QATAR. Aircommerce Founder and CEO Melvin Broekaart has been named as the winner of the inaugural Trinity Challenge held at The Trinity Forum in Doha last week [look out for a full report on the winning entry in the next edition of The Moodie eZine].

As reported, the Trinity Challenge saw The Moodie Davitt Report partner with The Trinity Forum’s Innovation Partner, Mondelez World Travel Retail, to encourage a pioneering mindset and challenge prevailing industry wisdom.

The Moodie Davitt Report Founder & Chairman Martin Moodie takes delegates on a trip to Nirvana Airport at The Trinity Forum

Entrants were asked to take a trip to Nirvana Airport, a hypothetical aviation hub at the heart of one of Asia’s hottest tourism destinations. There is plentiful pace, investment budget and a far-sighted landlord, but commercial revenues have lagged behind strong passenger growth in recent years. Participants were asked to revitalise this side of the airport operations.

Mondelez World Travel Retail Managing Director Jaya Singh introduces the Challenge

The three shortlisted finalists pitched their entries at The Trinity Forum, with the winner securing a US$10,000 donation from The Moodie Davitt Report for a charity of their choice. Introducing the pitches, Mondelez World Travel Retail Managing Director Jaya Singh said: “The Trinity Challenge is about delivering innovation and thought leadership and is a place to share new ideas.”

Airbuy Chief Product Officer Mandar Garge. Airbuy discussed how to deliver greater engagement across the passenger journey

The first presentation was delivered by Airbuy, an AI-driven customer engagement platform that delivers “a seamless omnichannel solution” according to Chief Product Officer Mandar Garge. The company’s approach is to engage customers early and expand the shop window beyond the airport.

Podcast: CapsuleTransit CEO Ryan Loo offers an innovative solution to low dwell time

Next, CapsuleTransit CEO Ryan Loo offered a solution to the problem of a low dwell time at Nirvana Airport: a capsule hotel concept. Crucially, the pods can be located throughout the airport and passengers can choose their timeslots rather than paying for a full night. This will in turn encourage better dwell time and improve commercial revenues at the airport, he argued.

Broekaart’s compelling solution utilised existing messaging apps

Finally, Aircommerce Founder and CEO Melvin Broekaart introduced an artificial intelligence tool, which seeks to increase penetration “by seducing more passengers to make use of the already existing, amazing commercial venues present” at the airport.

“Aircommerce informs passengers about airport commercial venues, brands and experiences that can be found on their route to their gate and that truly matter to them,” he explained. “The AI-based conversational commerce tool doesn’t require any new apps on the passengers’ phones and is heavily personalised and self-learning.”

Passengers simply start a conversation on existing messaging apps such as WhatsApp by scanning a QR code at the airport. These then immediately strike up a conversation, where passengers can instantly receive a special offer, pay from within the conversation and then pick-up in the indicated store.

Judgement time: Martin Moodie (left) with competition judges (left to right) Mondelez World Travel Retail Managing Director Jaya Singh, PSI Managing Director Ben Milne and Harding Retail Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific Glyn Williams as they discuss the merits of all three entries

Singh and his fellow judges, PSI Managing Director Ben Milne and Harding Retail Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific Glyn Williams, then scrutinised each of the finalists.

The simplicity of Broekaart’s Aircommerce concept won over the judges (and a public vote by show of hands), who unanimously selected it as the winner. “It talks to passengers in a way they are used to engaging with,” said Williams.

Thousands of books are heading to Cambodia thanks to Broekaart’s victory

Accepting the Trinity Challenge award, Broekaart said the next step was to roll out the solution in airports, and it is ready for large-scale testing.

Some 10,000 children in Cambodia will benefit from Broekaart’s win, as that number of books will now be distributed in the country as a result of the winning charity donation. Room to Read aims to help children learn to read in a fun way.

Singh praised all the shortlisted finalists, saying that combined they could help create a “potential silver bullet solution”. “They all mentioned a need to co-create, and this is a function of having all stakeholders involved,” he added