Working from the inside
With 90% of its team based in Asia, it is more than fair to say that FORMIA has a large and in-depth footprint within the region. Formerly a Scandinavian company and originally designed and commercialized through retail channels, FORMIA later moved into travel retail and in-flight amenities. In 2001 when the new owners stepped in, all activities and operations were moved to Asia.
At the present time, FORMIA works with the following Asian carriers: Korean Air, Thai Airways, Eva Air, Singapore Airlines and Air India, amongst others. "Asian hospitality tradition translates into service-minded carriers, focusing on high levels of comfort and brand differentiation," explains Roland Grohmann, Managing Director of FORMIA. "Therefore this region is of particularly high relevance to our business. We work together with Asian carriers to help them translate their hospitality values into meaningful comfort services onboard." Last year, FORMIA opened its Bangkok office, which houses the company's marketing, design, sales and customer service departments.
The new premises also have a specially designed showroom which includes FORMIA's new 'market space': a display of the world's key airline amenities and cosmetics. When it comes to pleasing passengers in different demographics around the globe, Grohmann said that usually, fine details can make all the difference - especially when it comes to Asian hospitality. For example, FORMIA recently created an Economy Class kit for Korean Air, offering slippers for the first time in economy class. Slippers are an icon of Asian comfort and an item of high regard, especially for regional passengers. China is opening up more and more to international markets, products and brands. Furthermore, the impact of Chinese spending in other markets now makes the Chinese consumer the top spender in luxury, worldwide, Grohmann explains.
Going forward, countries such as Vietnam and Indonesia are amongst the areas with the highest potential growth within Asia. "We are already supplying to airlines in this region, and we will put even more focus moving forward," he said. "The Asia Pacific market is also removing taxes and duties in the trade, so doing business in the region is getting more efficient."