An interview with Mr. Guo Bin, the Founder of TaiOursea
In 2012, when I was traveling through Thailand, full of fatigue, I walked into a Thai massage spa. After a relaxing Thai massage, I felt I was fully restored and was so impressed by it. After looking up the materials, I realized that Thai massage is one of the three treasures of Thailand. The massage techniques originate from ancient Indian yoga, and the pharmacology is actually from the Chinese medical classic Huangdi Neijing (The Inner Canon of Huangdi). At that time, however, in China, not many people were interested in relaxing body and mind through spa treatments. Though many Chinese are in sub-health conditions, there weren’t many spas. I realized that Thai spa can be perfectly integrated with TCM to improve the health of Chinese people, so I made the decision to bring authentic Thai massage to China. ” Mr. Guo Bin, the founder of TaiOursea, told SpaChina.
TaiOursea was founded in 2013. In cooperation with a Thai massage training school designated by the Thai Ministry of Labor, the company established a training center and research laboratory to train professional talents, develop and continually upgrade Thai spa products, with the aim to enhance the professionalism and overall quality of the industry. Over the years, TaiOursea has constantly upgraded its services and products to meet the customers’ needs and has provided millions of customers with the original Thai massage experience. So far, the company has opened more than 60 directly operated spas including one directly operated spa and a technical exchange center in Chiang Mai, Thailand. In addition, it has three training bases in China. SpaChina interviewed Mr. Guo Bin.
Have you made any local adjustments in the process of introducing Thai massage and services to the Chinese market?
A pleasant and relaxing Thai SPA journey requires not only massage techniques. We hope that customers will feel relaxed the moment they walk into the spa. We pay special attention to the five senses of customers during the services. After entering the spa, everything they see, hear, smell, taste and touch are infused with Thai style. So they can now enjoy immersive Thai Spa in China. Our customers become younger and younger. This younger generation have higher demand for trendy elements and modern aesthetics. So we keep upgrading our designs. At present, we have launched the 3.0 version of modern style, which has more trendy elements and products that cater for the young people compared to the 2.0 version of Chinese style in 2018.
The skills of the therapists and the quality of the treatments are key factors in retaining guests. How do you train and assess your staff?
TaiOursea formed a cooperation with the Thai massage training school designated by the Ministry of Labor of Thailand in 2017 and has established a training and research center to train professional talents and develop Thai spa products to enhance the professionalism and overall style of the industry. TaiOursea Training Center has a senior professional team to provide comprehensive training and assessment for each new employee, and regularly organizes study tours to Thailand for outstanding employees to learn authentic Thai massage techniques and services. We also diligently learn from outstanding enterprises in other industries, and invite experts to come for knowledge and experience exchanges, all with the aim to constantly improve the level of operation and management.
What are the most popular treatments at TaiOursea? What new treatments and programs are being launched?
Every guest can find a treatment that suits him or her most at TaiOursea. If you like to stretch, choose the traditional Thai massages. If you are seeking something soothing and relaxing, the essential oil treatments are best for you. If you want to remove dampness and cold, choose the herbal treatments. For relaxation of certain parts of the body, we also have a range of treatments to target.
In order to improve guests’ experience, our R&D team has independently developed our own product lines. After 2 years of labor, with more than 100 test experiments, and over 1,000 trials on staff, we finally launched the essential oil products designed for Chinese people. In December 2020, we officially introduced TaiOursea·Unruly Line to upgrade our aromatherapy experience. In March this year, we launched our Spring & Summer massage oil package to help customers unblock the body meridians and heal the body. The feedback is quite impressive. Many people say the products make them begin to focus on the body’s self-healing energy.
In June, TaiOursea extended the aromatherapy experience to the face. We created an innovative aromatic healing experience with a new O+X formula, the precise combination of natural essential oils and technical ingredients, to pamper the skin with oil and improve physical and mental balance and skin health. In the future, we will develop more essential oil treatments and products that can be used at home.
What’s your thoughts on market competition?
We are very happy to see the birth of brands that convey health and beauty and healthy competition in the market, which not only guides customers to pay attention to their health, but also allows people to have more choices.
On the way of continual development, TaiOursea understands more and more about the power of focus. We focus on the development of the subdivisions of Thai massage to improve the quality of our services. We cooperate with the Thai massage training school designated by the Ministry of Labor of Thailand, and have set up several training centers to comprehensively train and assess each new employee. We organize regular study tours to Thailand for outstanding employees, learn from outstanding enterprises across industries, and invite various experts to come for knowledge and experience exchanges in order to improve the operations and management level.
We hope to revolutionize the massage industry with digital intelligence. We launched our middle ground system in 2020 to collect and analyze a large amount of data to gain insight into customer needs, improve service quality, and provide more personalized services. We have adopted the “community + store” mode of operation to break through the constraints of time and space, give full play to the advantages of the store experience and use the community to enhance the cohesion with customers and build a sense of trust.
TaiOursea has been continuously improving and optimizing its service standards, and has been recognized by the industry and the society. We have won the “Best Brand of Thai Spa in China in 2017 and 2018” issued by the China General Chamber of Commerce – China National Spa Committee, and been awarded as the “Golden Store” by Meituan and the “Most Influential Enterprise” by China Blue Crystal Award for many years. In 2019, TaiOursea was awarded “Best SPA Culture Award” by 2019 CHIANG MAI SPA AWARDS in Chiang Mai Province, Thailand. In 2020, we won the BLUEPRINT AWARDS and APIDA AWARDS. In the same year, many leaders from the Consulate General of Thailand in Shanghai and the Shanghai Office of the National Tourism Administration of Thailand visited TaiOursea and gave us full recognition and a lot of encouragement.
What are the development goals of TaiOursea in the next 5 years?
In the next 5 years, TaiOursea will continue to focus on the subdivisions of Thai SPA, and strive to become a benchmark brand for creating a healthy and beautiful life, as well as an excellent enterprise with high talent efficiency and strong competitiveness. We hope to attract more and more young people to join us, who may grow to become the mainstay of the Thai SPA health and life aesthetics business. We will complete the innovation of digital intelligence and provide personalized services to more people with the help of big date. The research and development team of TaiOursea will continue to launch new essential oil products that extend to all aspects of people’s lives, bringing health and beauty to more people.
We perceive that more and more young people are becoming “health enthusiasts”. Many of them get used to putting some wolfberry into their vacuum cups. This is in fact a reflection of their interest in wellness. So we will pay more attention to the young people market.