General Manager, The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Pacific Place
Subin Dharman, General Manager of The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Pacific Place, has over 20 years of international experience in five-star luxury hotels and resorts across the Middle East, North America and Asia, thus delivering a wealth of experience, skills and talents to the legendary Ritz-Carlton. Asia Dreams caught up with him for a short chat amidst his busy schedule.
Q: What drove you to pursue a career in hospitality?
A: To be honest, I did not plan to go into hospitality. I followed a friend into taking a hotel management degree and fell in love with hospitality.
Q: Having studied, worked and lived in numerous countries over three continents, what have you learned from being exposed to different cultures and how do you adapt each time you relocate?
A: Constantly living abroad is very transformative because you’re constantly observing, learning, reflecting and changing. Simply, you learn about other cultures, but you also learn about your own culture, and even to know yourself better. From a professional standpoint, it fosters creativity. I always learn something when I move to a new country, and starting anew is like being a child again. In the process, you find happiness, failure, frustration and even sometimes depression, but what I think comes out of it all is perseverance, resilience, adaptability and flexibility.
Q: What do you most enjoy about the hotel industry?
A: Hotels are very dynamic. Every day is different and unpredictable. I get to travel a lot, and meet and interact with people on a daily basis. The more you communicate, the more you learn because everybody has a different perspective. You are also challenged to think. My favourite part is leadership. As a general manager, I have the opportunity to inspire the Ladies and Gentlemen, to bring out the best in them. When you see them grow, it is the most satisfying feeling you can have.
Q: What are some of the emerging hotel trends that you’re noticing?
A: Destination marketing. Obviously, a lot of hotels are focused on millennials because, in a couple of years, 50 percent of travellers will be millennials. Before, everybody acknowledged that customers were looking for experiences, but now if you look at the marketing campaigns of all the global brands, they have started to incorporate the destination itself. You will probably see someone doing a workout on a beach in the Maldives instead of the hotel’s gym, showing you the destination itself.
Second, personalisation. It is important to differentiate our brand and take it to a completely new level. At the Ritz-Carlton, personalisation starts from when the guest visits our website, and continues when they book a room and through to their stay. The most important thing for us is to personalise the stay. For example, when a housekeeper pays attention to a guest’s preferences without invading their privacy, just by looking around. Maybe we put in a little basket for a guest’s make up kit because we notice she has a lot of make up with her. These are the subtle elements of personalisation at the Ritz-Carlton.
Q: If you weren’t working in the hospitality industry, what would be your dream job?
A: I would most enjoy being able to inspire people and give something back, utilizing the leadership skills that I’ve learned. I feel strongly that I’m able to bring out the best in people, so I would probably be a coach or a teacher.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time to unwind?
A: I work out a lot, not just for my physical health, for me it is more for mental health. I also love spending time with my wife and two children.
The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Pacific Place
Sudirman Central Business District
Jalan Jenderal Sudirman
Jakarta 12190, Indonesia
T: (+62) 2125501888
Asia Dreams February – April 2020