Good day Mr Spencer, you are the Chief Executive Officer in BIG Loyalty. This prominent position is something everyone looking up to...
"Kindly share with our audience your career path in the early days."
/I started my career as Account Executive in a small local advertising company for a short period of time before moving to Spencer & Azizul advertising agency. Then I joined Ford Malaysia as the Brand Manager which I developed my love for cars and until today I’m still driving a Ford! I joined AirAsia in 2006 with various roles in marketing, development of ancillary income, financial services partnerships and I was also the core team in setting up AirAsia BIG Loyalty programme. My last role with AirAsia before moving to BIGLIFE was indeed the Commercial Director overseeing all commercial functions covering AirAsia Malaysia’s operating markets.
"BIG Loyalty is greatly known as airline loyalty programme since its inception in the market. What are the key transformation roadmap shaping what it is now towards becoming comprehensive lifestyle reward platform?"
/In the past, members could only earn points when they fly AirAsia and redeem their points for AirAsia flights. Today, BIG Members are able to earn points with more than 300 partners across the region which span across travel, lifestyle and financial services categories. They have the flexibility to use their points on a variety of lifestyle deals beyond AirAsia flights.
Key initiatives that we have launched to expand the BIG Loyalty business beyond the airline ecosystem:
Easy-to-use Mobile App
We revamped the mobile app with new user interface that makes it easy for members to earn and redeem BIG Points beyond flights. With a wide range of online and offline partners, our members can easily enjoy earning points as part of their daily-lives. They can earn points for every transaction they made when they shop, dine, travel etc with various points issuance partners.
An affiliate marketing platform that allows our members to earn BIG Points when they shop for their favourite brands online via BIG Loyalty app.
We partnered with several banks in Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand to issue the AirAsia Credit Cards. Besides that, we also work with our sister company namely BigPay being the digital bank for issuing BIG Points. This gives our members more avenues to earn points faster by turning their daily spending into big rewards.
Members are able to use their BIG Points to redeem everyday lifestyle deals directly on the BIG Loyalty app. Deals range from F&B and shopping to services and entertainment. They can even donate their points for charity causes. With BIG Deals, points can be utilized as like cash in purchasing everyday products; giving more value to our points and more reasons for members to collect them.
An instant points exchange platform that allows our members to convert points between loyalty programmes. Members can convert their bank credit card points, petrol points, retail shopping points and other loyalty points to BIG Points. Vice versa on one single platform in the BIG Loyalty app. It’s hassle free which there isn’t forms needed and indeed transacted instantly.
"Reward platform often requires strong financial resources. What had been the primary monetisation strategies by BIG Loyalty?"
/The answer is simple - give members what they want. BIG Loyalty’s mission is to democratize loyalty points by making it accessible and easy for everyone to earn and redeem. With this mission as our guiding principle, BIG Loyalty is also a rare platform where competitors actually co-exist. We believe in freedom of choices for members to decide who they want to transact with subject to their own needs and requirements. We are ‘BIG’ with Loyalty and we take our BIG Members genuinely. Our motto is "Be Loyal To The Members" by understanding their needs and wants towards designing products in accordance with their requirements. Besides that, we always emphasize our customers first by providing them the best possible experience with our product and services. In short, keeping things simple for our members.
"Merchants and users acquisition are among the two main key performance indicators for sizeable online platform. For BIG Loyalty, how did the company attract merchants to become the onboarding partners? As for users community, what are the current demographics?"
/Apart from having a large and quality member base, BIG Loyalty is all about data. Being a data- driven and customer-centric company, we aim to break down data silos and achieve real-time personalization based on user profile, intent, and transaction history. With data, we’re able to know our members better. This will help our partners to offer the right products best fit into our members’ needs. To-date, there are over 13 billion BIG Points in our members’ accounts. This presents a huge opportunity for businesses to tap into our ecosystem by offering their products and services to our members.
"We have seen numerous online platforms offering reward points to the registered users. Please tell us more about the BIG Points within BIG Loyalty ecosystem."
/Most rewards points in the market are restricted to their own ecosystem; i.e. members can only earn or burn points within a particular platform/ loyalty programme. On the other hand, BIG Points is not just loyalty point; Indeed BIG Points is a borderless and universal digital loyalty currency where members can earn and redeem easily/ freely in their daily-lives. This makes BIG Loyalty a truly unique ‘open-loop’ points platform in Asean.
"As the Chief Executive Officer, what is your leadership style in managing fully diversified team? How do you define micro/ macro-management as both approaches often result in variations of expectations and key deliveries..."
/We have a very open work culture - I always champion openness, innovation and a ‘can-do’ spirit in the workplace. I will always pick passion over talent because passion is what drives success. One should always remain humble by having respect and appreciation for each other. Yelling is totally not acceptable - there’s a line between being passionate or disrespectful. It is also good for one to always take a step back when you face an issue due to not every issues could be addressed immediately. One should also be ready to take “NO” for an answer by accepting failure as long as you have done your best. I’m never a “Micro-Manager”. I look at the big picture and think from a broad perspective keeping the company vision and objectives in mind. I have constant engagement with my team to ensure that they are clear on the business direction so that we can collectively drive the business towards our goals. However I believe organizations need leadership qualities at the micro levels as well to ensure plans are executed accordingly and all planned tasks are carried out in achieving the business objectives.
"We have met several notable C-Level icons across different organizations. Each of them implanted different characteristics and personalities. How do you maintain healthy work-life-balance?"
/In this day and age, with advancement of communication technologies and especially during this pandemic, the traditional work-life balance i.e. working hours vs non working hours doesn’t exist. The more realistic goal is to ‘integrate’ work and personal life better. I will also try to exercise as much as possible not just for physical health but also mental health that is often neglected. Many people experiencing mental health problems without knowing it. In addition, I often read, do house work and spend time with my loved ones to “recharge” myself despite they are the pillars in my life.