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Mark Lankester Speaks Up On The Apprentice Asia

July 4, 2013 Corporate No Comments Email Email

Mark Lankester, who is one of Tan Sri Tony Fernandes’ Advisors on The Apprentice Asia television show on AXN, has acclaimed the programme as highly inspirational and was “one of the best experiences in my life”.

Mark Lankester - Apprentice Asia a “To be part of the show, not only with Tony and fellow Advisor Kathleen Tan, but also amongst the best professional, young talents in Asia is truly an amazing experience. What makes it particularly interesting is as an Advisor you are actually in the midst of all that happens but at a little bit of a distance. That distance allows you to see what’s happening around the contestants and the train wrecks which are on the way,” said Mark.

Mark is the Group CEO of Tune Hotels, an international value hotel brand that started six years ago with its base in Kuala Lumpur. Tune Hotels is part of Tune Group, a lifestyle business conglomerate co-founded by Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and Dato’ Kamarudin Meranun, who are the Group CEO and Deputy Group CEO respectively of Asia’s largest low cost carrier AirAsia.

According to Mark, playing Tony’s Advisor on The Apprentice Asia was a good break from his daily routines. Despite still having to manage and address urgent business matters while on set he said he enjoyed every moment of it.

Mark and Tony are childhood friends; they went to the same school in Malaysia and later in England.

“The time spent with the production team and contestants of The Apprentice Asia made it clear to me that we have such great talents and capabilities in Asia and we can take on the world. Tony himself is a highly successful entrepreneur and is a role model to not only the contestants but also the viewers and fans of The Apprentice Asia.”

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Mark came to Tune Hotels from the entertainment and leisure consumer goods industry. With over 15 years with the Warner Music Group in senior Regional and Managing Director management roles throughout Asia, Mark’s experience includes managing companies from start-up phases to managing growth-oriented established businesses across Asia and Greater China.

As the Group CEO of Tune Hotels, Mark was presented the Outstanding Entrepreneurship Award 2012 by the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards (APEA), a regional award for outstanding entrepreneurship in recognition of his best practices, past and current efforts and continued publicity.

A staunch believer of the Tune Hotels’ concept and its philosophy, Mark breathes and lives the brand. Tune Hotels has successfully pioneered a branded value hotel network globally that features the pay-as-you-need concept where guests only pay for basic room rates with the option of choice in adding on other amenities such as towels & toiletries, air-conditioning, in-room WiFi and satellite TV service as guests deem appropriate.

Providing international-standard, high quality accommodation by focusing on key essentials but minus the generally underutilised facilities commonly found in other hotels such as swimming pools, business centres and gymnasiums, Tune Hotels keeps its operating costs low, embraces energy saving opportunities and passes on savings to guests in the form of super low basic rates.  Almost five million guests have stayed at Tune Hotels since its inauguration in 2007.

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Tune Hotels employs a green concept where guests are given options to only pay for services and amenities that they require. It now has 30 hotels in operation in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and the UK. New properties are opening in Japan and Australia this year, while future projects are in the pipeline for the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

Mark is a strong proponent of social media for marketing, promotion and even customer care. At Tune Hotels, great emphasis is given on growing its fan base and followers on various social networking platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Sina Weibo, while its online portal www.tunehotels.com is positioned as the main user interface for guests to make and manage bookings from anywhere in the world.

Dubbed ‘The Ultimate Job Interview’, The Apprentice Asia is the regional adaptation of the US reality series based on the format created by reality TV guru Mark Burnett (The Voice, Survivor) and produced by Fremantlemedia Asia.

The face of the show is aviation tycoon and Forbes Asia’s 2010 ‘Asia Businessman of the Year’, Tony Fernandes, most well-known for turning around ailing airline AirAsia and breaking even within a year of taking over.

Twelve candidates from around the region vie for the honour of becoming Asia’s very first Apprentice, with the winner walking away with the opportunity to work for Tony in one of his enterprises. The winner will be revealed during the final episode of The Apprentice Asia that will air on Wednesday 31 July 2013.

In addition to Mark, Tony was also assisted by another Advisor on The Apprentice Asia board, AirAsiaExpedia CEO, Kathleen Tan.

Catch The Apprentice Asia every Wednesday at 9pm first and exclusively on AXN (Astro Ch701 and in HD on Ch721).

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