Local talent will shine bright in top management

While over the past decade, local talent has been a sought-after resource for the ever-growing hospitality industry in Bali and throughout the Asia-Pacific region, the top leaders of Starwood Hotels and Resorts in Asia Pacific believe that within the next few years, more Indonesian talent will shine even brighter at the top level of hotel management. “It will come with time. Rome was not built in one day. It is very important for the talent to go through different stages, where they learn and move on to the next stages.

I think in another two to four years, you will see a lot of senior level positions being held by Indonesian talent. They will come to the forefront and they will be seen as general managers, as the strategic leaders in many hotels,” the managing director of Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort and The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bipan Kapur, said on the sidelines of Starwood’s Asia Pacific Recruitment Day on Wednesday. Around 500 students from 12 schools, including STP Bali, Poltek Negeri Bali, Mapindo and Dyana Pura, took part in the event that is being hosted simultaneously in 85 cities, including Bangkok, Shanghai, Beijing, Sanya, Tokyo, Delhi and Seoul — across the Asia-Pacific region.

The event targeted filling as many as 5,000 job positions at all levels and functions in over 240 hotels around the Asia-Pacific region, around 300 of which are in Bali alone. “Indonesian talent is very much wanted across Asia Pacific because of the cultural-influenced hospitality, politeness and respectfulness. This the great era of travel and tourism, and this generation from Indonesia is definitely going to progress and make more of this opportunity in front of them,” said Kapur. Starwood, which has nine brands, including St Regis, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels, Sheraton, Westin, Le Meridien, Aloft, Four Points and Elements, employs over 60,000 associates worldwide, 5,000 of whom are employed in its 13 properties in Indonesia.

General manager of W Retreat and Spa Bali-Seminyak Craig Seaward stated that around 95 percent of all the managerial positions in Starwood hotels in Indonesia were occupied by Indonesians. “I came to Indonesia in 1991, all the general managers were expatriates. Today, we have Indonesian general managers around Indonesia, and more of them are coming. That’s a testament to our promise to develop the local talent.” “I have been in Indonesia for 22 years, and I have skilled people who worked as waitresses who are now in general managerial positions.

From the bottom to the top. The future of hospitality is not in us who sit here today, but in the talent who are looking for an opportunity in our company, who have the potential to grow and replace us expatriates at some stage,” said Seaward. International experience is among the key factors leading an employee to a senior managerial position in the hospitality business. The general manager of The Westin Ubud Resort and Spa, Torsten Richter, and the general manager of Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort, Dario Orsini, both emphasized the importance for local talent who are eyeing senior managerial positions to be braver in taking risks and leave the comfort zone of their familiar cultural surroundings to polish international experience by working in various hotels abroad.

“International experience is an added value to be able to move up. Sometimes, when international experience is being requested, it is restricting you from moving up. A lot of people in Asia only have one-country experience or one-city experience, not beyond that. Local talent can further improve by going out of the home country, experience another culture, a different working environment and another language. That adds to your resume,” said Richter, who successfully climbed from waiter to general manager, after working across five different countries in the past 16 years. Hotel manager of St Regis Bali Resort, Lucia Liu, similarly stated how Starwood had fully supported her endeavor to climb the corporate ladder in her hospitality career from an earlier city hotel post in Beijing to a resort post in Bali.

“The power of Starwood is in human development. As long you are willing to move, to learn something new, your company will give you the opportunity. I come from Beijing and at the beginning I did not want to move, just like the associates in Bali or Indonesia, I was very comfortable to stay [in Beijing]. But once you have the desire to try something new, then, the company will provide.” “The world is getting smaller. No matter if the person is local, if they have desire to grow, the company has a strong system for them to develop.”

source : bali daily

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