Women at the Top
“I love what I do and am passionate about learning. I believe that miracles can happen in several ways.” That is Fiskarani S. Sugandi’s philosophy of work, and that has taken her to the top at Samali Hotels & Resorts as the Managing Director.
Ihave known Friskarani S. Sugandi, also well known as Karan, for years; You never get bored when talking with her. She seems to know it all, from the latest in the economy, to what’s hot in the industry, from the newest and hippest coffee shop to her favorite Korean drama. Karan is such an inspiration to me, not only has she climbed to the top position at Samali Hotels & Resorts but because she did it with style and in heels. I sat down with her to find out more about her success story.
Can you tell us a little bit about Samali Hotels & Resorts?
There are four brands under the Samali Hotels’ wing with 5-star Hotel Ammi, 4-Star Allium Hotels, 3-Star Arum Hotels and the 2-Star Azara Hotels. Samali Hotels have been adding color to the hospitality industry for the past five years. We now operate hotels in Cepu that includes Ammi and Allium, and Allium hotels in Batam and Tangerang. Medan and Yog ya kart are main on our radar for the next hotels.
Which of them is your favourite hotel?
I love them all because they are all unique: the Hotel Ammi in Cepu radiates the feeling of entering an oasis in a small district; I love both the dome and meeting rooms in the Al li um Tan ge rang; the complimentary view of Singapore from Allium Batam’s top floor; the typical resort like Allium Cepu with its large pool.
What differentiates Samali Hotels & Resorts offer from other hotel brands?
Samali was established by a team of people who are service oriented and knowledgeable in hospitality management, from various backgrounds in premium five stars to budget hotels. Samali is supported by a holding company with a long track record of performance as developers and civil engineering which has provided Samali with additional knowledge and experience. Samali hotels’ concept is carefully thought of from product planning to the application of unique services that create an advantage over competitions. Additionally, the hotels’ architecture is designed uniquely so that the hotel can become a destination in itself in the area they are built.
The philosophy to provide excellent service to every guest through all the 5 senses: hearing, touch, taste, sight and scent (HOTS | Harmony of the Senses) introduces an exceptional service culture for new employees and is mandatory in training modules. Service excellence is the basic key to providing service to guests.
What do you like the most about Samali Hotels & Resorts?
I always look forward to being in a place where excellence is constantly in demand while giving room for a healthy and positive working environment. Through discussions, even small talks and sharing moments, I often gain new insights and continuous learning is conserved. Samali Hotels is a great place to work and each day presents opportunities to learn new things. Everyone has a place and a sense of ownership in the company. The culture is great, the environment is incredibly empowering and the core values align with my own virtues.
Please describe yourself in 5 words
Creative; I believe that there is always a way out. when I get stuck and I might think of it all night long even while I am doing different activities.
Straightforward; I keep it simple and direct and not interested in unhelpful details, but rather say things as they are and my team appreciate it.
Passionate; I love my work like I do my family. Loving them makes it easier for me to swim and dive in, every moment.
Strong; I am confident all the time and belief that I am able to achieve even more than the necessary; from simple things like pursuing happiness and being healthy.
Persistent; I persevere and remind others never to ‘give up’ but to continue on and on towards the goals.
Name one woman you most admire and tell us why
Anne Patricia Sutan to-Vice President Director, Pan Brothers. I admire her success and work. She is a typical hard and smart working Leader and never leaves anything unfinished. On the road to achieving her spectacular goals and career, she is also actively engaged in various philanthropic efforts. As one of the most powerful Indonesian business women, she prioritizes her role as a mother. A loving, yet firm look from a woman that functions in two important ‘shoes’ every day; being a great leader in the office and being a great mom at home. The switching moment has to be quick and seamless to keep everything smooth and balanced in a way.
How hard it is for a woman to have a career in the hospitality industry?
Balancing between career, family and me time. Women working in the hospitality industry should be strong physically and emotionally. It is indeed time-consuming, and peaks at certain periods when going the extramile is required. Atthis point, excellent time management skills come handy.