SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 12 March 2020 - Oliver Jolivet has dedicated over two decades of his career to the business of luxury. Attributing his uncompromising stance on brand building to his French heritage and background, Jolivet believes that time and authenticity play big roles in delivering a well-positioned luxury experience in the hospitality market.
Stepping into his role as the Chief Executive Officer of COMO Group , Jolivet pushes the status quo with exclusivity and novelty in experiences. Under his wing, COMO Group - which owns COMO Hotels and Resorts - recently welcomed the brand's first property in Italy. The COMO Castello Del Nero, a 12-century castle with medieval frescoes spanning 740-acres set in Tuscany. COMO Group features hotels, from the Maldives to Miami, with each stay driving values of sustainability, wellness and understated luxury. Extending beyond hospitality, COMO's brand equity has grown to become a lifestyle aggregator of sorts -- with COMO Lifestyle, Cuisine, Fashion and the Shambhala wellness business. Underpinning these complementary lifestyle concepts is the vision to grant loyal members with privileges and rewards across the brand with membership cards.
At the heart of it all, Jolivet carries the brand further through empathetic and genuine relationship building with the people who matter the most - the guests.
Q2 - Why do you believe people are willing to pay a premium for an exclusive experience?
· People pay a premium for something they will remember, for something they enjoy. There is a big difference between a commodity business and selling a luxury experience and it is not always scalable.
Q3 - How do you retain premium clientele -- how do you entice them to continue staying within COMO Group's set of properties?
· Recognition, recognition and recognition. It means your attention to details must be the best.
Q4 - Anything exciting coming to the COMO Group in 2020?
· New destinations and new experiences like the Film Photography retreat in Bhutan in partnership with award-winning photographer Michael Turek and Natural World Safaris, the launch of COMO Club our brand new recognition programme, combining all COMO businesses (Hospitality, Wellness, Fashion, Lifestyle, Sport), and a new product line for COMO Shambhala, our award-winning wellness concept.
Q5 - How do you maintain a point of difference when compared to other boutique hotels (locally/regionally/internationally)?
· COMO and its businesses are unique in the luxury landscape. Since its inception, shareholders stayed the same, which provides stability to the organisation and the opportunity to think long term. It is a massive competitive advantage especially when recruiting the right talents.
Q6 - What personal attributes do you prioritize when picking key leadership roles within COMO Group's hotels?
· Resilience, innovation skills and intensity
Q7 - How do you source top talent for all of COMO Group's individual business units?
· We are lucky to have an important pull factor and 80% of our recruitment is coming from CVs directly received from candidates.
Q8 - When identifying new locations for COMO Group's hotels or other assets, what do you look for?
· The soul first. Although it's difficult to say. For a hotel the location is important, you can always build around the content. For an e-business it will be its disruption factor as well as its short-term potential. For a sports business, it will be its ability to attract new talent.
Q9 - How do you maintain such a consistent, high quality experience across all COMO Group's owned properties (hotels, restaurants & retail)?
· A clear talent retention programme as well as consistent training at all levels. The staff turnover is the lowest I have seen so far. Our employees must feel good and this is always a priority for me. We are aiming to accelerate in this direction to create a real competitive edge.
Q10 - Which is your favorite restaurant at COMO Group's Dempsey Hill & what dish do you recommend?
· COMO Cuisine for their Tandoori Cauliflower
In light of new developments - including a loyalty program through the COMO Club - set to occur this 2020, Jolivet narrows down the point of difference that elevates and keeps the brand in its pristine level - a focus on creating unique, luxury experiences for its guests. With the understanding that experience-driven and authentic stays are key differentiators in the hospitality market, COMO Group builds concepts around the location and the story it tells.
By aggregating lifestyle experiences across a proliferation of touchpoints, COMO delivers heightened exclusivity and quality. Inspired by the destination, the brand combines its intuitive and personalised approach to hospitality with their other services -- fashion, elegant cuisine, award-winning wellness retreats.
Helming the COMO Group, Jolivet considers high resilience and an innovative mindset key to nurturing the competitive advantage that is necessary to keep the brand growing as a lifestyle aggregator while adding more business activities to it. Recently Olivier Jolivet of Como Group was also featured on Entrepreneur.com where he goes into detail on how to satisfy client needs.