Subrata Dutta is in Singapore for a blink of an eye before he’ll jet off yet again, and then some. For the president of Samsonite Asia Pacific, who oversees the management and development of Samsonite in Asia, frequent flying is part of the job description – averaging at least 20 days a month, and sometimes more. Even though the extreme schedule can get strenuous, Dutta professes a deep love for being constantly on the move. Sitting in one place for too long never does it for the eternal wanderer, who prefers long walks and drives, over staying in one place for too long.
How does a frequent traveller like you beat that dreaded jet lag?
I set my watch to match the destination’s local time soon after take-off and adjust my sleep according to the destination’s sleeping hours. I also drink lots of water and avoid alcohol. Being dehydrated can make the symptoms of jet lag worse.
Five things you can’t travel without?
My backpack always contains my passport, two books (an easy read and a serious non-fiction), a bar of chocolate, a bottle of water and my toothbrush and toothpaste. Even with only a few minutes’ notice, I am game to embark on a journey.
How are people travelling differently now?
Family holidays could be as brief as two days, instead of two to three weeks. Even then, everyone in the family is involved in deciding where to go. I have a friend who does two-day getaways with his family where each member makes a pitch before everyone agrees on a destination, making it truly a family activity.
What is your view on “overtourism”, the latest buzzword?
Overtourism is a natural outcome of increasing tourism. I believe a tourist needs to appreciate and be aware of local culture and etiquette. One has to make effort to keep the peace and attempt to blend seamlessly with the local environment. An understanding, non-aggressive tourist is always welcome wherever he or she goes.
In the light of the recent closure of two promising smart luggage start-ups, do you think there is a place for smart luggage right now?
Smart luggage has to live up to its name. Force fitting technology into a product never works. Technology must have a purpose or a reason, like making the user’s life easier. Samsonite has always been known for using technology in ways that benefit the traveller. For example, launching this August, our Evoa Tech collection is equipped with fingerprint lock, among other useful features.
Finally, your go-to Samsonite suitcase is…
A Polygon carry-on luggage. It looks really attractive with a premium brushed texture finishing to reduce scratch visibility. The spacious design also makes for easy packing and it comes with a super effective Easy Brake System.
TEXT MELAINNE CHIEW