When did you know you wanted to be a hotelier and in particular, a General Manager?
My journey began in 1989 prior to leaving to the army I worked at the Santos protea Hotel for the summer thereafter I was in love with the Hospitality industry.
Where have you served thus far as GM?
Knysna Protea Hotel, Saldanha Protea, North wharf I was area director for 27 Hotels, Area Director for 30 Hotels, Radisson Blu for 5 years and Now the Taj Cape Town for 5 years
Have you had any mentor(s) along the way & how important were they to your development?
I have had various mentors who have greatly assisted me on my Journey we all need mentors who will coach us on our journey.
Have you ever had to open a hotel or lodge and would you say that requires a unique skill set? If not, would you be interested in doing so or not?
I have opened quite a few Hotels and have been a part of openings, I have worked in development as well, I am always interested in new projects and openings, different locations and styles of Hotels require different skill sets it is good for GM’s to be able to work in a variety of properties.
From the first day you served as a GM, until today, you must have learnt so much. If you could share any one piece of sage guidance, to new GM’s, what would it be?
Keep learning and taking on new experiences evolve with the times and always strive for operational excellence, enjoy the journey of growth.
I imagine that being the GM of a property, in a small town, would come with different dynamics to being the GM of a property, in a big city. The same would go for managing a beach property on an island or a bush lodge in a remote corner of the world. Can you share how one adapts to managing in different locations (environments)?
Adapt to the market dynamics of each area you work in understand your Sales and marketing plan and understand the market mix get to know all the key operators who can support you, build a strong plan around your properties niche market.
Being the general manager of a hotel, during the Coronavirus Pandemic, must have been very challenging. What was the key to survival and did you gain or learn anything from the adverse situation?
Being agile and flexible was key, working for a company that is people centric was very helpful, adapting to a changing environment was crucial.
Your favorite thing about serving, at your current post?
Being at the Iconic Taj Cape Town is a blessing and I thoroughly enjoy it, our offerings are unique and special for the city
How important is it for general managers, such as yourself, to visit other properties?
Most important to keep up with trends and to experience new offerings
How is your establishment contributing to the greater good & making the world a better place?
Since the Tata group was formed more than 150 years ago, it has served as the custodian of public good, dedicated to making a positive social impact. 66% of Tata Sons’ equity is held by the Tata Trusts and dividends flow directly to support the philanthropic work of the Trusts. Over the past century and a half, the Tata group has calibrated its mission to address India’s most urgent needs
Interesting Insights about the General Manager:
What is your ideal or favourite vacation destination?
City experience with history and culture
What is your favourite wine?
I prefer Champagne
What is your favourite dish?
Seafood is my Favorite
What favourite hidden gem, near your establishment, should we visit?
The Gin Bar in Wale Street
Best question you were never asked or a fun fact about yourself?
I love Football and played active sports my whole life even during my Hospitality career