The Big Interviews
Talking travel retail
2021 – Interview: How Sōmrus founder PK Garg plans to send a kitchen recipe into orbit
Martin Moodie spoke to unlikely drinks entrepreneur PK Garg about the rise of the House of Sōmrus and its journey since founding in 2014. Garg said he has global markets, including duty free, in his sights, all part of a bold plan to become the world’s third-biggest cream liqueur and a US$1 billion enterprise that will ultimately attract the interest of the drinks industry’s biggest players.
2021 – ‘The spirit of travel’
Amid a time of great uncertainty about the return of travel at scale last April, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport CEO Sean Donohue offered an encouraging signal of hope in this interview with The Moodie Davitt Report President Dermot Davitt. It was one of the big highlights of that month’s Summit of the Americas Knowledge Hub programme, organised by The Moodie Davitt Report alongside IAADFS, ASUTIL and technical partner FILTR.QINGWA (now renamed Purple).
Donohue touched on the airport’s progressively minded support for its partners, noting that it made sense to offer relief so that concessionaires could not only survive the crisis, but could be in a position to support the airport’s growth. “When I go to airports, and I only see a handful of concessionaires open, what I ask is when the recovery happens, will those concessionaires be there to help?” he said tellingly.
2021 – A bold duty free vision in Haikou
“We have full confidence in the new round of travel retail development here and we are expecting Hainan to become a key highlight within the travel retail industry globally.” In a world exclusive in May, Hainan Development Holdings Chairman of the Board Gu Gang told us about the exciting second- and third-phase plans for Global Premium Duty Free Plaza in Haikou, and unveiled details of a joint loyalty programme with support partner Dufry. For the full interview click here.
2021 – DFS as ‘a destination within a destination’
“Despite the crisis, I’m still incredibly positive and optimistic about what we do. With the last 18 months of restricted travel, the urge of people to get back on a plane, to visit destinations, to reunite with businesses and families, and to explore the world is very much there.”
That was the upbeat note struck by DFS Group CEO & Chairman Benjamin Vuchot, speaking to The Moodie Davitt Report at his eighth floor office above T Galleria by DFS, Hong Kong, in his first B2B interview in June 2021.
While assuming a leadership role (on 1 January) for the world’s leading luxury travel retailer in the midst of a global pandemic brought plenty of commercial, corporate and strategic challenges, Vuchot was singularly upbeat about DFS’ prospects and its sense of purpose. The company was buoyed by several major developments (announced or opened) in locations as diverse as Brisbane, Hainan, Paris and Queenstown together with a resurgent Macau business.
The full feature appears at this link.
2021 – Compassion, commitment and conviction at Qatar Airways
“We needed to show resilience. We needed to show leadership. We needed to show people that we have compassion.” So said the charismatic Qatar Airways, Hamad International Airport (HIA) and Qatar Duty Free CEO H.E. Mr. Akbar Al Baker as he took The Moodie Davitt Report Chairman Martin Moodie on a detailed tour of HIA in August. They (pictured below in conversation) discussed the impact of the pandemic, protecting people and the principles of investment in the customer experience in one of our interviews of the year. For the full article click here.
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