Apple Vacations founder Datuk Seri Lee Ee Hoe turns crisis into opportunity by switching to selling imported high-end fruits as nations across the world impose lockdown measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Apple Vacations turns crisis into opportunity by selling high-end fruits
PETALING JAYA, Feb 15 (Sin Chew Daily) — Apple Vacations founder Datuk Seri Lee Ee Hoe turns crisis into opportunity by switching to selling imported high-end fruits as nations across the world impose lockdown measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lee said instead of waiting, he took the initiative to find a way out in the crisis.
“Judging from the current situation, even for one who has gone through a lot in life, he will still have to be back to square one to start from scratch,” he said.
Lee personally delivered boxes of apples imported from Japan and South Korea to customers.
He admitted that the pandemic has taught him the lesson of not putting all the eggs in one basket, as the travel industry is relatively vulnerable to disaster and crisis such as earthquake, tsunami, air disaster and others.
“For many years, although my tour business has expanded from Japan to all parts of the world, it remains as a tour business. Hence, I start to think whether I can treat travel business as a base and then place other eggs in a different basket,” he said.
Apple Vacations launched Tool Apple Marketo on January 15 selling high-end fruits from Japan and South Korea as well as some of the most popular gifts from Japan like Ichiran Ramen, Shiroi Koibito and the legendary Japanese wagyu.
“The pandemic shows no improvement this year in Malaysia. Even domestic tourism is going nowhere. I need to pay staff RM400,000 in salary every month.
“We came across this opportunity to sell fruits and products from Japan. We found the blue sea for Apple.
“Prior to MCO 2.0, all Applenians were still in the working mode, keeping contacts with clients. With no traveling allowed, staff were still interacting with clients on tourism products and info across the world.
“Apple Vacations has always placed quality as its base and offers luxury in a low profile manner,” he said.
Lee is grateful that sale of his new products has been encouraging. They are sold off within a short period of time once the products or packages are launched on Facebook and the company’s website.
Lee said the sale of fruits from Japan and Korea, as well as gifts from Japan and other products are not meant to rake in profit but to keep in touch with the clients. By maintaining the relationship with clients, Apple Vacations is also preparing them for post COVID-19.
“We hope our clients see us as walking the talk. We work hard during this difficult time. Once the pandemic is over and Apple will be the first thing that comes to their minds when they want to travel.
“We are the clients’ top choice. We are making efforts to prepare for the future,” he said.
Lee said he was moved by his clients’ support of Tool Apple Marketo when it was first launched.
“Even when the pandemic is over and the travel industry has recovered, we will sill continue exploring new platforms for Tool Apple Marketo. The eggs are not supposed to be placed in the same basket always,” he said.
Lee said the fruits and products delivered to clients have been checked thoroughly to ensure that they are in good conditions. The fruits and products are checked and packed with a small gift card.
“We have more manpower at this moment to perform thorough checks. The most important thing is to let the clients feel good when they receive the orders personally delivered by us,” he said.