Bengaluru-based theme park and resorts company Wonderla Holidays recently announced resumption of partial operations at its Bengaluru Park starting next week, after it closed in March due to coronavirus lockdown. The company which also announced its second quarter results for FY21, registered PAT losses of Rs 15 crore as against profit of Rs 16 lakhs in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.
Speaking to Business Today.In, the company's Managing Director Arun Chittilapilly said the opening of Bengaluru park was more of a trial with the resort opening 3 days a week. "We are selling tickets only online, and will do exclusive digital marketing for these tickets. It's a very different ball game right now, especially during the pandemic since normal demand will not be there and we have to generate new demand," he said.
However, he added that it was too early to predict the extent of recovery the company could see. Wonderla hopes to get approval soon for resumption of operations in Hyderabad, while there is still no certainty around the Kochi park.
With nearly three quarters of non-operations, the company also undertook a massive cost rationalisation exercise resulting in expenditure of Rs 9.32 crore in the second quarter as against Rs 11.90 core in the previous quarter of this year, with cost of people being the main overhead.
"We have around three quarters of our work force as contract labour. So we have been able to reduce that drastically. Everybody has taken a salary cut in the company of more than 50 percent," said Chittilapilly. Other costs such as rentals have also been stemmed by moving its corporate office into the park premises. "The idea was to be able to survive the pandemic," he said. Depending on the operations, the labour force could be ramped up quickly, he added.
The company which started 'Wonder Kitchen', a food takeaway and home delivery division in June as an alternate source of revenue has extended the operations into all three cities where the theme parks are located. Currently with 4 branches, Wonderla sees a significant opportunity in the cloud kitchen space having done business of nearly Rs 18 lakh in the first quarter. "We really want to keep this business going, since there are very few organised players. There is a niche that I think we can also fill and that is what we are hoping for," Chittilapilly said.
Also read: The Bucket List