In Perspective: Geraldine Lee On the Asia-Pacific Market and Applying a ‘Be Local, Think Global’ Approach

By October 12th, 2016

The annual APEX EXPO continues to be an important platform for us to meet with our global airline clients and partners. With this year’s edition landing in Singapore October 24-27, 2016, we’re thrilled at the opportunity to not only showcase our latest content concepts and services but also represent our local expertise of a region that has quickly become the air travel hub of the Asia-Pacific.

Ahead of the event, we sat down with our own Geraldine Lee, Managing Director, Asia Pacific (and Singapore expert!) for our latest Spafax Perspectives. Geraldine discusses the opportunities the country has to offer, our local Singapore team and the key to success in the region. 

Can you speak to the business opportunities Singapore has to offer? What are some of the challenges?

The Singapore government continues to invest, promote and support the aerospace and aviation sector – and with 135 million passengers expected to travel through Changi Airport by 2020, it’s no surprise that aviation continues to be one of the country’s leading industries. With Singapore’s solid infrastructure, strong corporate governance and best practices in place, the sky is truly the limit.

That said, the region has recently gone through an economic downturn. Growth has slowed – some markets more than others – and, as a result, all of us have had to work smarter and quicker to seize business opportunities.

Tell us more about the team at Spafax Singapore. What projects keep them busy?

We are especially proud of our thirty-year partnership with Singapore Airlines (SQ). APEX EXPO attendees who stop by our booth (427) can discover the work we produce for Singapore Airlines’ in-flight entertainment brand, KrisWorld. In addition to our work on KrisWorld, we also collaborate closely with SQ to generate revenue from other key assets such as their website and lounges. As part of that effort, we are proud to have connected SQ with other leading brands such as American Express, Audemars Piguet and LG.

What kind of business approach can Content Service Providers adopt if they’re looking to break into the Asia-Pacific market?

One of Spafax’s cornerstones of success is ‘Being Local and Thinking Global’ – we practice this each and every day. The combination of local know-how and  global thinking is a powerful one and nothing is as valuable as local knowledge, insights and the understanding of cultural nuances and sensitivities.

“One of Spafax’s cornerstones of success is ‘Being Local and Thinking Global’ – we practice this each and every day.”

Contrary to popular belief, we are not “same-same” in Asia, or South-East Asia, for that matter. The demand for good quality local and regional content remains high and this is where sound knowledge of and respect for the region, its people and culture is critical.

Your best Singapore advice for APEX EXPO attendees.

Hot, hotter and humid

As many of our colleagues will be flying in from climates with falling temperatures, be prepared for the heat and humidity! Dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes. Most offices, malls and the APEX Expo hall will have the air-conditioning switched on to the max to offset the outside heat and humidity so carry an extra sweater or wrap, whichever you fancy!

Don’t forget…

If you have the opportunity to venture outside of the Expo hall and Marina Bay Sands, bring along:

  1. Sunglasses for the sun
  2. A small umbrella for the infamous 4:00 p.m. thunderstorms
  3. A mobile phone to ring our friendly Spafax Singapore team if you get lost, would like some local suggestions or just want to chat!
Explore Singapore!

Walk around and/or use public transportation – which is easily accessible, very affordable and the best way to get around! Discover our architecture, food (Singaporeans are true foodies!), multi-cultural heritage and our green spaces as there are so many to discover in a very small country. And finally, don’t be shy to strike up a conversation with Singaporeans – we love a good chat!