Leading a hospitality property in the middle of these uncertain times is definitely not easy, with many challenges that could easily deter even the strongest. Mirco Iada has not been deterred. With his passion for the industry, he has overcome the hurdles and is welcoming the future with open arms.
By Maximillian Samuel Puji
E: You’ve spent so much time studying hospitality, it seems to have always captivated your interest. What first encouraged you to pursue a career in the industry?
A: Perhaps initially I was still exploring, with my parents’ encouragement. However, the more I immersed myself into hospitality, the more I enjoyed it. I know now that I have pursued a career within the hospitality industry because I am passionate about providing unique guest experiences. The prospects to advance in the field are also infinite. I can grow both professionally and personally, developing the professional talents I already have, but owing to the variety of tasks and the multicultural atmosphere, with time and dedication, I’ve also learned new skills, knowledge, and abilities.
E: Your career may require you to relocate from one country to another, each with its own culture and customs. How do you or your role differ in each destination?
A: Adaptation to a new culture can be challenging, especially when going abroad for the first time. When I move to a new country and live there for a while, I always have to adjust and go through an adaptation period during which I can feel culture shock. I’ve always attempted to prepare for my arrival by reading expat and local community articles, books, and online reviews. Patience, cultural understanding, and observation are all things that are assisting me in overcoming culture shock. Personal behaviour and cultural openness are unquestionably essential factors in achieving successful integration. Long-term relationships require integration with the local society, curiosity about the local culture, and respect. When I first started working in Indonesia, I had no issues or difficulty adjusting because I had previously worked with South-East Asian colleagues. I don’t have any concerns about the cuisine either.
E: Do you think the pandemic has caused changes in the hospitality industry? If so, in what way and how do you manage it?
A: The perceptions and expectations of guests have shifted as a result of the pandemic. In terms of the guest experience, I can say that guests are more concerned about safety, cleanliness, and quality time. We had to connect our standards and beliefs with the impact of the epidemic, which impacted on our guests’ social conduct. The digitalisation of our products and services has been bolstered by the increased availability of many online tools and applications, as well as the demand for unrestricted contact. We’ve also added a new hygiene routine to our “Stay Safe with Meliá” campaign. It’s time to show our adaptability and tenacity in the face of change. Thinking outside the box is essential in trying times.
E: In terms of excitement and inspiration, what is it that gives you the passion for this role?
A: The daily interactions with guests, hotel team members, and stakeholders are undoubtedly the driving forces behind my interest. Achieving unique moments for our visitors, recognising our hotel team members for their contributions to the company’s growth, and finally delivering quality and financial performance are all essential to my success in this profession.
E: What do you find inspiring about working in hospitality and being a general manager?
A: What I find inspiring is to be driven by the essence of delivering services, showcasing and improving our skills, knowledge, and abilities in every kind of situation and moment in our daily work. Being general manager entails remunerating numerous years of expertise in the sector, in various roles and locations. The most satisfying aspect of my leadership and mentorship is inspiring young people.
E: Do you have a memorable experience that has touched your life?
A: Working in the hospitality industry has allowed me to grow as a person. I meet so many guests and colleagues from different horizons and with different backgrounds, which makes me more resilient and humbler. It builds my character, it’s all about people, and empathy is a big one.
E: One of your hobbies is sports. Where do you like to work out?
A: I go running early in the morning in the Patra Land area before starting my day at the Gran Meliá. I’d like to resume golf, but I’m afraid I don’t have enough time. I also enjoy reading and am a fan of John Grisham’s work.
E: If you were going to pass on one piece of advice to an aspiring general manager, what would it be?
A: Be yourself, stay curious, always patient, remain humble, and stay driven by your passion for working in various places and nations to improve your skills, knowledge, and abilities in the hospitality sector. Last but not least, long-term success necessitates a sense of well-being and a healthy balance between your personal and professional life.
Gran Meliá Jakarta