Breaking Travel News interview: Oliver Jolivet, chief executive, Como Group
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, he 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 with Como Group, Jolivet pushes the status quo with exclusivity and novelty in experiences.
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.
Here Breaking Travel News finds out more.
Breaking Travel News: What makes a hotel stay with Como unique?
Oliver Jolivet: Everything is tailor made for you and only you.
The difference between a good hotel and an excellent hotel is the service.
In the end, it is all about our people.
BTN: Why do you believe people are willing to pay a premium for an exclusive experience?
OJ: 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.
BTN: How do you retain premium clientele - how do you entice them to continue staying within Como Group’s set of properties?
OJ: Recognition, recognition and recognition. It means your attention to details must be the best.
BTN: Anything exciting coming to the Como Group in 2020?
OJ: New destinations and new experiences like the Film Photography retreat in Bhutan in partnership with award-winning photographer Michael Turek and Natural World Safaris.
There is also 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.
BTN: How do you maintain a point of difference when compared to other boutique hotels?
OJ: 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.
BTN: When identifying new locations for Como Group’s hotels or other assets, what do you look for?
OJ: 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.
BTN: How do you maintain such a consistent, high quality experience across all Como Group’s owned properties?
OJ: 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.
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.
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.
Find out more on the official website.