VIEWS AND INTERVIEWS
Q&A: Talking to Lloyd Dsouza – Senior System Administrator
at KREC, Kuwait
Lloyd Dsouza is a senior system administrator at KREC – that’s the Kuwaiti Commercial Real Estate Centre. KREC is one of the largest multi-business conglomerates in the region with industry verticals in real estate, hospitality, manufacturing, trading and contracting.
Lloyd’s responsibilities include installing, maintaining and supporting network servers and computer systems. And his daily dashboard – according to him – is end to end. Right from planning and responding to service downtimes and outages, to handling critical issues that pop up without a warning. Lloyd is a Mangalorean from India and has a timeshare membership with Mahindra.
Q: When did you go on your first timeshare holiday?
A: My first time share vacation was long, long ago – more than 10 years, I think. This holiday was gifted to us, so I don’t really know much about this property. Let me see – I think it was in Goa and I do recall having a great time.
Q: What timeshare holiday locations have you been to?
A: I’ve been to Goa and Coorg on the Club Mahindra network. My work routines are so hectic that I can’t really plan my holidays. And this is a big grouse with the family. Coming down to India often means visiting family members at home, so a vacation is not really the first option. (AIRDA comment : Lloyd, from our experience in the industry we see how important holidays are for hard-working professionals like you. You’ve got to work hard AND play hard. You owe it to yourself and your family.)
Q: Which according to you is your most preferred timeshare location?
A: That’s a difficult question to answer at the moment, because I have only been to two locations in the Mahindra network. I will surely answer that for you when I can at least check out five or six of Mahindra’s properties in India. Going by Mahindra standards, if you’ve seen one, you know what to expect in the others - but the real experience is in exploring what’s unique to the location, in terms of history, people, cuisines and tourist spots nearby.
Q: What are the plus points of a timeshare membership?
A: From my point of view, timeshare plus points kick in when you use your vacation slot every year. So here I am, having invested in a timeshare membership and paying my annual charges, without really enjoying the benefits. Just can’t fit a vacation into my annual calendar. But to people who holiday every year, timeshare is a very interesting format that gives you never-ending holidays, year after year after year. (AIRDA comment : Lloyd, you can gift your timeshare week to a colleague, a friend, or someone in the family. Please don’t lose out on the week that comes your way, every year.)
Q: What about the customer service, what’s your view?
A: According to me, resort companies in the league of Mahindra have excellent systems in place when it comes to things like customer service. I think timeshare in India has come of age and is a serious hospitality vertical, where customer service gets listed right on top of key deliverables. I have also heard that top-end timeshare providers in India are members of AIRDA – the All India Resort Development Association. I also checked out the AIRDA website to see many of the big names out there – in the same league as Mahindra.
Q: Do you have any suggestions for timeshare customers?
A: Going by my own experience, please don’t use WORK as an excuse, to deny your family a holiday. I haven’t managed to do this, but do find ways to take a break, plan early and make your bookings. I guess this is easier said than done, but you stand to gain at the end of the day. It’s your hard-earned money that has gone into a timeshare plan. We must really reap and enjoy what we’re entitled to and believe me, there’s a lot to see and explore in India’s world of timeshare.
Q: Do you have suggestions for timeshare resort owners?
A: A friend of mine who has a timeshare membership in Egypt told me that they have “day rates” – which means your day rate typically covers food and stay. I thought that was a pretty good idea. Not sure of the feasibility of something like this, but resort owners can look at best practices overseas and see how to implement something customers will find useful and convenient. Can make your offerings more attractive. (AIRDA comment : Over the years, we have seen that families want to be free to decide on holiday plans and F&B options. Most resorts in the AIRDA network offer attractive meal packages for adults and children – it’s good value for money.)