Love what You Do
Melida Weber, General Manager of MESA Hotels and Resorts, spoke with Grace Solarbesain about her experience in hospitality and her love for the industry.
Can you share with us about you and your background?
I was born in Indonesia and when I was 3 months I was adopted by German family who life in Indonesia and still life in Indonesia. After gratuated from high school in Jakarta, I went to University in America, and worked in my first Hotel also in Amerika for two and half years after that I worked in a lot of places like Caribbean, Maldives, Thailand, and brought me to back to Bali about 5 years ago and 4 years ago I started working for this company as General Manager at The Edge Bali by Mesa Hotel and Resorts, and now I am in Jakarta working as General Manager of Mesa
What differences do you see between Jakarta and Bali?
There are very big differences. Jakarta is becoming a very developed city. I lived here from 1976 to 1994, and it has developed so much since that time. It is a very busy city and is a great city for young, metropolitan people. I prefer Bali because Bali is more lifestyle, resorts and people on holiday, while hotels in Jakarta are more business hotels. In Bali, if you have the day off you can go to the beach without any problem. In Jakarta if you want to go to the beach, Ancol, for example, you need the day just to get there. Besides that, there are so many more beaches in Bali that I love than in Jakarta.
Why do you love working in the hospitality industry?
Because no two days are the same. In a hotel you are dealing with three very important factors. You are dealing with guests, with staff and you are dealing with the owner and management company, and there is never a boring experience with all three. I think there is something in hospitality that will never change, and that is, people always want to be treated well. No matter what level you are, everyone wants good service. That is why I love this industry.
From your perspective, what are the differences between hospitality in Bali and in Jakarta?
In Bali, we are dealing with guests at the leisure level. In Jakarta, you are dealing with business hotels, so the approaches are different. People still want great service but managing resort guests is much different than business hotel guests.
As a General Manager, do you find managing people to be difficult?
No, it is fantastic. It is the most interesting part of any job, managing people, guiding them, coaching them and training them. I think it is easier to do somebody’s job for them than to teach them how to do their job themselves. Teaching them to think, to have an opinion, to disagree, you know that is not necessarily something Indonesians do, they don’t like to disagree, but it is good to question, because if you do not question you cannot improve.
Do you think it is more difficult for a woman in your position than for a man?
I do not think it is difficult. I think people choose in life to succeed, whether you are a woman, whether you are short or maybe fat, it doesn’t important. Sometimes people think being a woman and a general manager is more difficult because women are emotional and more temperamental, but if you deal with people fairly it doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman. People just want to be treated fairly. If they realize that they are being treated fairly, they will be happy to work for you, no matter what.
What do you find out the nice working in Messa Hotel?
I like the philosophy behind it. I like the fact that they are developing a project in Pulau Seribu, and I like the challenge of working with different properties, because the strategy has to be different. And the brand itself is so very Indonesian.
What is the biggest challenge you face in your work?
I think the challenge is how to manage three properties well. Grand Kemang is a very successful hotel, MesaStila is a very successful experience surrounded by nature and The Edge Bali has a focus on weddings. The challenge is to make sure people know about the three properties.
Do you enjoy your work?
Yes, I do enjoy it. If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.
Do you think you are a successful woman?
I like to go anywhere. Indonesia is amazing. I still have a long way to go. I am on the way to being successful. It depends on how you measure success. I am happy with where I am going and I know that I can be more successful.
What is the meaning of success for you?
Success means being happy, not just in my career but also in my life. I want to lead people in a good direction, and I want to be an example for the people who work with me. I don’t think success is whether you are a GM or the CEO, but how satisfied you are with yourself.
Do you have any favourite travel destination in Indonesia?