Happy Birthday Your Majesty! And thank you for the very kind mention on your special day of ‘Piero’ (the company I manage) as an exemplar of British innovation. My day job is stewardship of a small software developer that provides sport broadcast graphical tools called Piero and today Her Majesty The Queen announced that we had been awarded The 2011 Queen’s Award for Innovation.
On a far less majestic scale, if I had to give out an award for Innovation in general to Maldive resorts, it would go to Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru. They not only innovate with a range of creative touches (many of which I haven’t had the opportunity to post yet), but they also must be the most technology rich resort. They have embraced ‘reefscaping’ more extensively than any other. Their Marine Discovery Center sponsors and conducts research in innovation for marine bio-sustainability.
A brilliant example of both service innovation and using technology is their ‘Manta On-Call’ service. One of the givens to nature is it unpredictability and that is especially true with many of its most beguiling and intriguing creatures. While it is part of the territory that there is no guarantee what you might see when you venture into the wild (as we learned on our Hammerhead excursion while visiting Kuramathi’s not-so-eponymous Hammerhead Point that day), it is nonetheless frustrating when you have so little time during your visit. While the lovely water and general aquatic flora and fauna always provide excellent consolation, it can be a bit disappointing heading out on a number of excursions hoping to see something as dramatic as manta rays but come back unsuccessful. To help increase the chances of seeing mantas, Landaa has a service called ‘Manta On-Call’. The reception gives you your own mobile phone and keeps in touch with the dive trips and snorkel excursions throughout the day. If a group of mantas is spotted, they telephone you wherever you are on the island and arrange an excursion to take you out so you can see them as soon as feasible.
Hat’s off to Landaa, congratulations to Piero, and Happy Birthday to Her Majesty the Queen.