VIEWS AND INTERVIEWS
Q&A: Talking to Ravikumar Damodaran, who handles
franchise development at Snap Fitness
Ravi is one of those passionate professionals who is dedicated, committed and energetic. His strength area is Business Development & General Management - driving results through intense focus, clear-cut goals and teamwork.
His previous assignments were with Telematics and Strata Retail and Technology Services, where he was responsible for expanding the business footprint through franchise development. This primarily involved seeking new revenue opportunities, overseeing related business functions and managing business alliances. He has also assisted senior management in legal compliance procedures for the Travel & Hospitality division of Strata Holidays.
We now talk to Ravikumar about timeshare. He’s extremely familiar with this vertical, based on his work experience with RCI and the All India Resort Development Association, where he served as the Executive Officer for eight years.
Q: Ravi, what’s your first-hand view of the timeshare experience in India?
A: That, from a concept which started in the early 90's, timeshare is very much a reality in today's India! And the fact that the world largest exchange company in the world, RCI is 25 years old in India says something about it!!!
Q: How do the resorts of today compare with those of the early days?
A: The resorts of today are getting increasingly modern in keeping with the requirements of the family. They are also catering to the small, compact family as well as the joint family type in terms of accommodation and choice. The beauty about them is that they are present in the best of the locations in India - be it beaches, historical places, wildlife parks, snow capped mountains, etc.
Q: Do you think the holiday habit is catching up with the younger generation?
A: Definitely. Given the fast pace of life and the fact that both husband and wife are working these days, mostly under pressure, there is a need felt to take off for short breaks every now and then. Timesharing is a great solution to this need, what with the convenience associated with the product.
Q: How have the resorts scaled out to meet the needs of the entire family?
A: Timeshare resorts are essentially family destinations and cater to the broad needs of the family. Almost every conceivable amenity in terms of the requirements of the parents and the children is taken care of and provided, to make the experience as holistic and enjoyable as possible.
Q: How has AIRDA helped in the regulatory process of timeshare in India?
A: AIRDA is an industry body that propagates self regulation amongst its members. All members of the Association are bound by its Code of Ethics and follow the direction set. Every item in the Code is intended to ensure that the member follows the best practices of the industry and in the best interest of the consumer. To this extent, AIRDA has been successful with ensuring that members follow a cooling off period, full disclosure of the terms and conditions with the consumer, and s/he is entitled to every right that is assured to him at the time of joining.
Q: What do you see as the future for timeshare in India?
A: I am positive about the future for this industry for the simple reason that India is unique as a country. We have the youngest population in the world, which is now entering the work force in a big way - and demanding in every sense of the way, given the kind of pay packets they are earning. The middle class is also burgeoning in India and has a huge disposable income at its behest. The older generation is also motivated by the changes that are happening in terms of experiences. All the factors bode well for the industry.
Q: Could you share brief snippets of your holiday experiences in any of the resorts?
A: Thanks to my being in AIRDA for 8 years, many of our member developers opened their hearts and resorts to me in both an official and personal capacity. I have plenty of memorable experiences in AIRDA affiliated resorts but the ones that stand out are certainly the one that I spent in Orange County with my family and my visit to Club Mahindra Binsar - with this fantastic view of mountains and clean, crisp air. Of course, the one thing common to all the resort visits were the expansive hospitality in terms of food!!!!