In part 2 of this video interview, Dufry CEO, Xavier Rossinyol talks candidly to TRBusiness on the progress of Dufry’s acquisition of Autogrill, its ESG commitments and ambitions, as well as the company’s desire to capitalise on opportunities within the Asia Pacific region, despite the fact that international operators are still not permitted to directly operate duty free stores in Mainland China.
On the topic of Dufry’s ESG commitments and targets, Rossinyol talks up the importance of supporting local communities in tandem with introducing global environmental initiatives and that the two should be intrinsically linked to improve the efficacy of both strategies.
He also highlighted that meeting diversity & inclusion targets is ‘a must’. “We don’t have to do it because someone tells us to or because it is fashionable…we believe it is the only way to be business successful. We are a global company, operating in 75 countries. If our workforce and management don’t reflect the full complexity of the world, we will not be successful.”
Moving on to the company’s ambitions in Asia, he confirmed that the company is under-indexing there, which means there is fantastic potential to grow.
“Asia Pacific is currently where we have the lowest market share, which means there is the greatest opportunity.”
Rossinyol also maintained that while international operators are not currently permitted to directly operate duty free stores in Mainland China, that this will not always be the case.
“I am convinced that opening up the market in Mainland China (to allow international operators to directly operate duty free stores) would be of a massive benefit to the Chinese travellers and the Chinese economy, but of course this is not my decision.
“It will happen. I’m not sure when it will happen, but it will. Meanwhile, the Chinese will go back to travelling and I think we have to offer the best travel experience possible anywhere where the Chinese are.”
Rossinyol said that the company will continue to look at markets outside of China that are ‘still relevant to the Chinese customers’. He also pointed out that ‘there are also so many growing opportunities in other parts of the world’. “We cannot be too Eurocentric,” he adds.