The hotel industry is one of the key supply chain industries in tourism sector. However, the pandemic measures are cutting off the lifeblood of tourism and hospitality industries. For Suphajee Suthumpun, Group CEO of Dusit Thani Group, it is a never-expected event. Nonetheless, there is an opportunity in every crisis. The Dusit Thani Group still sees the chance to survive in the short run and the growth of its business and Thai society in the long run.

“Vaccines are unavailable yet. People dare not travel and businesses related to tourism and services will be significantly affected. Therefore, we must greatly adapt. Firstly, we must look at our business model in terms of flexibility, balance and risk distribution; whether it’s sufficient to keep our income from falling to zero. The second point is money. When income disappears, we must look at the costs and how to manage them: what we can still do such as repositioning hotel employees to work on food delivery. Next is the cash flow management; how much is left to run our business for how long. The difficult thing about this crisis is we don’t know when it will end. So we need additional measures to develop sustainable management methods out of the uncertainty. The final thing we must simultaneously focus on is our organisational structure. Are our employees’ skills ready to change and adapt? Do their skills serve future needs? Those must be continuously implemented because our Dusit principle is we will take care of our people like family members. We therefore don’t have any layoff policy during crisis. However, our employees must adapt to the direction the hotel is going. 

Every business has its own “new normal”: the new standards and goals that must be achieved. Here, we put the emphasis on Operational Focus. We have prepared a new Service Operation Manual on how things must now be done. We have practices, employee trainings and role-plays. So our current KPIs are based on Operation Excellence which every employee must be able to do. Next is Customer Satisfaction where we present 3 characters: convenience, impressive services that match our customers’ needs, and value for money which is “Dusit New Normal”. We offer flexibility and a cleanliness standard to make our customers feel safe under Dusit environment. That comprises technologies that minimize touch such as e-menu and e-payment. We also build the database that enables us to deliver the most satisfying customer experiences. 

I believe that for every business to go forward, everyone must unite to fight against the crisis. For small enterprises like Dusit, this is our chance to do it. Every employee does their best together because whoever we are, we must join hands without putting our own benefits at the center. And every crisis will present an opportunity.”


Interview : Kawin Theppatipat | Edit : Patcharin Pattanaboonpaiboon | Image : Surachet Soparattanadilok