Phocuswright Europe 2020 preview: Out of Office with… Sarah Wan

Sarah Wan, Klook

Sarah Wan became SEA marketing director for Klook earlier this year and has responsibility for destinations including Indonesia and Malaysia. She was held marketing roles within the company for just over three years.

In a series of interviews with executives participating in the online event in September, PhocusWire finds out what they have learned from COVID-19 crisis.

With the benefit of hindsight if you could go back to the start of the crisis, what would you do differently?

It’s difficult to say if we could have really done things differently with the information we had at that time – but if we could turn back time, we would have prepared for a much longer-drawn crisis instead of what we thought would be a V-shaped recovery.

It would have allowed us to think of more long-term implementations to address customer and merchant concerns. 

What have you learned from this time about the way you’ll manage and communicate with your team(s) moving forward?

Plans are ever-changing and it’s been difficult to always identify a concrete way forward.

As a team, we’ve learned to keep the long-term goal in sight, but be more flexible about how we get there.

For now, it’s about being agile and chalking up quick yet impactful wins to build our path to recovery. 

What do you miss most about travel?

Being able to not only physically but mentally place yourself in a completely different environment: which allows you to switch off, learn about new cultures and gain fresh perspectives. 

What have been the surprise benefits to not traveling?

The ability to spend more time with family and reconnect with friends in Singapore. Also exploring nooks and crannies of our small sunny island that I’ve personally never known. 

What lasting changes will there be to you personally from this time?

Aside from learning basic cooking survival skills and developing a green thumb – being able to see the opportunities that come even with the most challenging circumstances. 

What has been your one guilty pleasure during lockdown?

Online Pictionary championships and Netflix parties with the team.

WiT Europe: Consumers, They Are A-Changing

There’s no doubt that consumer behavior has seen major shifts in the time of coronavirus. Being confined to home brings out changes – when people are forced to do something, they do it – and years of thinking of doing it were compressed into months of actually doing it. In this session, we put the spotlight on what changes in consumer behavior Covid-19 has brought to a region that was already dynamic and changing. Which behaviors will stick and which will not? Will super apps rise up even more powerful or will travel platforms be able to adapt quickly to thrive better?

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