How to stay ahead of customers
Innovation in the airline industry offers lessons for other sectors, says Tassapon Bijleveld, CEO of AirAsia Thailand, highlighting the importance of technology and branding. “We’ve been heavily involved in connecting to Silicon Valley to help people travel faster,” Bijleveld says.
On what AirAsia — and his role — might look like in 18 months, Bijleveld says he can see himself “running a digital company where the product is transport.”
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Branding is key
By paying attention to branding, AirAsia stays focused on managing people’s expectations.
“We run AirAsia as a consumer product company, and marketing is a huge focus,” he says. “We look at customers first — we make sure AirAsia is a global brand. Branding is everything to us.”
Businesses seek capital alternatives to new growth
The universe of capital alternatives is rapidly expanding beyond the IPO as businesses seek to fund their growth strategy. For example, third-generation family business Rejlers AB opted for a DPO — direct public offering — in 2003, selling stock straight to the public to avoid many of the underwriting costs associated with an IPO.
“It has been an incredible journey since then,” says Lisa Rejler, Communications Director, Investor Relations and CSR Director for the company. As one of the largest engineering consultancy firms in the Nordic region, Rejlers has been able to create new growth, win larger projects and become a more visible brand.
Rejler says that the past 15 years of public operations have been noteworthy for the loyal, long-term shareholders who believe in the company’s journey. And going public has been a powerful marketing tool: media outlets have been impressed by the firm’s growth and often reinforce its messaging.
Preparing for an IPO has always been lauded for the benefits it brings overall, from complying with regulations to transparent reporting and good governance. But if the rigors of going public seem too burdensome, alternatives exist — though they still require discipline. Patient capital is one that is gaining in popularity, says Paulo Eapen, Senior Managing Director for GSO Capital Partners.