‘Before you start leading them, become a part of them’
We caught up with Sushant, from the Crowne Plaza Semarang for an interview about life as a Front Office manager.
What’s a typical day like for you?
During the period I am on duty, I allocate the majority of my time to interacting with guests and conducting audits of colleagues to ensure the standards are being followed. When required, I provide on the spot training to better equip them with skills to handle guest’s requests. To reduce surplus, I also do daily audits on the department’s usage of stock, along with upselling target of the day to contribute towards departmental profitability.
You've been part of the team for two years now, so you're pretty experienced. What advice would you give someone just starting out in your role?
My advice to them would be: ‘Before you start leading them, become a part of them’. I strongly believe to understand challenges and create solutions we need to experience being part of a team first. Always remember, change is never welcomed but it can be well received - the process can be made more efficient if you make each colleague feel involved.
Sushant was working at the hotel before it even opened! As part of the Hotel Opening Team, he has great insight into what it takes to open one of our famous brands.
You were part of the successful opening of the Crowne Plaza Semarang – what’s your key take-away from the whole experience?
I am very grateful for the opportunity that was provided to me. It was a remarkable learning experience and helped me to further develop my operational skills - the experience also helped me to develop my leadership skills too.
This was a team effort and required immense amount of communication. Each party played a vital role which was crucial for the project’s success.
How did you get involved in hotel openings for IHG?
My general manager Mr. Jolly, advised me of the valuable experience I could gain from opening a hotel - getting first-hand experience how to set up a department from the bottom up. Soon after that this opportunity presented itself!
What’s your favourite memory from the opening?
I have to be honest, it was during the end when we celebrated my birthday at the hotel. It was a wonderful surprise organised by the team and really heart-warming gesture.
What was the biggest challenge you met and overcame?
The biggest challenge I encountered was the race against time to open. On a few occasions I lost track of the project - to set up a Front Office department and not to run it. But with some guidance from an experienced manager, I realised my mistakes and got back on the right path.
What does the future hold for the hotel, and for you?
I truly see a lot of potential for the property and believe with right leadership and dedication the hotel has the potential to be number one not only in Indonesia but also in the region. In terms of the upcoming 5 years, I would like to develop myself for the role of a General Manger for a property such as Holiday Inn or Crowne Plaza.
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