At SATTE 2020, Peshwa Acharya, the CMO of Sterling Holidays, sat down with team Dope to discuss the evolving business strategies of Sterling Holidays and how experiential travel is of the utmost importance for today’s consumers. Mr. Acharya has been in the FMCG business for almost 27 years now and has been a part of Sterling Holidays for the last 5 years.
How Sterling Holidays is rebranding itself
A legacy company that’s been around for 30 years now, Sterling Holidays has been an important part of India’s travel and tourism landscape. Today, the organisation is working towards positioning itself as an experiential holiday company according to Mr. Acharya. “Most resorts have all the basic needs including accommodation and other ‘hygiene’ factors. What sets a resort apart is the additional things it has to offer. This is where Sterling Resorts is unique, we want the world to see us as an experiential resort company that has much to offer its clients,” says Mr. Acharya.
Sterling Holidays is on the path of steady growth. They presently have 40 resorts across the country and hope to increase that number to over 60 in the near future. “We don’t just want to establish our resorts in popular places in India. We want to explore offbeat destinations and offer our consumers unique experiences in brand new places in India,” adds Mr. Acharya.
The millennial ‘mindset’ and its impact on travel
As the travel industry is increasing its focus on millennial consumers who belong to a certain age-bracket, Mr. Acharya believes that the term millennial is more of a mindset than a demographic. “I don’t personally believe in marketing strategies specifically targeted at an age group. Rather, I believe that being millennial is a mindset that looks for experiential, authentic travel. A consumer with a millennial mindset does not believe in trying the same things over and over again, they want to experience the world differently. This is what we must focus on,” he adds.
Sterling Holidays is keeping up with the times by shifting much of their marketing and advertising to the online space as the digital medium has the maximum reach today. “We want to shift our focus from more traditional forms of offline advertising to authentic, credible forms of advertising that will resonate with today’s consumer,” says Mr. Acharya.