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.

Maxx-M - - PROFILE - Pho­tos by Di­mas Soeyana

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?

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