If you’re a MoneySmart reader, you would most definitely be familiar with local airline Scoot. A subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, the budget carrier has made quite a name for themselves as the go-to airline for affordable tickets to destinations all over the world — from the nearby Bangkok and Taiwan to those farther away, like Berlin and Athens.
So yes, as travellers, we can recognise that black-and-yellow logo anywhere… But what do we really know about Scoot as an employer?
For the fifth instalment of What It Takes, a podcast series by MoneySmart and Workforce Singapore, we speak to Vincent Fu, Head of Revenue Management, Analytics and Distribution at Scoot.
Listen to the full episode here:
Scoot debuted as a start-up airline in late 2011 with just 3 aircraft and a handful of staff, but today, the brand is Singapore’s biggest low-cost carrier with over 2,500 employees. Last year, they even won back-to-back “Best Low-Cost Carrier” awards at the 30th TTG Asia Awards and the Travel Weekly Asia 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards.
Vincent first joined Scoot as a Senior Analyst in 2013. Over the years, he gained valuable exposure by moving between different teams at Scoot, from Scheduling and Revenue Management to Network Planning, before rising to his current position as Head of Revenue Management, Analytics and Distribution.
Aside from giving insight into the Scoot culture and business, Vincent chats with us about his illustrious career thus far, and shares the lessons he picked up along the way.
Here are some highlights.
On job-hunting as a fresh grad: “I wasn’t looking for something sexy.”
Obviously, helming a huge team at Scoot isn’t Vincent’s first job. He graduated from Singapore Management University with a Bachelor’s degree in business management, operations and marketing, and then started his career as a corporate development specialist at Jurong Port, running annual plans, as well as strategic and budgeting exercises.
When asked what considerations he had when he was in college and deciding where to work, he said simply that he wasn’t looking for “something sexy”. He was more focused on the job function, and in fact, the company name wasn’t important to him.
“Most of my peers from business school tend to gravitate towards the banks and entering consulting, but I went into what was very much deemed a sunset industry,” says Vincent.
On what he thinks about having a mentor: “Everyone taught me something.”
Because he deals so much with strategy and planning, Vincent has had to work with the C-level bosses throughout his career, even when he was a newbie. Curious to know what he learnt from the experience, we asked Vincent if he tried to establish any mentor-mentee relationships with these big guns.
Surprisingly, Vincent said that he’s never had any formal mentorships, and that everyone he’s worked with has taught him something. “I think that we always have something to learn from anyone,” he shares.
So what did he learn from working with the C-suite? “I think very early on I understood that they wanted to look at things a little differently,” says Vincent. “They wanted a condensed level of analysis that allowed them to make decisions; they didn’t want to be bogged down by all the details.”
On the culture at Scoot: “The CCO has the same sized desk as an intern.”
When asked about the culture at Scoot, Vincent immediately shares that it’s very open. He recalls how he was able to go around and ask questions, right from his day one as the only scheduler at Scoot.
“And it’s not just your peers. I find that you could go up to anyone. You could talk to the Commercial Officer, you could talk to the CEO,” says Vincent. He even shares that it’s “so open” that the CCO’s space was the same as the intern’s.
Vincent also says that Scoot is very fast-paced, and he loves it. “I don’t think I’d be able to go to another industry. Things move so quickly here and it’s exciting. There’s no such thing as a typical day here at Scoot,” says Vincent.
In short: If you want a slow, cushy job, this is not the place. But if you want to hustle and push yourself, you can do so at Scoot.
According to Vincent, Scoot looks for people who “aren’t afraid to speak up” and are “willing to put themselves out there”. The company values good attitude and grit.
On Scoot flight prices: “It’s basically called demand-based pricing.”
Since he’s the Head of, you know, revenue… We asked Vincent one of our burning questions: How does Scoot price their flights?
He explained that it’s quite simple: Scoot uses what they call “demand-based pricing”, whereby prices go up as demand increases.
Before you cry foul, know that this is actually quite common practice. “That’s basically the case for any industry that practices revenue management,” says Vincent, citing hotels, cinemas and even F&B as examples. “It’s just whether or not you’re aware of it,” he adds.
Would you like to work at Scoot or in the aviation industry? Tell us in the comments below.