Man of THE PEO­PLE

Lead­ing the rel­a­tively new Re­nais­sance Uluwatu Bali Re­sort and Spa, Brad Edman be­lieves in the bal­ance of pro­fes­sion­al­ism and a dash of fun. He sat down with Asia Dreams to talk about the im­por­tance of keep­ing his team happy and mo­ti­vated when run­ning a s

Asia Dreams - - INSPIRATION -

Q: How did you get into the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try, specif­i­cally work­ing with Mar­riott In­ter­na­tional?

A: Pre­vi­ously I had worked with a Cana­dian ho­tel com­pany, an­other ho­tel com­pany in Scot­land and Eng­land, and this lit­tle ho­tel in Mel­bourne called Rock­man's Re­gency, a bou­tique ho­tel for movie stars. Mar­riott took over that ho­tel in 1998, and when a big com­pany like Mar­riott comes along, it's ei­ther you want to be with them or not. I saw that Mar­riott was a great com­pany to work with, I saw a ca­reer, so I stayed and I've been with Mar­riott for 20 years now.

Q: Twenty years is quite a long time, what makes you be­lieve in Mar­riott In­ter­na­tional?

A: The com­pany al­ways gives me op­por­tu­ni­ties to grow, and is a re­sul­to­ri­ented com­pany; Chair­man Bill

Mar­riott be­lieves that if you take care of your peo­ple, they will take care of the cus­tomers and the cus­tomers will come back again and again – a culture that comes right down from the head of­fice right through our ho­tel associates. The ex­pe­ri­ence and the team work­ing with Mar­riott are what keeps me go­ing. Can I take an­other 20 years? Yes, I think so. I don't think there's an­other ho­tel com­pany that takes such an ap­proach to their peo­ple, the cus­tomers and the busi­ness quite like Mar­riott.

Q: What is your typ­i­cal day as a GM like? A: Golf in the morn­ing, mas­sage in the af­ter­noon... I wish! The job of the GM is to run the busi­ness, and I'm re­ally hands on. Some days it in­volves my be­ing the fi­nance per­son, other days be­ing the restau­rant man­ager, and ba­si­cally a prob­lem solver. My num­ber one re­spon­si­bil­ity, how­ever, is tak­ing care of the team. If I do that right and the team is happy, our cus­tomers will be happy. I like to be a team player, I like get­ting my hands dirty, mak­ing cof­fee for the guests, mak­ing them smile, play­ing with the chil­dren while the par­ents have break­fast, go­ing to the pool and throw­ing ice on some­one.

Q: You were cho­sen the Global Man­ager of the Year and Asia Pa­cific GM of the Year for Mar­riott; what do you think makes a good GM?

A: The bal­anced ap­proach. A GM should be a peo­ple per­son. Gone are the days – sorry old GMS – of just sit­ting be­hind

the desk, wait­ing for some­one to bring them cof­fee. I be­lieve a GM should make their own cof­fee, so they un­der­stand if the ma­chine's work­ing right, if the beans are fresh, if the cup's clean, etc. I be­lieve if you ex­pect some­one to do a task, you should know how to do that task in the best way there is pos­si­ble. When the team's cook­ing some­thing in the kitchen, I would put on an apron and ask the chef to teach me, so that when the guests or my team ask me, I can ex­plain it in a hu­man be­ing's terms and in culi­nary terms. Same with mak­ing a bed or mak­ing cof­fee. A GM'S job should be to learn some­thing new every day. Right now I'm do­ing my masters, spe­cial­is­ing in dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing. I'm go­ing back to school at this young age be­cause I want to stay ahead of the young peo­ple. I've also got this pro­gramme here in the ho­tel for fe­male su­per­vi­sors and man­agers, where I meet them weekly and men­tor them to make sure they have the skills to be a gen­eral man­ager one day. Q: How would you de­scribe Re­nais­sance Bali Uluwatu Re­sort and Spa’s ap­proach to hos­pi­tal­ity?

A: The brand en­ables my­self and the team to pro­voke that in­trigue and some in­de­pen­dence, so that we won't be just an­other ho­tel. We're five-star, but we want to make sure that peo­ple will feel that they can be who they want to be.

It's about find­ing that sweet spot, where the cus­tomers are com­fort­able to have a bit of fun, and we want to pro­voke a sense of dis­cov­ery. Rather than point­ing the guests to a big tourist at­trac­tion, we want to sug­gest lit­tle hid­den gems of the neigh­bour­hood that you don't read in guide­books. The Re­nais­sance brand is about find­ing that lit­tle spe­cialty area that no one else knows.

Q: Do you have any ad­vice for any­one look­ing to break into the in­dus­try?

A: I would ad­vise any­one – young or old – that the time is now. The In­done­sian econ­omy is do­ing well, in­bound and out­bound travel is grow­ing, mid­dle class In­done­sians have money to spend, there is a de­mand for lux­ury and the air­lines' ca­pac­ity is ex­pand­ing, it's a great in­dus­try. It's an in­dus­try that if you come in, do it and work hard, you'll get re­warded, es­pe­cially in Mar­riott In­ter­na­tional. It's a big brand and there's more com­ing. Some­one en­ter­ing the in­dus­try now af­ter school can come and work in one ho­tel, and can have a ca­reer with Mar­riott In­ter­na­tional just in Bali, where he can keep mov­ing, be­ing pro­moted and grow­ing with­out hav­ing to leave home.

Re­nais­sance Bali Ul­wu­atu Re­sort and Spa

Jalan Pan­tai Balan­gan 1 No. 1, Un­gasan Bali 80361, In­done­sia

T: (+62) 3612003588 E: rhi.dp­[email protected]­nais­sance­ho­tels.com re­nais­sance­bali.com

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