Fun business requires a serious strategy


Landmark Leisure, the leisure and entertainment arm of retail conglomerate Landmark Group, has been an indoor family entertainment centre (FEC) specialist for many decades. The ride began with Fun City, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. It expanded with several concepts catering for different age groups – including Fun Block, Fun Ville, Fun Works, and more recently Jumble and Tridom. Today there are 93 centres, comprising all the brands, under Landmark Leisure across the Middle East and North Africa region and India.

So far, the journey has been nothing short of exhilarating, replete with phases of transformation, growth, new realisations and renewal. “Our current theme is sustainability of our business model, while maintaining our strong sense of customer-centricity and employee engagement,” said Silvio Liedtke, CEO, Landmark Leisure.

When asked about Landmark Leisure’s future investment areas – increasing the portfolio or enhancing existing offerings – Liedtke shared, “We will continue to look at both areas. Fundamentally, we are in a difficult market; but our business model is rock solid. Until a couple of years ago, we were blessed with impressive productivity revenue numbers. What we see now is simply the ‘new reality’. The challenge is to find our place in this new reality, which requires some adjustments. For example, we do competitive visitation analysis among our target audience. In the last 2.5 years, we have analysed 330 competitive visits, and the running score is 301 in our favour. This helps to ensure that Landmark Leisure concepts stay competitive and relevant.”

Being a firm believer in diversification, Landmark Leisure is currently working on new concepts. “On the other hand, we have been receiving a lot of joint venture enquiries, especially for Jumble and Fun Block,” Liedtke revealed. “We had already franchised Fun City in North Africa and continue to receive a lot of franchise enquiries for the core products from the African sub-continent. Our goals now are being opportunistic in the Middle East, driving our franchise business and growing in India.”

“India is on a completely different trajectory where we have grown over 40% in each of the last couple of years,” he continued. “We have primarily focused on Fun City in India, although we are now in the process of building a 50,000 sqft Tridom in Hyderabad, setting a benchmark for FECs there.”

“In our little ways, we are creating benchmarks for the leisure and entertainment industry. Be it customer centricity, employee engagement and relevance for the market. We have created a robust correlation between our return on investment and return on capital employed. Even in a subdued market, we didn’t have to make our people redundant, and that’s a significant achievement,” Liedtke concluded.