Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Hong Kong placement position for student Iris Pilement

Iris Pilement is studying BSc Management with International Business (Year in Business) at Royal Holloway. For her third year she secured 2 placement positions. Iris spent 6 months working in Paris with Publicis as a Marketing and Promotion placement student. She is currently working in Hong Kong on the second of her placement positions as a Sales and Marketing intern with start up company Vines and Terroirs.

In this blog article Iris writes about her time with Vines and Terroirs.

After a few months already spent in Asia I still feeling thrilled to live in such a cosmopolitan city as Hong-Kong where so many opportunities of business growth are showing here. The culture here in Hong Kong has left my mind swept with ideas especially as the culture of wines and spirits has developed so much over the last five years. Along with the high pace of modernisation, the knowledge in regards to wines and spirits has moved a long way partly due to the availability of online articles informing past and current trademarks, appellations, grape varieties. It is fascinating to see how quickly they learn and adopt these information available to them. 

My main focus as a Junior Business Manager in Hong Kong for Vines and Terroirs is to work so as to expand and support the growth of the business. The philosophy that my managers and myself have implemented is ‘try before you buy’ enforcing a trusting nature in a luxury sector that is run on flavors, sensation and discovery. Baring this in mind and focusing on our target audience we organize wine tasting events in the form of dinners, parties and exhibitions. A recent example out here was the ‘French Gourmay’, exhibiting our French winemakers and wines to the local audience and public, introducing brand names and providing a good opportunity to make valuable connections. 

The wine sector is a forever growing global industry especially out here in Hong Kong. With a proud history and heritage, the city boasts a title for being the Centre of International trade encouraging business in all sectors. Many would consider the wine industry to be thriving due to the removal of duty-related customs in 2008 and the strong business ties with the Chinese mainland market. However the Hong Kong wine market keeps different attributes and its specificities due to British governance and rule here throughout the 18th and 19thcentury.

While Hong Kong has a well-established professional system with few regulatory constraints on importing goods, its market shares in China and Thailand have considerable room to grow. These countries are still very difficult to access despite more focused government efforts. With these larger markets at the back of our mind, we spend some of our time in preparing ourselves for these strategic future opportunities. As already mentioned, my main expansion focus lies here in Hong Kong, however I believe once we have mastered the market here expansion will follow suite.  

My company and my clients have now been on the Hong-Kong market for a length of 6 years, being faced with many challenges along the way. This gives us the experience and expertise into key success factors enabling a small business to perform in the Asian market.

As part of the current trend, it is to be noticed that some high end specialty stores, aiming to increase their share of “grand crus”, are focusing on higher margins rather than higher volumes. The company I work for solely focuses on core products for which the quality and the taste are offered for good value. For instance, this could be a niche wine from areas such as the Rhone Valley with a price range between 60 and 600 HKD (approximately between £10 and £ 60).

In Hong Kong the current demand is still running mostly towards red wines (80% share of the market). Despite numerous attempts to introduce rosé wine, consumption has only seen its early days here in Asia. Using England as an example, “Rosé season” only lasts a few months throughout the very short summer time period. On the contrary, the Rosé wines can be enjoyed throughout the whole year 
in Hong Kong. This gives strong emphasis to suggest why the development of rosé wine is currently our major focus. As an example, we launched two weeks ago the first “Rosé Corner” in a trendy bar named  “Azure Slash Bar” , located in one of the most popular districts in Hong-Kong. The “Rosé Corner” gathers one of the largest selections of rosé that a can be found on the Asian Market. Indeed, as of today Vines & Terroirs is the largest importer of rosé wine in Asia.
To expand our business, a strong distribution network is required, but innovation is key. Vines and Terroirs has recently launched the production of Luminous Magnums. This is the first time such an innovation has taken place on the global market for rosé wines. Vines and Terroirs is the first company to offer a bottle equipped with a micro-fiber label that lights up like a bulb designed for the Asian market. The Midnight Rose marketing strategy is moving closer to the one followed by Champagne Houses and this is beginning to have a strong positive impact on the business generated.

Innovation, variety along with a strong presence in Hong-Kong (through corners, exhibitions, tastings or social media networks) has allowed Vines and Terroirs to work with the following major luxury hotels and restaurants: Robuchon, Peninsula, Ritz-Carlton, Mandarin Oriental, Shangri-La, The W, Intercontinental. Their wines are also distributed in smaller family restaurants.
My day-to-day work: 
● Sales Assistant Manager
● Manage promotional strategy and provide marketing support to drive sales and growth in both B2B and B2C levels
● Events Assistant Manager
● Increase brand awareness (social media presence, website development, digital & print media, event  sponsoring 
● Monitor market trends and research competitors’ activities to identify opportunities and key issues
● Brand design: conceptualization and design of the wine catalogue, promotional offers, flyers etc.
● Preparation of invoices and guest/Company billing
● Room inventory management, room allocation and rate yielding

We are pleased that we have been able to use skype to connect with Iris during her overseas placements and find out more about her daily activities.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.