After 14 years of loyal service, which commenced as Director of Human Resources back in 2009, Mr Hussain Shahid has developed a broad cross-section of skills in hotel management, resulting in his promotion from Executive Assistant Manager to Resort Manager of Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives, this month. (June)
Speaking about his time at Kandooma, he reflects on the day he joined, saying it felt like home. Hotels were not in his blood. When Shahid was a teenager growing up in the Maldives, he wanted to follow in his father's footsteps into a Government role. He flashes a bright smile as he recalls, ‘I wanted to wear a tie and look smart, which I did for a couple of years!’ a contrast from the simple, impeccably presented linen shirt adorned with a polished name badge he is wearing today.
Shahid shares that after secondary school, when he formed a music group with friends, his relationship with resorts began, entertaining guests for a couple of years.
“This experience made me really happy. However, I didn’t realise at the time that resorts would become my career one day.” You can see the joy in his eyes that this memory evokes.
He explains that when he married and started a family, his government pay wasn’t enough to cover the bills, “I wanted more for my family and joined the hospitality industry. The pay was much better, and my professional experience landed me in a managerial position.”
Shahid attributes being able to help a guest achieve a ‘once in a lifetime’ dream to being critical to his job satisfaction, “When I know that I was part of a guest achieving their bucket list goal or fulfilling a dream, then that is when my day is done!”
He shares a similar philosophy about his team, “I take great pride in being able to shape and assist a team member to develop a career path and nurture their growth within our industry. Seeing my team succeed, build capability or achieve goals, together or as an individual, gives me inner satisfaction.”
Shahid shares that he derives a tremendous sense of motivation from guest feedback, “Looking back on memories of guests who visited us and their feedback plays a vital part in my daily routine. It inspires me to do better but also makes me smile when we do things right. This feedback and my genuine concern for people drive my passion for the industry.
Talking about the qualities needed to be a great leader, Shahid rates patience at the top of his list.
“Patience is significant in everything I do and who I am as a leader. Respect, humility, staying calm, listening, and resilience are the other leadership traits that are core qualities of good leaders that I do my best to embrace.
Shahid shares that this promotion brings him closer to his ultimate career goal. “Being promoted to Resort Manager at Kandooma means more responsibilities and a greater focus on our culinary division. Being more accessible to the team, playing a key role in problem-solving and offering guidance on all operational aspects of the property,”
As a role model for many in the Maldives, Shahid shares his advice for young people looking to join the industry, “I have always believed that a person needs to possess two things to reach a leadership position in the hotel industry: one, an appropriate amount of education and two, experience.
“If I were young again, I would complete my high school education and perhaps a Diploma in Hospitality and start in a branded resort, local or international, to acquire a few years of experience. I would then embark on getting a university degree or an MBA to assist me in climbing the management ladder. I also think that an international stint is equally as important.”
His most important advice is, “Giving everything you’ve got to each job you fill is important for your career's next steps. Long after you leave a job, others will remember the good or not-so-good things you’ve done and how professional you were. It goes a long way!”
Shahid has his sights set firmly ahead to achieve his goal to not only manage an operation but be responsible for the overall management of a property, “I want to be known as a great operational leader and one that can manage large-scale resort operations”. He will surely achieve this goal one step at a time in the not-too-distant future.
Located in the South Male atoll just 40 mins from the airport by boat, Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives is a beautiful island paradise. White sandy beaches, swaying coconut palms and turquoise waters form the backdrop for various leisure pursuits and some of the best diving in the Maldives. Guests can choose from Garden and Beach Villas, two-storey Beach Houses and the popular Overwater Villas. Families are well catered for with a choice of 2- and 3-bed villas, the Kandoo Kids’ Club, and its complete activities programme. Six food and beverage outlets ensure healthy appetites are satisfied and the flavours of the Maldives are explored. For guests who desire the ultimate relaxation, sun loungers and hammocks are located around the island. The Kandooma Spa by COMO Shambhala offers the ultimate tranquillity and escape for body and mind. Visit: www.maldives.holidayinnresorts.com
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