given the nature of the business, we do extensive BTL marketing i.e. promotional campaigns, PR, sales promotions, exhibitions and various events worldwide. We do ATL marketing as well, as it is a tool which cannot be ignored. In addition, with the boost of online industry, we are heavily concentrating on digital marketing for the coming year. Currently, we are active on social media and other digital platforms to converse and engage our followers.
Q) Do you also engage with travel agents?
We have B2B tie-ups with numerous travel agents and they contribute a substantial amount of business. We can customise packages as per the requirement of travel agents to accommodate their needs. Since we do not only offer lounges but also have a bouquet of other premium airport services.
Q) Apart from credit card companies, what kind of other tie-ups are you looking for?
We are also looking at individual banks and other corporates. Of course, our major business comes from our airline partners and that will only continue to grow with the expansion of the global aviation market.
Q) Which are the other cities in India you are considering opening your lounges at?
We are looking at all major airports as well as Tier-II airports in the country for expansion. Hopefully, we will share some good news soon.