How he’s adapted to overcome the current economic climate.
By Tom McLean
Born in England and having spent his formative years in Australia, Vinod Kumar is an easy-going businessman whose laid-back persona belies the years of extensive professional experience under his belt, across a plethora of diﬀerent businesses. His enterprising attitude eventually bought him a ticket all the way from the Land Down Under to working in Bangkok’s bustling hospitality industry, before co-founding Megatix Thailand, a booming ticketing platform for events and hotel deals.
What was the starting point of your career?
Growing up, I was a lot more suited to the working life than studying, so I decided to pursue a career instead of focussing on academics. My ﬁrst job was at a hotel and I was lucky to receive some excellent mentorship from my peers. Six years later I shifted over to the events and nightlife industry, hosting hip hop and R&B concerts around Australia, while managing a nightclub in Perth. I also worked as a HORECA Manager for a while. The experience I gained from all these diﬀerent roles gave me strong insights into the hotels and events industries which eventually brought me to Thailand, where I started work in business development and marketing within the hospitality sector.
What was it like transitioning from Australia to Thailand?
It took some time to adjust but growing up in Australia helped. It’s a pretty laid back and diverse country and I think Australians naturally adapt to new situations quite quickly. But of course there were some road bumps letting go of Western working traits that don’t translate well here – like being too direct. Since I came to Thailand, I met my wife, raised a family, and really feel like I have a home in the Thai-Indian community.
What led to the inception of Megatix Thailand?
After working in the hospitality industry in Thailand for a while, I was approached by a couple of old friends from Perth who were looking to bring their ticketing software to the country. There wasn’t really a solution for selling tickets for food and beverage events online here and it occurred to me that their software could be adapted to suit the local hotel industry. Along with another friend, we decided to leave our corporate roles and pursue the opportunity full-time, which led to the four of us co-founding Megatix Thailand (www. megatix.in.th) in 2019.
What kind of experience did you have in the ticketing and events industry before co-founding Megatix Thailand?
My co-founders and I all had a strong understanding of the ticketing business, with experience working in events when it was still a grassroots industry. 20 years ago we were selling and printing our own tickets for concerts and saw the industry grow ﬁrst-hand. We did concerts with artists like Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube and saw so many innovations that are now commonplace, like the introduction of perforated edges on tickets and UV stamps to prevent forgeries. We take pride in the fact that we service the industries we have working experience in. Ashley Ratten has over 20 years of experience in the music and nightlife business, from EDM festivals to raw hip hop concerts. Roshan Odhavji is a well-known DJ and tech guru, and Onur Atasoy is an international banker with 20 years of experience working in Thailand and Europe.
How does Megatix Thailand work?
For customers, Megatix provides an easy-to-use platform to ﬁ nd tickets for live events; vouchers for hotels, restaurants, spas, and gyms; and cash vouchers too. It covers everything from ultra-luxury brands to budget products and services, across the whole of Thailand. We also host deals for pool parties, rooftop events, and island music festivals from some of Thailand’s leading event organizers. One of the best things about it is the super simple checkout system, along with an extensive range of payment options. For businesses, Megatix provides clients with customisable, cutting-edge tools for the sale of tickets or vouchers online. Companies can post their oﬀers and they’ll be on sale in under 15 minutes. Moreover, the entire transaction process can take place on our clients’ own websites if they choose, which deﬁnitely rocks the boat with regards to ticketing industry norms.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic aﬀected business?
Like most businesses across the globe, we were faced with some very tough decisions. It made sense to focus on our existing clients and helping out the hotel industry, who were going through a very challenging time. We worked out a system which would beneﬁt our clients, customers and ourselves. Customers were able to buy vouchers for hotel stays with open-ended travel dates, which gave them a lot of conﬁdence in their purchases, and our clients were happy as they had immediate cash ﬂ ow. Some hotels even moved their reopening dates forward due to their online sales with us. Megatix has since become part of the hotel ecosystem, with 300 hotel clients and 1 million website views a month.
What sort of deals should customers keep an eye out for on Megatix Thailand?
Luxury hotel experiences have never been more aﬀordable. There are tons of great deals to have a look at for hotels in Bangkok and around Thailand, including daily pool access passes. I would also recommend tuning into our monthly ﬂ ash sales, with the next ones being held on the 11th of November, and the 12th of December. They follow a 24-hour sale format. Expect to see a massive selection of oﬀers for Christmas and New Year’s Eve promotions coming soon too.
What advice would you give to prospective entrepreneurs and new business owners when it comes to navigating the current business landscape?
I would recommend existing business owners to have a think about what their business really provides when you remove all the bells and whistles. What do you supply that’s essential? Do you solve problems for your clients? In some cases, existing businesses might need to focus on only one out of 10 of their selling points in order to get through this diﬃcult period. For new entrepreneurs, I would suggest looking for opportunities that have risen from the pandemic. What new needs and wants have emerged? As the old saying goes: “One man’s misery is another man’s fortune.” It’s a bit harsh but it speaks volumes about the current business landscape.