Could you tell us a bit more about you, and how is Kempinski different from other places you have worked in?
My career in the hospitality industry started in 1998 at InterContinental Pudong Shanghai, which was then the first five-star hotel located in Pudong. At that time, the management team focused on introducing foreign advanced technology and service concepts and I had the opportunity to attend a lot of training and eventually became a trainer. No doubt, there were difficulties along the way, but I always keep on going as a hotel staff member and never give up. In 2005, the door to the management platform was opened to me and I was promoted to Front Office Manager.
Ever since joining Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai in March 2016, I have learned the culture of Kempinski, and understood its brand DNA and core values. Among them, being people-oriented influences me the most. The true meaning of being people-oriented is far beyond how to serve our distinguished guests. As for the middle-level management, more attention should be paid to the growth and training of employees. I regard our hotel as a stage and our employees are the actors and actresses of the show, playing different roles to meet the actual needs of the customers. I have led my team to receive a lot of awards in the past three years, improving the overall image of the hotel, and thus, attracting more repeat customers in the competitive hotel industry. Many of my employees have developed their skill-sets and been promoted during the process.
In your opinion, what makes the difference between GOOD Service and GREAT Service?
Having been committed to the industry for more than 20 years, I am often asked about the definition of good service and great service. In my opinion, good service means consistent standards on doing everything in the light of the guide book. Great service relies on wonderful experiences beyond our clients’ expectations. This can be achieved through confirming the anticipation for outstanding performance, providing effective services, and creating new traditions instead of remaining the same.
I put this idea into practice on a daily basis and share my experiences with my employees, letting them see the insight of special cases and encouraging them to face challenges. They are asked not only to learn but to take action also. As for me, I am supposed to understand the specific characteristics of each individual and set goals and assign tasks accordingly. The win-win situation brings benefits to the guest, the hotel, and the employee. It’s wonderful to see lots of my employees being promoted to superior levels and gaining confidence in their professional career in the hotel industry.
What are the memorable moments that impressed you most at Kempinski?
I was honoured to be recognised by the General Manager and the owner of the hotel and granted the opportunity to go to the Kempinski Hotel in Munich, Germany, for a one-month internship in 2017. This was particularly important for me as I gained a deeper understanding of Kempinski as a prestigious European hotel brand. The moment I arrived at Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski Munich, I was mesmerised by the beauty of the building, which used to be a palace; by being greeted by the professional gentleman at the door; and the rich interior with gold and red carpets, all defining true luxury with a flavour of history.
My former mentor, who was also our former Hotel Manager, Mr. Andras Biro gave me instructions on how to look at things from different points of view. I took part in the training course of managing leadership after I completed the internship in Munich, and was promoted to Director of Rooms with honour in 2019. I couldn’t have made it without the support of my entire team, mentor, and my General Manager.