What do you think is the biggest challenge for Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta today?
I see the challenge as an opportunity. The challenge is that we haven’t had the international business and as an example, we have a great wealth of Four Seasons chefs all around the world. And we are normally allowed to bring them in on a regular basis to showcase some of their talents so the people here in Jakarta. That’s not possible for a couple of years, so those challenges became a huge opportunity for us as we look to put additional programs to help engage guests and excite them to come to the hotel. Jakarta is such a dynamic city, things happening in our restaurants will provide excitement and creative ideas to draw people in.
For the last 30 years, you have worked in the hospitality industry, what makes you enjoy working in the industry?
It’s a great question. It has to come back to the people. This is not unlike many other industries or companies that when you think about it, spending such a large amount of time with each other. The hotel opens 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and some of us always have to be there, to manage, so that we become like a family and we know we have to support each other to make sure that we give the best to our guests.
Can you describe in 3 words about your leadership style?
The one thing that I learned very early was being humble knowing you’re able to learn. So humble the first one. Honest, I think integrity and honesty are the most important. And the other one is hungry, not because I always want to eat food, but more like hungry to compete, hungry to learn, hungry to do things better, and hungry to absorb knowledge. So humble, honey, and hungry, those 3 H’s, let’s go with it.
How do you balance your professional and personal life?
This is such an interesting question, about balance. I think if you really love what you do and create fun moments in the hotel professionally then that balance in regards to what you need to do when you are not at work, isn’t it so great? So I don’t need to go meditate for the 2 days or a day when I’m off each week because I’m actually really enjoying what I do here. But of course, my wife and I love spending time together, we are still exploring Jakarta, and we managed to bring out our little dog “Kanga”.
What do you like to do during your free time? Any hobbies?
I try to run very regularly, I love that. Also CrossFit, I still practice and still do it in the Kemang area. Really love it. The big part of why I enjoy it is the community. When you are in a new country, it is really nice to find an activity that locals do as well, so you get to meet new people who share the same activity that way.
You’ve traveled around the world; what is your most favorite destination?
It’s interesting I’ve been so lucky working in hospitality to visiting many countries and many cities. And the one place that always comes back to me is what I remember is the people, you know. The example that I think probably the first I went to South America was Sao Paolo in Brazil. A very busy city, very manic, but the people to me were so beautiful and kind. And for that, I remember that was such a remarkable experience.
I have to say I’m originally from Melbourne, my family is there. So it’s pretty close to my heart as well.
Finally, what do you want to see in Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta in 5 years?
I’d like to see it similar to what it is now, an icon of the city, something that people resonate with quality and also about people that working here that really care about their experience. Of course, I think the team here doing such a wonderful job, you know that is the momentum we need to keep, knowing that we need to be creative and innovative about what we can offer to the guests. I think we can keep looking for trends from other Four Seasons and other parts of the world on how we can bring the new excitements to Jakarta so guests can experience it here at Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta.