Md Al-Amin, Hotel in Charge and EAM, Six Seasons Hotel
Dhaka : Six Seasons Hotel, now in its seventh year, registered 28 per cent growth year on year. It was not just room sales, new business development was the focus.
Md Al-Amin, Hotel in Charge and EAM, Six Seasons Hotel, who joined the hotel in December last year said this while talking to The Bangladesh Monitor at his office in the city recently.
He said, “We were able to do this as we took service to a better level. Service is our main strength. We tried to add value - we sold the brand, customised the experience and it worked.”
The EAM said, then there is the emergence of digital technology. Thry are developing the business according to that.
Six Seasons Hotel has been included in TripAdvisor's "Hall of Fame" for attaining guests' appreciation for four years in a row, he pointed out.
Al-Amin said, they have got a good team here, but still they are giving importance to building human resources. “Indeed there is no other way out, if you want to enhance services. We train and imbue our staff to offer the best of service. If you do not give importance to HR then service quality will drop”, he said.
We, who are leading the hotels now, should give attention to the next generation of leaders who can take the leadership of running the new hotels. Otherwise there will be a vacuum. Bringing in expats would be an expensive proposition for the investors.
“We have experienced professionals. Giving the example of country's cricket scenario, he said we can also appoint foreign "coaches" to train up future hospitality sector leaders with intense and advanced training, who can - in turn - train people here.”
Look at banks. They do not have to bring in bankers from abroad. The banks depend on local talents.
Al-Amin said he was giving attention to developing "successors," people who would lead this hotel in the future, he said.
The EAM felt hospitality industry should provide incentives so that good students become eager to take up a career in hospitality sector. If good students come, then this sector will flourish.
“We took the leap and we have shown what we can do,” he said of himself and other young professionals leading their respective hotels now.
Al-Amin said, “we also will have to change our mindset. One does not have to become an aged person to become GM. Look at neighbouring India. A 30-year-old can become a general manager of a hotel there.
He opined that if the owners want to have, and retain, qualified people then they should pay them accordingly.
On new hotels coming up, he said, “the days ahead will be difficult as supply is being added and demand not growing that much (I don't see big demand in the next five years, overall expansion would not be significant), we'll have to stop price war.”
He said, “if we are not able to stop the price war, the industry will suffer. When the new big hotels open their doors, many smaller ones may have to shut down.”
“If we want to survive, collaboration among the hotels will be important.” They should agree on a price point and not undercut it.
As for himself, he is positive. He called out to some of his industry friends and they seem to be positive too, as everyone wants year-on-year growth of the properties they are heading.
Hoteliers Premier League
To bring the leading hotel professionals closer, Al-Amin is organising "Hoteliers Premier League" this winter. There will be 12 teams, including The Peninsula of Chittagong, to start with, he said.
Concluding, Al-Amin said Six Seasons will be going for expansion in Gulshan and Banani in 2020.