Phocuswright Europe 2020 preview: Out of Office with… Kei Shibata
Sep 2, 2020
By PhocusWire | September 2, 2020
Kei Shibata, co-founder & CEO, Venture Republic
KeiShibata co-founded Venture Republic in 2001. The company runs a group of onlinetravel businesses including LINE TRAVEL jp and Trip101. In a series of interviews with executives participating in the online event in September, PhocusWire finds out what they have learned from the COVID-19 crisis. Knowingwhat you know now, if you could go back to the start of the crisis, what wouldyou do differently? Giventhat one of our brands, Trip101 , hasbeen showing impressive growth in the vacation rental space during thepandemic, I would have had us invest more into that space. Company
Whathave you learned from this time about the way you’ll manage and communicatewith your team moving forward? Honestand frequent communication, with transparency, is the most reliable managementskill in times of crisis. We’ve been trying to share with our team everything -things such as our cash reserves in the bank, monthly burn rates, updatedfinancial projections, even how the management team is really feeling abouteverything. Everyone is feeling souncertain, so it's incredibly important to be upfront and honest. People feel more confident when they have aclear picture of what is happening around them. Whatdo you miss the most about travel? Mylife with dual international bases (Singapore and Tokyo), which allowed me toenjoy great food in both countries. Fromthe best Southeast Asian spicy satays and laksa to superb sushi and amazing Wagyu beef. Splitting my time betweenthe two bases let me enjoy all of those delicious meals withinthe span of just one month. Whathave been the surprise benefits to not traveling? Gainingback my physical fitness. I have just passed the 100-mile monthly mark ofrunning. It's my longest monthly runningdistance in the last few decades. The lasttime I was able to run this much was when I was in cross-country skicompetition training back at college. It'sactually an even longer distance than my miles logged when I was preparingfor the Tokyo Marathon in the early 2000s! Whatlasting changes will there be to you personally from this time? Iam pretty sure that the concept of “workation” will play a bigger role in mylife going forward. And I think I'vedeveloped a much larger appreciation for a more nature-driven, slower livinglifestyle. What’sbeen your one guilty pleasure during lockdown? Exploringpremium craft gins at the local liquor store in Tokyo. So far, a yuzu citrusflavored gin, “Yuzu Gin,” is the winner! WIT Europe: Consumers, they are a-changing
A 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?