Gutsy Genius Thinker

“Now is a great time to rebuild infrastructure.”

PAUL SLATTERY – Cofounder & Director, Otus & Co. Advisory; Academic; Lecturer; Author

Paul Slattery

London, USA

Paul is a real-life academic, lecturer, author, and researcher, and he studied this sector. His insights and opinions are deep, vast and prolific. As a frequent contributor and advisor to the thought leadership of the space, investment banker and cofounder of Otus & Co., Paul tells it the way it is. By clicking through below, you will listen to a wide-ranging chat about the state of most categories, including cruise lines, hotels, and restaurants.

As Paul keenly observed when we interviewed him at the peak of C-19, “The problems that we’re facing now cannot be resolved within individual companies. They must be resolved sector wide. They have to be resolved internationally.” In all of our interviews, we asked for the medium-term (three years-ish), and Paul was clear: “We know of [the dire nature] of this situation. We have an excess of hotel room stock in cities throughout the US and in the UK, in major city centers, and most other Northern Atlantic countries. Many of them are shut up already. There will not be the demand [created by] them [brands] for years.”

It is also interesting that Paul commented frequently on the tension between a franchisor and franchisee during C-19. The franchisee is carrying the majority of the asset risk, while the franchisor has relatively lower risk as a marketer, distributor, and brand owner. However, with such a dramatic decline in fees, how long can the franchisors survive in their current incarnation? The currency dependencies may well be rewritten.

Paul’s Adapters Tips

  • Brexit is a “downer.” Now, adapt, and make it work for you
  • Nice stuff on the walls won’t do it; the hotels and events markets need to change radically to survive
  • With one new brand every month for the last ten years, less is more
  • “Most of us probably can’t remember the holiday before last, the last movie we saw; this will pass.”
  • Great time to rebuild infrastructure