Tatler Indonesia

Life is Good

Chairman and Founder of Karma Group, John Spence, talks about shaping and leading a global company to thrive even during the Covid-19 pandemic

- By Hesikios Kevin

Unusual beginnings tend to lend fun experience­s in life, and such is the case for John Spence. He started Karma Group, an internatio­nal travel and lifestyle brand, after switching a music-management career to hospitalit­y in 1993. “I had little experience developing the first two hotels in Goa and Bali, and had to learn it all by doing,” he said. “We now know that the key is to train the local people because they understand the culture and custom better than us.” With an establishe­d teamwork and training structure, Spence could quickly dispatch a team from one of Karma Group’s 37 global properties to help develop yet another resort. A team from Bali, for instance, had come to Karma Salak—a newly-opened resort in the Puncak area at the base of Mount Salak—to prepare the property that opened in late 2020.

To open a resort in Indonesia in the thick of the Covid-19 pandemic is quite a daring move. Although the coronaviru­s has disrupted the travel and hospitalit­y industry, Spence remained positive, and even gamely made new initiative­s to invest in the future. “The Covid-19 pandemic makes me rethink about our short and long term plans with a stop-andstart strategy in various measures,” he said. “In the short term, people choose to travel to local destinatio­ns, as long as the situation permits. In the long term, once the vaccines took effect, we would be ready to welcome guests with our top-notch Karma Group standards.”

Using a strategic approach to see what its market needed and required, Karma Group saw opportunit­ies to grow by finding the best sites at great locations with a good deal. “Moreover, during this trying time, we commit to no redundancy and to not lay off anyone from our teams,” Spence said. “We also open new communicat­ion channels and make use of digital technology to stay in touch with, and ensure satisfacti­on from, our clients and members.” It all boils down to the philosophy behind Karma Group to entertain its guests and provide fantastic experience­s—and to have fun while at it. This is a promise Spence delivered as four awards earned in 2020, among many, proved how Karma Group is a leader in the industry.

 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Indonesia