Padma Resort Ubud’s General Manager Eti Rusmiati talked to Asia Dreams about going into the hospitality business and bringing worldwide recognition to Indonesian hotel brands.
Q: How did you get into the hospitality industry?
A: I must say it was by design. I’m the fourth child out of five, and my father was the one who decided who would study what major. When I was about seven years old, my family was still living in Bogor, we often went to the Bogor National Park, and my father noticed that I was friendly, and I liked to smile and talk to foreign tourists. That’s actually what made him decide to enrol me in tourism school. But I found out that it was more than a father’s decision, because I actually discovered my passion was in hospitality.
Q: When did you decide to join Padma Hotels?
A: Previously, I was working abroad for six years, for InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), before coming back to Indonesia to open a hotel under IHG. After that I worked for The Trans Luxury Hotel Bandung. I was really impressed by the way they focused on developing an Indonesian hotel brand. That was when I fell in love with the thought of developing Indonesian brands and haven’t thought about working for any international chain again since then. I was assigned to the pre-opening team of The Trans Resort Bali up until the hotel was up and running. That brought me to Bali, and by extension, to Padma Hotels. After being with Padma Resort Legian for one and a half years, I was promoted to be the general manager of Padma Resort Ubud.
Q: As the general manager, what’s your goal for Padma Resort Ubud?
A: I really want to make Padma Resort Ubud a top choice as a wedding destination in Ubud. For weddings in Bali, people usually still flock to the beaches, but we want to change that. We have the Wedding Grass Lounge that overlooks the lush valley of Ubud, and also the Bale Bamboo, a popular venue for intimate wedding ceremonies. On the F&B front, we want to offer more than just products, but we also want to offer unforgettable experiences for the guests. We work together with several vendors, for example the vintage Volkswagen operator, so that our guests can go on a trip to Kintamani, see some temples, have lunch on the rice terrace and try the luwak coffee. I want to provide many fun activities for the guests, so that they’ll feel like a four-day stay isn’t enough and they’ll be back.
Q: What’s the most memorable or rewarding moment in your career?
A: The most rewarding moment in my career was when guests recognised and appreciated me, and also the appreciation from the owners when they trusted and promoted me from being a hotel manager at Padma Resort Legian to the general manager at Padma Resort Ubud. For me, positions and wealth are never my priority, but if I work hard and focus on doing a good job, then the two things will follow.
Q: Do you have any advice for someone looking to break into the industry?
A: Process is paramount, it’s important to go through processes, nothing is instant. Anything that’s instant won’t last long. So, you better learn your way up from scratch, that way, when you get to a high position, you know better how to lead. Don’t be afraid of challenges, there’s nothing else to do except to face and overcome them. You need to have a competitive, but positive attitude for the job.