Mr. Victor Chen, GM Le Meridien

“Take care of your associates and they will take care of your customers”. This quote by Bill Marriott is what Mr. Victor Chen, GM Le Meridien, Goa, lives by every day. “I am conscious about being a good human because a good human being can connect emotionally with people and that is very important in the Hospitality business.”

Mr. Victor Chen, GM Le Meridien, Goa, after graduating in Hotel Management 19 years ago started out as a F&B associate with the Hyatt Regency in Delhi. From there he moved into Conventions, Room Sales and Banquet Sales. He then spent some time in Rooms Operations before taking on the role of Resident Manager of the JW Marriott Mumbai Juhu, looking after the entire hotel operations. Today he is the General Manager of The Le Meridien, Goa. The key to his success is “living with good values as an individual and tying them in with the good values of the organisation”.

How does he keep his staff motivated? By living the core values of the organisation – Putting people first, Pursuing Excellence, Integrity, Embracing Change and giving back to the community – every day of his professional and personal life. Also Marriott as a hotel company focuses a lot on leaning and development as well as CSR activities. So, besides compensation and basic needs being taken care of, when new entrants see their seniors actually walking the talk they see security and growth.

And how does he keep his guests keep coming back for more?…… “By creating experiences and memories for them to take back.” Standards, processes and guidelines are laid down by all hotels. What sets the Marriott apart is the implementation of these across all their hotels worldwide each day every day. Guests are encouraged to talk about their preferences at the time of reservation so that the staff can create a good memorable experience to their emotional bank account. The specific needs of business travellers as well as those travelling on leisure with their families are taken into account and delivered on accordingly. To enhance guest experiences, various indoor and outdoor activities are arranged. The Kids’ club takes care of activities for children while their parents relax by the pool. Business travellers can use high speed wi-fi in the rooms to catch up on work while travelling.

On the curriculum of IHM, he feels that there is a disconnect between what is being taught and real time experience. Learning needs to be made more relevant to the constantly changing needs of the industry.

To aspirants wishing to join the industry he says that it is a great place to be in. The hospitality trade is a growing industry. There are many hotel local and international chains in the country and many more are coming up. The Marriott group itself has 7000 hotels in 130 countries with India’s share looking to be 200 hotels in the near future. Non Hotel Management graduates or even undergraduates find a place here at the Marriott because the management believes in creating an environment of constant learning and training. In fact, they believe in a good mix of professionally trained and untrained staff because the latter brings a perspective from the general public point of view as opposed to the hotelier point of view which helps them to deliver better. If the attitude is positive and if someone has the zeal to learn then there’s no holding back the person – The sky is the limit.