The mood at Sterling Holiday Resorts is upbeat as it has recently reported first quarterly profit after a long 16 years. The company is now busy chalking out strategies for the next level of growth. Accordingly, it is introducing a slew of value added services in its resorts. The company will also be kickstarting its proposed greenfield projects at the start of calender year 2014. Sterling Holiday Resorts MD Ramesh Ramanathan spoke to Sajan C Kumar on his achievements since taking over some two years ago, and the way forward. Edited excerpts:
You have been able to report profits after 16 years in Q1. What was amiss all these years, what were the strategies that have paid off and how satisfied are you with the results ?
The company has potential to do even better. When I say the company has the capability to do even better, it means the combination of the market potential and the capabilities within the company. According to me, what we are seeing today is just green shoots. We have corrected a whole lot of things. The existing customers were not coming to us and we were faced with a funny situation. Roughly during the seven quarters, since I joined in July 2011, we have been taking stock and rectifying many things. Now, we are a function-driven company, divided into many verticals such as sales, marketing, resort operations and projects.
Can you tell us what ‘things’ made the company really turnaround in the June quarter?
We have done a lot, in fact a combination of things. The time share companies has multiple sources of revenues. The most major one being enrollment of new members. The second: All the members give the company revenues in two to three ways. Out of it, the annual maintenance fee and the money they spent on eating and other activities constitute a major chunk. The third large revenue stream is from the interest we earn from the EMIs of funds we give the new members while enrolling them. When we sell to new members on EMIs, it is from our own book we do that instead of going to anybody else. The fourth revenue stream is from selling vacations to non-members. In the June quarter, all these things kicked in. We were also able to control our costs on sales, marketing and employees. The company