Interview: How DFD has adapted its business approach in a post-COVID world

As COVID-19 continues to change the way we do business in travel retail, the reality is that it has changed the way we conduct business going forward.  Duty Free Magazine contacted us to find out how we handled the COVID-19 challenges.

DFD’s Business Development Manager, Arnaud Ryser, being interviewed by Jas Ryat.

 

1. Please share with readers how COVID-19 has affected your business? How has it changed the way you do business?

Although the pandemic caught us completely off-guard, we never had to go into a full lockdown. We quickly adapted to a work-at-home mode by means of various methods of communication, like VoIP, cloud servers and video conference systems.

After a couple of months of hardly any activity, some of our partner operators started to gradually resume operations, primarily in Caribbean mainland stores and South America border shops, so we were able to partially continue our business without being so critically affected.

To your 2nd question, even before this crisis, we had anticipated a growing consumers’ tendency for online shopping, so one of the changes in the way we are now doing business, is responding to this trend by supporting our retail operators with our “know-how” in all aspects of e-commerce.

 

2. What have you implemented or changed in your business offering to navigate your way through the pandemic? How have you met with duty free partners?

Due to the pandemic, but also as part of our vision to the future, DFD has re-defined its business strategy by focusing on a 100% digitally-based business model by year 2025.  In view of this, DFD’s team is becoming a task force of sorts, now also charged with assisting our client operators in the implementation of this digital transformation.

 

3. Does having a smaller/medium sized business prove more advantages at times like this? (Easier to change direction, pivot to new opportunity)

As they say, crisis sometimes generates positive changes, but these are very difficult times for most businesses, big or small.

We have the advantage of being a young, flexible and dynamic group of professionals, uniquely capable of adapting to unforeseen changes quickly, effectively and backed by solid resources  The team stands by our company’s name: we are “dynamic” and we do innovate, creating new opportunities.

 

4. What has been your take-away/lesson going forward?

What comes to mind as a take-away, is that we must continue to be alert and anticipate any possible scenario that today’s challenges might bring about, affecting our business one way or another.  So far, our expertise in analyzing trends and visualizing opportunities have been key to our growth and success.

 

For more information, please contact Arnaud Ryser.

 

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