- How COVID actually helped the business in the long-run
- The excitement and significance of having their first aircraft delivered
- Working together with resort partners to really understand what guests want
- Building Seaplane Asia into a scalable business
- How to use capital efficiently, even in a business that owns hard assets
Some other titles we considered for this episode, but ultimately rejected:
- The Intersection of Aviation and Hospitality
- It’s Only Concrete If You Have the Aircraft
- It Should Be Seamless; It Should Be Premium
- It’s Premium, It’s Innovative, It’s New
- It’s a Memory Maker
Read the best-effort transcript
Read the best-effort transcript below (This technology is still not as good as they say it is…):
Michael Waitze 0:10
We are on…let’s go. Hi, this is Michael Waitze. And welcome back to the Asian Tech Podcast. Today we are joined by Dennis Keller, the Chief Business Officer at Siam Seaplane, Dennis, thank you so much for coming back to the show. Again, this time, we’re gonna do the most important part of the podcast and actually record the sound. How are you doing, by the way?
Dennis Keller 0:34
I’m fine. It’s, it’s great to be here again. Thank you, Michael, very much looking forward to the session.
Michael Waitze 0:41
Yeah, you know, when we recorded this second time with you, I actually said it’s been a while since you’ve been on the episodes. But actually, that’s not true since we did this a few weeks ago. And I mocked up the sound. But anyway, let’s, let’s do this. What I really want to find out right is because I think we had you won about a year and a half ago. And I’m just thinking, like, I’m not sure if it was in the middle of COVID, just after COVID started, I honestly can’t remember the exact date. But I remember thinking back then, like, what’s going to happen to this business? Like, how hard is it going to be to keep this thing going. And I want to catch up with Dennis, just to make sure that everything’s okay, because I think this is super necessary and super important. I want to find out from you what’s been happening in the interim, and what’s new,
Dennis Keller 1:24
many things happened. Obviously, it’s been very challenging. I mean, the COVID period, so many businesses went bankrupt, or really struggled, particularly obviously, in the, in the hospitality space. And it’s been, especially in Thailand, even more so right, where, what I think almost a third of the GDP is actually based on tourism. So it’s been, it’s been certainly a kind of challenging time, you know, to be developing a service that sits at the intersection of aviation and hospitality, the two most affected industries in COVID. But that said, we also saw that, I think over the last year and a half things open more, right and kind of COVID, more and more disappeared in a way or became safer, again, with vaccines and so on. To us, you know, it meant we worked a lot on the regulatory collaboration. So, you know, we had to go through a quite laborious process with so many different authorities in developing the service, because it was, or it is basically still, you know, brand new for the country. And so kind of, you know, going through these regulatory processes with, you know, not just one authority or two authorities, but actually 1012 authorities depends a little bit on each of the localities, but, you know, really working with them. That’s been one of the major efforts that we’ve been doing. And of course, with COVID, that was, on the one hand difficult, you know, even things like meeting in person and making sure there is availabilities. At the same time. I think what COVID has shown for us and many others that we are dealing with is this is a great opportunity, right. And so I think there’s a couple of things that happened during COVID, which, number one, a lot of the behavior around traveling changed from people, right. So for instance, private jet travel surged during COVID, because people are looking for privacy people are looking for, you know, not traveling with the masses, as much as, of course, people’s budgets allowed and private jet is certainly still a very niche activity, but that showed us that a service that, you know, we are working on, which is essentially akin to a private jet service, but at a much more accessible price. That that is, you know, hugely in demand. And that also was, I think, quite obvious to a lot of the regulators in seeing that this is, you know, from that perspective, but also, of course, generally from the perspective of as a seaplane service reaching a lot of the waterfront destinations much more directly and easily and faster. That, you know, we have a huge opportunity here. So, in a way things were very slow, but in another way, we’ve received a tremendous amount of support during that period, which meant we could keep going we could actually keep hiring people into the company, which is you know, something I think we’re very lucky that we’re able to do that during this tough period and that we have also investors behind us that you know, are very I’m just standing in a way of, you know, things take more time. But at the end of the day, it’s all worth it. And this culminated in you know, just a few months ago, we had our very first aircraft delivered here in Thailand. And that’s super exciting. It’s a big milestone. At the same time, I say, it’s a small step, because there’s so much more to come, you know, it’s just one plane of many, many more that we’re looking to bring into the country. But at the same time, of course, this is not what makes it much more real, you know, it’s a real plane in the country, people can see it, you know, we have been starting to, with our partners to look at, you know, demo flights and start the marketing and pre sale for for the first ground to ground and sightseeing flights now. So it’s, it’s, you know, finally after three years, wow, basically, the the entire COVID period, right? Right, we are finally at the stage where we say, you know, this is, this is happening, and this is very, very exciting. It also opened up just gonna give a hint, for now, it opened up interests from not just Thailand. And so we have governments, we have private individuals, we have, you know, other resorts and potential partners and neighboring countries, that all of a sudden say, you know, we need this, we definitely need this, you know, this is this is something that can really change, tourism that can change transportation and accessibility, in some cases, even many other use cases, right. We talked about local local development and medical evacuations and, you know, things that aren’t maybe the most obvious when you think about seaplane service, because you usually think, you know, Maldives and amazing luxury, you know, tourism, but there’s so much more behind it. And, you know, we’re now working on actually a couple of other markets to bring the service to not just Thailand, but other countries. And so it’s actually if anything, now, for us, it’s an insanely busy period of developing this,
Michael Waitze 7:11
I want to ask you about this mindset change inside the company, right, you’re struggling, and then building any company from scratch, we know this right is hard, regardless of what the market environment is. COVID, particularly in the, in the hospitality, business makes things even that much harder. And because it’s mildly unregulated, you know, you have to get a whole group of people on board. And they have all these other things to deal with, like during COVID, where, you know, getting a seaplane business going for them may not be their first priority. But in the midst of all this, you do still have employees, you do still have you and your co founders, and you do have the investors, you have to manage all of them as well. What is it like, when the plane finally arrives? I think this really matters in country. And it’s no longer like, we think we can do this thing. But now we have the thing to do it, do you know what I mean? And I know this from my own business, you can talk about the thing you’re working on forever, and yet it doesn’t feel real, until it’s actually out there. But once it is out there, not only can you point at it and say see, we said this was going to happen, but internally, there’s this extra energy surge inside the company, is that a fair characterization?
Dennis Keller 8:23
100% It’s a huge motivation booster. Even, you know, we obviously purchased the plane prior to arriving in Thailand, right, there’s a whole process in terms of, you know, getting the plane and so on. You know, even though obviously, there was months ahead of bringing this aircraft to Thailand, where we already had the assets, you know, and some of us were lucky enough to see it, from where we purchased it from, and, you know, to do inspections, and to, you know, do a test flight and all these things. But it still wasn’t here, you know, it still wasn’t in Thailand. And so even just that, I think, made a psychological difference in that once it was here, it was a definite booster internally, again, because it’s now you can touch it, you can see it right and also for I think for some of our staff that maybe aren’t as immediately involved in the operational side of things, you know, dealing with the aircraft or dealing with, well, what’s at the core of our business, but perhaps being in some of the more support functions, which are equally important, but you know, far more removed from kind of the day to day of seeing the service ultimately. And so for them to also be able to see that to be able to for many of us in the company to do first test flights and get a feel for what that’s like to be at the end of the day in our very own aircraft and get that started. So for sure, I think that gave us a tremendous boost to know This is happening. And this is, you know, this is great. And equally, I think externally, it was very similar and perhaps not so much for the wider public because we didn’t immediately start marketing this right, because more important for us as we have the aircraft here, we need to still go through a local registration process. And you know, the authorities need to check the aircraft. And it’s not quite as simple as say, you know, having a parcel delivered, and you open it and done, you can use it right,
Michael Waitze 10:32
it’s like getting a blender. It’s not like
Dennis Keller 10:35
getting a blender. Right. So our partners meeting a lot of the hotel resorts, they obviously were aware of that, and we made them aware of that. And I think that also pushed a bit the I don’t want to say, seriousness of the partnerships, but perhaps again, the, the way, they see that this is progressing, and progressing very concretely, and it’s making it a lot more exciting. So, you know, even just in the last few weeks, we had two major announcements of partnerships, you know, that in the back, we’ve always, I mean, we’ve had developed for quite some time. But now more and more is the time that you will see a lot of our partnerships being announced in the media and you know, like hotel groups and different resorts proudly presenting that they’re working with us. And before it was always us doing that right now it’s them doing it. And I think that that puts us at a very different level. So yeah, for sure, I think that’s been, that’s been a big energy boost, and a confidence boost to the market. And I think equally a confidence boost to some of the regulators. That of course, you know, as a new company, and regardless of how much support we have behind us and how much expertise we bring to the table and how well connected we may be, you know, to some of the authorities, at the end of the day, what talks is what is concrete? And it’s only concrete if you have any aircraft in our case.
Michael Waitze 12:09
Have you found that it’s made sails easier? Again, the same type of question right? In the sense that you could always say, well, getting a plane in September, whatever the date is, right? It will have it then. But once it’s actually here, and like you said, you can touch it, you can see it, you can do test flights it like if resort, a sees that resort, bees already doing it, they must think, Wait a second, this is a super cool service. And we just have to partner with these guys and then handle the logistics around it to be able to do that. We have to have this and then I’m curious, like, what actually has to get done. So if I have a resort that’s on a beach, like the photo that’s behind you. And I want to employ this service, what do I need to do? Like I hadn’t thought about this before? But like, what do I need to do so that I can make sure that on my side as a resort? I can actually handle this in a way that keeps the service feeling like it’s super cool, even upon arrival, right?
Dennis Keller 13:02
Yeah. So I think there’s a couple of questions, right? The first one is around, has it made sales easier? And I would say definitely, yes, because we’re a bit looking at a chicken and egg situation. For sure that right? Where we have validation that this business model works, it works in other markets, there’s different models around it, you know, you have the more monopoly type transportation, such as in the Maldives, where if you don’t have a seaplane, you practically don’t have another good choice to bring people to your resort. But you also have models where it simply complements existing transportation. So look at the US look at Canada look at Australia. And of course, on top of that sightseeing. Right. So while on the one hand, we’ve always been strong in showing that, you know, this does work, still not having it physically here creates a certain level of hesitation, some partners that needs to say, You know what, once you have it, we will start engaging. And then we say, Well, the thing is, we need to engage before we have it. So for us to be able to get it by then it’s not as quite as simple as that. But, you know, more or less, that’s a simplified version of it, which is a bit akin to meetings and generally doing business. So what do I mean by that? In a lot of cases, I find if we do a zoom call for a meeting, right? Theoretically speaking, it can be just as effective as an in person meeting, theoretically, just factually looking at the content of an agenda, let’s say, right? However, if you do the meeting in person, I can guarantee you know, 99% of the time, it actually becomes more effective. And so there’s something about this physical, being there being in the same room Being in the same locality being able to touch I mean, maybe not the business partner in the meeting, but you know, to touch the thing in front of you, that delivers just a completely different cake, or a completely different confidence level, I would say, right. So in that sense, it helps us tremendously, you know, even if it’s just a plane parked on the runway, you know, but just being able to point to that and say, This is ours, you know, you can have a look at it. And even if the partner isn’t physically in front of it, but knows that that is there, nearby that already does something. So with that, if we’re looking at, okay, how do we actually enable a resort to be able to use that? Essentially, we our business model is primarily b2b b2c. So we rely heavily on our partnerships, right. And we invested significantly throughout the last three years in getting partnerships with, you know, resource groups with, you know, brands with owners, we typically go via the owner first, that’s crucial, because while we are not building permanent infrastructure, and we’re very proud of not having to do that, which also is a point about environmentally, environmental impact and sustainability, it is still a little bit akin to building a pier and the water as maybe you know, and perhaps some of the listeners will know, the water in Thailand is public, it’s never private, so no, one person can actually own the water. So if you want to build a pier, it’s never yours. You’re not building the pier on your land, but you’re building a pier in front of your land. And so you need the extra land owner to say, I’m the one that says, you know, this pier should be there, and then getting the right approvals from the government. Now, with a sequence services, essentially, it’s somewhat similar in that we need the support from the owner of the land to say yes, in front of my land, I want the seaplane to be able to land here. And so we need these sort of owner support letters and various things around that I can’t give away quite everything. But suffice to say that with that, we go through quite thorough landing site assessments. And we’re looking at all elements, we’re looking at the water, we’re looking at the air, we’re looking at, you know, marine traffic at obstacles nearby to, obviously under the within, I mean, in the ocean, right? So are there corals are there, you know, certain type of protected species, and so on and so on, it produces a substantial assessment with which we then go to the authorities. So for us to be able to do that, as you can imagine, it requires, again, quite a bit of effort, quite a bit of investment. So we need to ensure, on the flip side that the partner we deal with, is genuinely interested at the very least. And that means, ideally, they would commit, they would pre commit and say, we understand our hotel, we understand how many guests we have, and what kind of guests would be interested in the service. We can also help in doing joint surveys, for example, with their guests to understand better what the guests may be interested in meaning would they want to come by seaplane or not, what would be their willingness to pay and so on. And with that, ideally, they would say, Look, we know that at the very least, we could do, you know, 235 flights in a week, to our resort. And that gives a certain level of pre commitment. And that gives us an assurance to say it’s worth putting the effort in. And by the way, we fully pay for that effort on the landing sites on you know, making all these assessments happened, getting to the various authorities and getting ultimately the approvals. It doesn’t quite always work that way. So of course, as I’ve mentioned earlier, given that we are new, there is hesitation there is you know, in some cases have a more conservative outlook on things. And then we try to find the right middle way, if it’s an important department to us, we try to find what can work such that it’s still in their benefit, but also in our benefit. And that’s a fine line that we need to walk and see. And as we get more concrete to then also get more committed, you know, establish these partnerships, and then look, as we go through that process a lot more also than into the operational implementation. So things even like, you know, API’s for a booking system, right? So to make it really seamless and easy that somebody can put the service through the hotel rather than just to us. You know, ideally that while you’re on the plane flying that you can be assured that the hotel knows when you arrive and so that the whole the room will be ready for check in. And someone will be there had to pick up the luggage and you know, things like that. So it’s, it’s a very thorough in depth partnership at the end of the day, rather than just saying you know, we will add somewhere on the water and you know, here you go people go to your resorts we don’t know where you go and what you do, it should be seamless, it should be premium, right. And for premium luxury, it means to me it means a personalized and detailed service, right, the level of detail needs to be there at every single point of the of the journey,
Michael Waitze 20:35
I want to share a couple of experiences because I did this twice the Maldives actually I won’t even go through because anybody who’s been to the Maldives has done that really the only way to get to your resort is through like you said this seaplane thing I forget the in the name of the in the capital. But I was at another resort once and I will say that the flight there was more in some ways more than just like an arrival mechanism. To us, it was really part of the whole experience of going there and coming back. And the excitement around it was palpable. Everybody that was on the plane loved it. But more importantly, the people that were at the resort waited for the plane to come. It’s hard to explain. Right? It’s like, it’s like just another event there. And if you’re at a resort that can facilitate the taking of a seaplane to land that right, obviously, you’re surrounded by water. But at us if you know what time it’s coming, people literally went to the pier, and there was a pier in both places, well, in one place to greet the other guests and the in this way, it’s way more than just a flight somewhere. It’s like part of the whole resort experience. And once you do it, you just think this is the best way to to get there. Because your arrival is almost like filled with Fanfare for the other guests. They’re like you’re here. And we know how you got here, because we did the same thing on the way here as well. And it’s this weird sense of community and camaraderie that you get. And once you do it, you just kind of want to do it all the time. And I’m wondering, do you ever take like, the resort owner, or the GM and just go look here, we’re gonna do an arrival for you. So you know what it feels like? In a way? It’s like an unfair advantage. You know what I mean?
Dennis Keller 22:26
I fully agree on the excitement, sort of experience that you describe? I think it’s it’s not, you know, typically I say, when I talk to some of the partners, I say, you know, first of all, we’re not an airline. No, right. Second of all, we’re not about transportation. Like, yes, we do offer a to b transport. But in reality, what it is, is it’s an experience. Yeah, it’s something it’s a Memory Maker, right. It’s something that people will talk about more, in many cases for the rest of their lives, because it’s so unique, and even to the most VIPs amongst us, you know, even to a regular private jet user, being in a premium seat plane is still something that’s extremely unique and rare. Yeah. And so that just creates this. Yeah, really the sense of exclusivity and being special in so many ways yet being, again, being quite accessible in terms of price. And I mean, this is where our tagline comes from, right? Where we say once in a lifetime, every time Yeah. And so it’s really this very unique, special thing. But you can actually do it again, and again, as for your question on whether we kind of just show that to some of the gyms or owners, not yet, it will come in the form of simply once we start, you know, flying and landing on the water, as you said, people see it. And just by seeing it, it will create a high degree of FOMO. Right, and, and this is I know this, and this is what we’ve been looking at, in this build up phase now to say, you know, look, if you’re partnering with us now, as a launch partner, you get a fair bit, you know, more benefits, but you also need to commit a little bit more, because once we launch, it will look very, very different. Right? And already now we have a long list of interested parties where we actually need to say, look, we’d love to work with you. But we have a long list and we cannot service everybody in every location from day one. And so it will be a simple matter of prioritization on whoever now commits more will be the lucky one to have this early. And yeah, it’s a little bit of a competition, I think between some of the hotels to see, you know, who is willing to to put in a bit more effort To be able to get that, and I think yeah, that will intensify, the more that people see it. And with that the reality also is we will not be landing, you know, at every 100 meters away from each other, right, there will be dedicated landing spots. And once we have one on, let’s say, the east side of an island, we will not be adding three more on that side of the island, if you see what I mean. Right. So it’s not necessarily about exclusivity, but it’s, it’s picking the right partners that work in the best way. And then from there, you know, that’s also usually open that even guests can still go to other resorts and stay at other places. But there’s a certain level of certain level of exclusivity to it.
Michael Waitze 25:43
Yeah, in a way, like there are a lot of equivalencies between the business that you’re building and the businesses that I’m building, right. And the big question I have for myself is often like, how do I scale, a business that does have a software component to it, right, but also has a hardware component to it. And in some cases, that hardware is me, but in other cases, it’s cameras, microphones and other things like that, that have to move from place to place. But also, it’s an experience business, right? So again, notice in nowhere here that I say it’s a travel business, or a logistics business, which we could also spend hours talking about, but how do you? How do you think about scaling, right? Because you’ll need another plane, or maybe many other planes, but then pilots and all this kind of integration software and stuff like that? How do you look at scale?
Dennis Keller 26:29
Yeah, very important question. We, from day one, said, We want to build a scalable business, right? So my background also is a lot more in the tech and startup space. Right? I don’t come from aviation, for example. So to me, it’s a lot more natural language in Hawaii to say, as we build this business from, you know, from day one is okay, how do we, how do we look at scalability? How can we possibly make this interesting to a VC? Right? And the VC is looking at that, you know, at that, you know, very large multiple potential, right, it’s looking at, you know, not just growing this from, you know, $1 million to $10 million, right, but growing it from $1 million, to possibly a billion dollars, right. And so that’s right, so how can we have this what is traditionally viewed as an acid, heavy business, traditional business into something that could be viewed to an extent, and not just being viewed but actually can work as a scalable venture. So what do we do in this regard is a couple of things. First of all, it’s the ultimate foundation of how we build a business. So meaning there are certain components in the business that need to be in a way modular and standardized, so we can easily replicate it. So things like let’s say, all of the operation manuals, and basically, all the policies and procedures that we need for an air operator license needs to be in place so that we could easily replicate this in another market. So that means we need to build it from scratch, right, rather than just going into an existing with an existing partner somewhere or buying this off the shelf from a consultant somewhere, which also, of course, makes it much more expensive. So we need to build it from the ground up. And we need to build it in a way that we know we can easily adjust this to another market. And this is helpful for us now, because, as I mentioned earlier, we’re looking at a couple other markets at the moment. And now we have this acid where we can say almost like sometimes I say, we want to be the or I want to be the Rocket Internet of sea planes, which maybe it’s an outdated comparison by now. But it would certainly hold true maybe like 10 years ago, of being able to have the sort of one centralized business case and centralized technology to a certain extent. And then we just go plug and play one market to another. So that’s Component number one. And that doesn’t only apply to the operations, but it applies to our technology, it applies to our sales and marketing procedures and processes. How do we onboard partners, kind of all a standardized process from day one, meaning we build for scale, right? We don’t build for SME we build for scale. And of course, again, that meant in the early days of things take longer, that things are possibly a little bit more complicated that we need systems in place, you know, instead of just starting with an Excel sheet, right? You know, we say actually, no, let’s put in the right system so that when we have 1000 partners, that will still work, even though right now for three partners is complete overkill, but it’s that view for you know, a year, five years, 10 years later to come. The second element that’s really important for the scalability, and I’ve hinted at that is the assets right? Because we have aircraft. So how do we do that? Very importantly, the assets are ours. We own the right we own the aircraft. But we don’t outright purchase the aircraft, simply because that would mean, whenever we want to add a new plane, we would essentially have to go through another funding round. Right? Right, each plane costs around three, 4 million US. Instead, we do financial lease. So we still the plane is still in our books, we still own the assets. But the capital requirements to get there is significantly lower. And at the same time, as we employ a B2B2C model and primarily B2B First, there is a level of revenue securitization, and that allows us to basically pay the monthly lease amount, securing that we can justify having this and throw the aircraft out. So long story short, and then after a few years, they’re fully ours, right? So long story short, that means we require significantly lower capital to be able to scale. And because it’s a luxury lifestyle business, there is a margin through which we can actually reinvest in the growth of the company, meaning add more aircraft to the fleet. And so that’s a model essentially, that allows us to scale and when we’re looking at the ambition, then for Thailand alone, you know, to talk about, for instance, 15 aircraft, and over the course of five years, is something that’s easily achievable, it’s feels like and that’s not talking about the big potential, the big potential is much larger than that. Right? I think easily. For Thailand, we could be rivaling the Maldives, in terms of number of aircraft. And just to make that concrete and the Maldives, at the moment, there’s about 77, zero sea planes in the country. Right. And that’s, and that’s Thailand has a bigger geography, Thailand has a bigger potential than the Maldives, it’s different, the market, right, it’s not just the monopoly luxury resorts. But there’s a lot more, and then we’re looking at other countries in the region, you know, that there is so much more potential. So in theory, you know, we’d be talking potentially, more than 100 aircraft, right, and then we’re talking a business, that would be all of a sudden, much more interesting to a VC, right. And so that’s, again, to bring this full circle, that’s a little bit the way we’ve been looking at this to say, there is, you know, all these elements that help us to scale and because it’s all connected, and sort of in the back end, and with good technology and the right processes and structures. It makes it actually something for the first time, I think in this industry, because usually secret services have been, I usually say kind of small mom and pop shops, right? Like, kind of like maybe passionate pilot things, hey, you know, I want to commercialize this and offer this to some people. Of course, there’s notable, notable exception exceptions to that, right, obviously, Maldives, there’s a couple of players in the US and Canada that are, you know, very large as well, but they’re the outliers in this industry still. And so that’s what we saw this massive opportunity for Asia to say, let us be the one in Asia to build this and make this into into something that is, is scalable. And I think it worked. I mean, we have one Vc as an investor, just to give you a sense of this. So and getting very interesting. Although I say demand, let’s say for for some of the other markets that we’re currently looking at. And I think that’s a testament to this model, that it’s certainly a bit strange, right? It’s not a typical tech startup. It’s not a it’s not an airline. It’s not, you know, a hospitality business as such, but it sits somewhere in the middle between all of these, and tries to kind of take the best of each, and make that into something that’s a bit new. But that’s the exciting part for me about it.
Michael Waitze 34:06
You’re right, it’s not an airline business, right. It’s not a hospitality business. It’s not a transport business. To me, it feels like a platform business. And you’re right, that the opportunity isn’t just to have 100 planes, which I definitely think is a very realistic possibility. Particularly as in let’s go back to this because you said this at the beginning COVID changed the way people want to travel. Right? And the more opportunity they have to be in smaller groups, groups are still good, right? People want to be around other people, but the more opportunity they have to be in smaller groups and in a controlled environment. Also for a very high level experience. I want to get back to this because there’s a follow on to this. The likelihood that there are going to be 100 planes doing this in a country as big as Thailand alone is definitely possible in my mind, right particularly if you’d like you said there’s 70 in the Maldives in a month. got smaller footprint, right. And in a very controlled area and environment, Thailand is much more spread out with many more resorts. But here’s the thing, when you build an experience company, right, and a platform company, you can plug in a bunch of different experiences to that platform. And if, if I feel like I get off a plane where the or get off a platform where the experience is so good, if that platform offers me another potential experience that’s related. I’ll do that too, right? Because I’ll trust the fact in other words, I could go do it with somebody else. But like, I just got off of the Siam see playing thing. And it was awesome. So what else can I trust them to do for me? Are you thinking about adding other services in and maybe it’s a little bit early, but you know what I mean, you’re already a platform company that offers services, like on the water, essentially, are there other services, you’re thinking about adding into this as well?
Dennis Keller 35:56
We already have, and this is the opportunity that we saw, again, over the last, you know, one year, one year, I would say, not something that we proactively planned for initially, but as the business developed, more and more, and it became obvious just how much of a, as you say, of a lifestyle platform, this actually isn’t becomes the more there were opportunities around that. And of course, we need to be careful not to jump on anything and everything. That’s the death of any startup, but to analyze and assess, you know, which of these opportunities could be relevant. And so what we did is two things. One, we also partner with experienced providers very selectively to say, We can’t do everything on our own, but we can facilitate that. Right. And these are things like yacht charters, do we want to buy our own yacht and offer that, well, at least not. Not now, right, let’s give it maybe five years and see where we go. But at the moment, there’s amazing yacht charters out there, and why don’t we just partner with them, you know, we can just like any platform, essentially, we just do on a commission basis, you know, we kind of, you know, built that into sort of the core service offering. And, you know, even now ahead of flights over the last couple years, we get inquiries and bookings, right? Whether that’s for the yacht charter or skydiving, right, which you can do in Kauai and Ryan and it’s beautiful experiences, right? It’s, and it fits right into the heart of what we’re here for, which is kind of to bring premium, exciting experiences that connect the air and the water, right. I think that’s sort of the way we’re looking at it. And so that’s where the yacht charters fit in, that’s where the skydiving fits in. And there’s a few others. The second thing we’ve been doing, and we launched that actually, just about a year ago, just under a year ago, is another brand. That is called jetboard, Thailand and jetboard. Thailand is part of our let’s say corporate family, but of course a different brand. But with that we are the exclusive distributor of high end electric surfboards and electric boats. Now, how does this fit in? Well, we work with a lot of the waterfront resorts. And as we do a lot of the site visits and talk about the the customer journey, a bit at what you’re into that, you know, the guest arrives, let’s say in the future with the seaplane on the water, you know, steps out now stays in the hotel for maybe a week, two weeks, and wants to do things. And so usually the conversation with the hotel partners came to so once the guests are here, what do they do, right. And of course, the hotel, many of the hotels have amazing, an amazing array of activities that they can offer. But we came to this opportunity where we were offered to be exclusive distributor for these for these products. Like I said premium electric surfboards, which is also new in Thailand. Yet a very, very cool experience. And it fit right into that philosophy of what we do. It’s premium. It’s new, its innovative, it’s on the water. It’s very easy for people even without any experience to do that. And so we we tested that first we had a trial period of a few months where we brought some of these boards in and said you know, does it work in Thailand, how does it work? You know, what do we kind of need for it, which could be interesting partners. And now we have some of these jet boards in a number of amazing resorts across Thailand. You know, you can you can have them already now at Amanpuri in Phuket you can have them at Encore Pangan you can have them at the zet nine resort on Sina Canyon Dam in Kanchanaburi. And you can have them on a luxury yacht in Koh Chang right and so and more and more to come and that is a perfect like lifestyle component that we fit into the wider business ultimately and I think there will be more to come we will be very careful with that but it’s definitely this end to end lifestyle offering with the core being the seaplane or the amphibious see play and everything that fits within the immediate immediate vicinity, if you will, of that service.
Michael Waitze 40:25
Got it? Look, I think that is the best way to end this. Dennis Keller, the Chief Business Officer of Siam Seaplane. I think we got the audio. That was awesome. Thank you so much.
Dennis Keller 40:37
Michael, thanks very much. was a pleasure