Radisson Blu Bali Uluwatu prides itself on its prime location for tourists and business travellers alike, being in close proximity to the peaceful sounds of the ocean and just a short drive away from the airport. General Manager Raj Jadhav shares his story of how he came from humble beginnings to head such a luxurious venue.
Q: How did you debut in hospitality, and what originally drove you to get into it?
A: Well, it was certainly a coincidence. I used to be very active in stage dramas and plays in school and college. People used to come and compliment my performances and out of the blue my school principal suggested I try the hospitality industry because it would suit me. I was taken aback. My principal was my well-wisher and I didn’t think twice before enrolling in hotel management, just going with my gut feeling.
Q: You took your first of four general manager positions over 10 years ago now. Can you describe anything you learned from your first stint in that role that you’ve taken into your work until now?
A: Adaptation is my biggest learning. I never believed in comfort and always sought new ideas and how things could be better for the team and company.
Q: How have your contributions to hotels on multiple continents changed your perspective on hospitality?
A: I think it’s quite the opposite. Working with different cultures and continents helped me grow and become what I am today. Every country and culture has something new to offer in terms of the way business is conducted. I’ve worked with fantastic people who helped me become more successful. There was so much to learn with so little time. I have been very fortunate to experience so many beautiful people during my tenure in those countries and long may it continue.
Q: What’s a common theme you’ve noticed among Radisson Blu locations worldwide?
A: We are “many minds with one mindset.” That is the beauty of our parent company. We breathe equality and are a very fair company to work for. I have a lot to be thankful for myself, such as the people I met at the Radisson hotel group who trusted me and have been with me throughout the thick and thin of my journey.
Q: What drew you to join the Radisson Blu Bali Uluwatu team here in Bali?
A: Prior to coming over to Bali, I was located in Bandar Lampung, with the same company where I was entrusted with opening a brand new, beautiful Radisson property. Close to every three or four years, general managers get transferred and I just happened to be relocated to Bali to head the Radisson Blu property.
Q: You started your journey in hospitality in 1994 as a flight catering executive. The hotel industry is obviously quite different, but how would you say hospitality has changed as a whole in the past 30 years?
A: Well, technology has definitely contributed to the way we work currently and a lot has changed in how we conduct ourselves. I must say, the industry has become more transparent and aggressive, but at the same time kept team and guest satisfaction as parameter of success.
Q: Throughout your impressive and dedicated career, can you give an example of when your perseverance throughout a certain period has benefitted you and your business?
A: To be sincere, I’ve faced many difficulties but the pandemic topped them all. It wasn’t easy on me and the team members but I kept telling myself and the team that our situation will change in the coming months. Albeit, it took longer than I thought but today’s success beckoned us all. My priority was the team, myself included and maintaining the hotel, so, when we reopened we could move faster. Now, we are back with a bang and won Hotel of the Year 2022, and our RGI, MPI and ARI are on top level compared to 2019. Today, my team, RHG and owners are happy with the performance of our hotel and team here at Radisson Blu Bali Uluwatu.
Q: How would you describe your willingness to lead by example?
A: I am a practical general manager and I up my sleeves when needed. In the back of my head, I know that all is temporary. I try my best to help people and give opportunities for people to grow. At the end of the day, it is up to them to make the most of it. There is no formula for success, so I take all challenges life brings head-on and am never one to stick to my guns.
Asia Dreams Volume 48