First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Viola Palescandolo: Thankfully, we are all fine, although we’ve been facing anxiety and uncertainty like everyone else. This situation forced us to find a new balance and reminded us not to take anything for granted, especially the most simple things, like the freedom to give a hug or take a stroll on a sunny day.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Black Platinum Gold.
Viola Palescandolo: I founded Black Platinum Gold in 2017, after a career as a Naval Engineer in the ultra-luxury Superyacht industry. I always thought of myself as an entrepreneur, and thanks to my professional knowledge of the luxury market, my passion for travel, and my deep desire to create my own company, Black Platinum Gold was born, becoming from the very beginning a reference point for the Luxury Travel Industry.
How does Black Platinum Gold innovate?
Viola Palescandolo: My company’s biggest innovation came this year: I had a clear vision right before the beginning of the pandemic and brought it ahead despite all the difficulties and uncertainty.
In June 2020, Black Platinum Gold launched the first and only Luxury Travel Auctions platform, fully integrated into the website, offering handpicked destinations all over the world with a highly competitive starting bid. Today Black Platinum Gold empowers people to be go-getters instead of just dreamers. Our unique business model is based on a virtuous cycle, which brings mutual benefit to all the involved parties.
Hospitality businesses achieve not only the advantage of the digital exposure offered by the BPG system, which includes a website, social media channels, and auctions platform, but also the possibility of reaching a new target of extremely motivated consumers ready to “fight” with bids to turn their dreams of luxury and beauty into reality.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Viola Palescandolo: Certainly, the entire Travel Industry has been one of the most affected. Even the most passionate travelers feel discouraged from planning any trip, not knowing if it will be possible to go.
One of the strongest points of Black Platinum Gold’s Auctions is the full flexibility of the reservation dates: there’s no deadline upon the property’s availability. It’s really important for travellers to know that they have time to enjoy their trip, and that, in case of new travel restrictions, they won’t lose their money (actually they will have made a very good deal!)
Moreover, considering all the stress and struggling people have faced for almost a year now, it’s very important and motivating to know that there is something beautiful to be waiting for!
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Viola Palescandolo: Since the Luxury Travel Auction Platform has been launched during the pandemic outbreak, it has been a fight every day.
The most important lesson was the importance of constantly innovating, thinking out of the box, launching projects before anyone else, and strongly believing in my vision, no matter what.
The most difficult part was coping with a long-term strategy with a situation of emergency that was changing the rules almost every day.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Viola Palescandolo: I tell myself that I have a certain amount of energy to invest, and I don’t want to waste any of it on things that won’t bring any benefits.
I consider it a waste of time complaining about circumstances or envying others’ advantages. The best way to manage stress and anxiety is to stay focused on the big picture, which must be clear in your head and concentrate any action towards that direction.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Viola Palescandolo: Right now, I don’t have any direct competitors. Many B2B and B2C businesses in the Luxury Travel Industry are certainly rich in quality and value, but there’s no direct competitor to Black Platinum Gold. Our Auctions Platform is the only one focused on Luxury Travel, involving a unique vendor and partner destinations all over the world.
Your final thoughts?
Viola Palescandolo: Since the launch of BPG Auctions Platform, every day has been a challenge.
At the same time, every day brought satisfaction and enthusiasm, the priceless pride and joy that only people who see their most ambitious projects coming to life can understand.
In a few years, everyone will know Black Platinum Gold.