“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.”
- Martin Buber
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VIEWS AND INTERVIEWS
Talking to Varun Reddy of Country Vacations
Varun Reddy is the Chief Operating Officer of Country Club and a key driving force behind the organization. Having graduated in Economics & Communications from Rutgers University, Varunís portfolio is wide and includes Marketing, Operations & IT divisions.
Varun Reddy is an adventurer at heart and has a passion for flying. He has travelled widely including backpacking across Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South America. He is also a qualified Private Pilot from Princeton Flying School.
In this Q&A session, we talk to Varun Reddy about Country Vacations - on the companyís current status, growth plans and the road ahead.
Q: Country Vacations is often confused with Country Club India
Limited - how is Country Vacations different?
A: Country Vacations is one of the fastest growing entertainment and leisure conglomerates in India. Country Club India Limited (CCIL) is the parent company with larger interests. Country Vacations is a division under CCIL, promoting a points-based holiday plan, giving its members access to the entire network of resorts coming under the CCIL banner. The network includes CCIL properties, alliance properties and affiliated properties.
CCIL is seen as a pioneer in the concept of family clubbing in the country, having established 186 properties. 28 of these are owned by CCIL and 158 have been franchised to local venture partners. CCIL currently has over 200 affiliations in addition to a global gateway via Country Vacations.
Q: Can you give us a quick overview of your resorts?
A: At level one, our primary affiliations are with CCIL our parent company. CCIL resorts in the affiliation list include Amrutha Castle in Hyderabad, Country Club in Bushbetta- Bandipur, Country Club International in Hyderabad, Country Club Coconut Grove in Tumkur, Country Club De Goa and Country Club Rock Springs in Cochin. At level two, we have our RCI affiliation – this alone widens the network to 3900 resorts all over the world for our members.
Q: What is the key differentiator in your offerings?
A: That’s an interesting question, because we created Country Vacations around the differentiator. It was strategic for us right from the blueprint to offer something more, something different. So while other resorts offer a calendar week every year, we also offer 365 days of clubbing – at any of our resorts in the country. No other timeshare package comes anywhere close to that.
Q: Have you done anything “creative” to promote Country Vacations?
A: Since we have a good platform in terms of holidays-plus-clubbing, we leveraged press, print, outdoor and TV to good advantage. Part of the big draw in our advertising and communications is the intelligent use of celebrities and bollywood personalities - heavy weight brands in themselves, who add value to our PR effort as well.
Q: Can you give us a sneak preview of a holiday with Country Vacations?
A: It will be a heady mix of many things – right from the thoughtful detailing in the rooms & facilities, to room service and the planning of menus at our restaurants. There’s plenty to do and plenty to soak into, to make your stay a lot more than just memorable. Additionally, we have vacation guides at each property to help our members make the most of their stay.
Q: What are the future plans of Country Vacations?
A: From the way we have grown in the country and the lessons learned and acquired in customer service and engagement, we have a hard-working business model that can be replicated – both within the country and other tourism hubs in the world. Current plans include the setting up of offices and properties across Middle East, Europe and Africa.
Q: How do you see the role played by AIRDA in the timeshare industry?
A: When new customers and prospects hear that we are members of AIRDA, it visibly adds a sense of reassurance - a professional backdrop that enhances the credibility that we already enjoy. I also think it is useful to have someone like AIRDA playing the role of conscience keeper, facilitator and industry beacon.