Industry Update
Press Release12 March 2020

10 Questions with COMO Group’s CEO Olivier Jolivet

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COMO Hotels and Resorts

Oliver Jolivet has dedicated over two decades of his career to the business of luxury. Attributing his uncompromising stance on brand building to his French heritage and background, Jolivet believes that time and authenticity play big roles in delivering a well-positioned luxury experience in the hospitality market.

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Stepping into his role as the Chief Executive Officer of COMO Group, Jolivet pushes the status quo with exclusivity and novelty in experiences. Under his wing, COMO Group - which owns COMO Hotels and Resorts - recently welcomed the brand's first property in Italy. The COMO Castello Del Nero, a 12-century castle with medieval frescoes spanning 740-acres set in Tuscany. COMO Group features hotels, from the Maldives to Miami, with each stay driving values of sustainability, wellness and understated luxury. Extending beyond hospitality, COMO's brand equity has grown to become a lifestyle aggregator of sorts – with COMO Lifestyle, Cuisine, Fashion and the Shambhala wellness business. Underpinning these complementary lifestyle concepts is the vision to grant loyal members with privileges and rewards across the brand with membership cards.

At the heart of it all, Jolivet carries the brand further through empathetic and genuine relationship building with the people who matter the most - the guests.

Q1 - What makes a hotel stay with COMO unique? · Everything is tailor made for you and only you. The difference between a good hotel and an excellent hotel is the service. In the end, it is all about our people.

Q2 - Why do you believe people are willing to pay a premium for an exclusive experience? · People pay a premium for something they will remember, for something they enjoy. There is a big difference between a commodity business and selling a luxury experience and it is not always scalable.

Q3 - How do you retain premium clientele – how do you entice them to continue staying within COMO Group's set of properties? · Recognition, recognition and recognition. It means your attention to details must be the best.

Q4 - Anything exciting coming to the COMO Group in 2020? · New destinations and new experiences like the Film Photography retreat in Bhutan in partnership with award-winning photographer Michael Turek and Natural World Safaris, the launch of COMO Club our brand new recognition programme, combining all COMO businesses (Hospitality, Wellness, Fashion, Lifestyle, Sport), and a new product line for COMO Shambhala, our award-winning wellness concept.

Q5 - How do you maintain a point of difference when compared to other boutique hotels (locally/regionally/internationally)? · COMO and its businesses are unique in the luxury landscape. Since its inception, shareholders stayed the same, which provides stability to the organisation and the opportunity to think long term. It is a massive competitive advantage especially when recruiting the right talents.

Q6 - What personal attributes do you prioritize when picking key leadership roles within COMO Group's hotels? · Resilience, innovation skills and intensity

Q7 - How do you source top talent for all of COMO Group's individual business units? · We are lucky to have an important pull factor and 80% of our recruitment is coming from CVs directly received from candidates.

Q8 - When identifying new locations for COMO Group's hotels or other assets, what do you look for? · The soul first. Although it's difficult to say. For a hotel the location is important, you can always build around the content. For an e-business it will be its disruption factor as well as its short-term potential. For a sports business, it will be its ability to attract new talent.

Q9 - How do you maintain such a consistent, high quality experience across all COMO Group's owned properties (hotels, restaurants & retail)? · A clear talent retention programme as well as consistent training at all levels. The staff turnover is the lowest I have seen so far. Our employees must feel good and this is always a priority for me. We are aiming to accelerate in this direction to create a real competitive edge.

Q10 - Which is your favorite restaurant at COMO Group's Dempsey Hill & what dish do you recommend? · COMO Cuisine for their Tandoori Cauliflower

In light of new developments - including a loyalty program through the COMO Club - set to occur this 2020, Jolivet narrows down the point of difference that elevates and keeps the brand in its pristine level - a focus on creating unique, luxury experiences for its guests. With the understanding that experience-driven and authentic stays are key differentiators in the hospitality market, COMO Group builds concepts around the location and the story it tells.

By aggregating lifestyle experiences across a proliferation of touchpoints, COMO delivers heightened exclusivity and quality. Inspired by the destination, the brand combines its intuitive and personalised approach to hospitality with their other services – fashion, elegant cuisine, award-winning wellness retreats.

Helming the COMO Group, Jolivet considers high resilience and an innovative mindset key to nurturing the competitive advantage that is necessary to keep the brand growing as a lifestyle aggregator while adding more business activities to it. Recently Olivier Jolivet of Como Group was also featured on Entrepreneur.com where he goes into detail on how to satisfy client needs.

About the COMO Group and COMO Hotels and Resorts

Headquartered in Singapore, The COMO Group represents Christina Ong's unique vision of contemporary living. This encompasses the hospitality collection known as COMO Hotels and Resorts, the international luxury fashion retailer Club 21, the award-winning wellness concept COMO Shambhala and the philanthropic COMO Foundation.

COMO Hotels and Resorts offers personalised luxury travel experiences in its four categories, COMO in the Soul, COMO in the City, COMO on the Beach and COMO in the Wilds through individualized service, commitment to holistic wellness and award-winning cuisine. Each property is hand-picked and individually curated, including COMO The Halkin in London, COMO The Treasury in Perth, Australia and three COMO Metropolitan properties in London, Bangkok and Miami Beach. COMO on the Beach encompasses COMO Parrot Cay in the Turks and Caicos, COMO Cocoa Island, and COMO Maalifushi in the Maldives, COMO Point Yamu in Phuket, Thailand, and three COMO Uma experience resorts in Bali and Bhutan.

COMO also manages, in partnership with COMO's sister brand in wellness, COMO Shambhala Estate in Bali. This flagship wellness retreat offers an integrated and immersive restorative experience that enables real and lasting improvements one's health. COMO Shambhala products, services, cuisine, treatments and spa facilities are also available within each COMO property.

Follow our exciting adventures on the COMO Hotels and Resorts Facebook page, chat with us on Twitter @comohotels, or get a glimpse of our beautiful destinations on Instagram.

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