Sunil Tuli, Managing Director (Duty Free) King Power Group Hong Kong
Sunil Tuli is Managing Director, Travel Retail and Duty Free, King Power Group (Hong Kong). He is a founder member of APTRA and was President from 2007-2013; he remains an active member of the Board.
China is at the heart of Asia’s impressive economic growth and the King Power Group has been a pioneer in this market. In Asia the first-mover advantage is essential, coupled with ambition, the right networks and an eye for market demand and the best opportunities. The King Power Group, with over 30 years’ experience in Asia, is unrivalled in its reach, experience and success.
Would you describe briefly your career path and how you became involved in the duty free industry?
I started my career in India as a tea planter. After six years of that, I worked in a fashion retail company in Delhi for two years. At the age of 27 I joined ITDC in India, running duty free for five airports. I was picked up by the then Weitnauer (now Dufry) to run the business in Singapore and subsequently Asia Pacific and Middle East. I have been with King Power since 2003.
What is the extent of your company’s reach within Asia and beyond?
China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia for travel retail. Through projects and brand ownerships, in which I am directly involved, also Europe, Middle East, Asia Pacific etc.
What is the growth strategy in travel retail of your company?
Broadly speaking, to continue to get concessions, and to keep growing wherever it makes sense to do so. Also we aim to run our business responsibly.
What do you consider to be your finest achievements in a professional capacity?
Professionally, many; but I’m not going to talk about those. Besides the job, what I am proud about is being one of the small group who conceived the idea of APTRA, formed it, and then being involved as President for six years. We brought it to where it is today and I am pleased to see it is now being run very capably by Jaya and the fantastic team.
As regards APTRA, of which you were President for 6 years, of which development are you most proud?
There are none of which I am not proud. Obviously the greatest thing is having a strong board and membership base, people and companies totally committed to the cause of the industry.
How do you see your continuing role as a board member of APTRA?
I gave up my Presidency, not my commitment to the industry. APTRA will always have my full support in whatever capacity it needs me to serve it.
The duty free & travel retail industry faces challenges on several fronts. On which should attention be focused most closely at this point?
Well, obviously tobacco is a major issue, and I have spoken on this subject at various forums. Liquor could be next. This underlines the importance of the responsible retailing initiative and the code of conduct which we launched at the King Power stores at Macau Airport. We also need to keep an eye out for free trade agreements between countries in our region.
Are you optimistic about the industry’s future?
I’m not planning to go anywhere else, and yes, that’s because I am optimistic about the industry’s future.
Could you allow us some insight to your personal life – your leisure activities and your family?
I have been married for 31 years to my wife, Shikha. We have two fantastic kids, a son and a daughter, and I have just become a father-in-law. We have a dog called Cassius, a boxer. My leisure activities include golf and the Travel Retail Friendship Club.