The Big Interviews
Talking travel retail
We select a series of memorable interviews from the past 20 years that resonated for the great human and corporate tales they told.
2004 – A portent of the future
In a compelling interview shortly after he was named CEO of Swiss travel retailer Dufry, Julián Díaz offered a glimpse of the future as he discussed his vision and strategy as he targeted acquisitional and organic growth. That vision would come to fruition most spectacularly with the acquisitions of The Nuance Group and World Duty Free Group in the next decade.
2005 – Lunch with a legend
The founding father of duty free, Dr Brendan O’Regan – magnificently articulate, intelligent and still driven to achieve – talked about his life in the industry and his hopes for world peace in one of our most fondly remembered interviews. Dr O’Regan passed in February 2008 but his legacy endures forever in the duty free and travel retail world.
2005 – ‘An airport retail model for the 21st century’
In one of our most provocative and memorable interviews, a newly created joint venture (Global Airport Services) between World Duty Free and experienced industry executives Steve Franklin, Adrian Murray and Randy Emch – under the Crossbar Associates name – compellingly advocated a new airport commercial model. They planned to partner with landlords for “an airport retail model for the 21st century”, one in which both parties would share investment, risk and reward. In the same edition, King Power Group (HK) Managing Director Travel Retail & Duty Free Sunil Tuli provided a sharp counterpoint to the owned retail model, in what was an unforgettable debate on a critical subject.
2006 – “We could not be beaten”
An inspirational interview with Dubrovnik Airport Trade Department Manager Niksa Milanovic. He recalled the dark days of 1991/92 when shells rained down on his village and the airport was destroyed.
“We used to clean the streets every day to prove to ourselves that normal life could go on, and to defy the soldiers, to show them we could not be beaten.”
2007 – Oil and opportunity
We could have chosen many a story from ‘The World Rovers’, our book about the Irish influence on the global industry, but the story of the life and career of the pioneering Liam Skelly was one of the most memorable highlights.
2008 – The passage to India
From a standing start in 2003, Flemingo defied the sceptics – and there were many – to create India’s most powerful duty free entity. This interview with Co-Owner Atul Ahuja on his ranch near Mumbai offered a gripping insight into the man who took on all of the big challenges that India had to offer, winning most of them (as he has to this day).
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