With a focus in Management Consulting in the Hospitality industry, Mario has been able to successfully establish strategic partners as a result of years of experience in a niche range of local and international travel experiences. Developing his business around key factors of personalization and exclusivity, this is the success story of a thriving operation founded by an up-to-date professional.

 

Going back to the beginning, walk us through how your corporate journey began

I have been educated both here in Sri Lanka and in the UK, initially I worked for a short period outside of Sri Lanka before I chose to move back and start a career at home. Throughout my career I have worked in a multitude of local and international brands, specializing in fields spanning from aviation, apparel, hospitality and investments. Having worked hard for the right mentors, I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time during the start of my career.

 

What was the driving force behind starting your own business?

I’ve always had the knack for business along with transforming products and services to make them successful. Having said that, it is not easy to leave your desk job and start a new venture. One needs to go through certain learnings across industries before this. For example, if you’re getting into hospitality, you should learn the back-ends of investments and master all the tedious aspects of the operation prior to streamlining what you want to do. It is very rare that you end up being in the trade that you studied for, it’s all about what you learn following that and I believe that experiential learning is key.

 

Tell us about some of the projects that Genesis Global Consulting is involved in

Our current clients vary from three-star to seven-star luxury properties along with small luxury boutique hotels and villas. The properties I work with in Sri Lanka fall into the latter category. My initial client was a three-star hotel which is still a part of my clientele. I have clients in Koh Rohng island, Cambodia for which I overlook the overall sales and marketing consulting aspect. Additionally, I have a few more clients in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh in Cambodia for which we consult in finance, technology, distribution and revenue management. One of my most recent clients are among the leading luxury wellness brands in the world, having a star category termed as seven star. I have also ventured into the Vietnamese market, securing clients in Ho Chi Minh City, Con Dao, Phu Yen and a few other sought-after tourist destinations.

 

What do you offer clients that the competition cannot match?

My team and I have experience in various traits in the hospitality and travel industry paired with an understanding of multiple cultures and global markets. Additionally, I focus on exclusivity. Taking on less clients results in a better level of personal service for my clients as all of them receive a customized plan based on their requirements and dedicated account managers responsible for delivering on KPI’s, targets, timelines and mutually agreed objectives.

 

Because this is such a dynamic industry, what would you say is the key to staying relevant?

I’d have to say that it is technology as it is a huge part of business right now. A very basic example I can give you in terms of tech implementation is that a recent client of mine had an occupancy of over 90 percent. Regardless, they still wanted a consultant onboard. They were looking at increasing their online share of business and their profitability. The sooner any player moves towards technology, the better their prospects are.

 

You are also the director of KK Collection; can you elaborate on this hotel chain?

The KK Collection was an initial client of mine and the owner has now become my business partner. The main property is the award-winning Kahanda Kanda which is a 12 individual private suite luxury boutique resort located inland from the popular private beaches of Habaraduwa. Two years ago, we added KK Beach in Habaraduwa, located right on the beach with amazing surf and white sandy beaches. The KK experience is one that is different to a conventional high room inventory operation. Personalized service is key here.

 

How do you view the concept of leadership?

For me, a leader is a good influencer, prioritizing the method in which you put a message across. It is about knowing your job when you need to know it. A leader should be ready to tell their subordinates that one day, they should take over the leader’s own position and be able to perform the task just as well or even better. If you can train someone to do your job as you move on to better prospects, that is when you know you are a good leader.

 

For those who have always aspired to start something of their own, what words of advice do you have for them?

As opportunities come your way, make sure to make use of only the right opportunities that will fit well into your mapped out future plans. You should also be prepared to single handedly manage an entire operation. The process will take somewhat of a toll on you as you will have to step out of your comfort zone. However, make sure to have an open mind so that you can learn throughout the process.

Editorial

The premier source for insight, advice and guides from Sri Lanka’s most influential entrepreneurs.

Clayton Durant

Editorial

The premier source for insight, advice and guides from Sri Lanka’s most influential entrepreneurs.

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