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Inside the four walls of Starlodge Hotel Brunei


Hanadi, the face behind Starlodge's marketing (PHOTO COURTESY : Starlodge Hotel Brunei)

 


 November 17th, 2016  |  13:44 PM  |   5536 views

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

 

Our editorial team had an interview with Mr. Hanadi, Marketing Executive of Starlodge Hotel. This straightforward 26 year old exudes confidence, perhaps an archetype of a Gen Y Yuppie as some might say. His professional story was nothing of the new ; the story of a fresh graduate struggling to find employment after spending almost 7 years abroad. On our interview, Hanadi shared his personal work ethics and visions on the business. They say if these four walls could speak, this would be a great article to explore the insights. 

 

1) Could you please describe yourself?

 

 

“I am 26 years old, I work as a Marketing Executive at Starlodge Hotel. I worked in sales for 6 months and then I got promoted. How I would describe myself is that I am a happy go lucky person and an extrovert!”

 

2) Why did you start your business?

 

 

“I was unemployed for 6 months upon graduating from Australia. I was intensely searching for jobs in both sectors. I decided to take the chance when offered this job where I started in Sales”

 

3) Did you face any challenges in mobilizing your startup capital? How did you face it?

 

 

“We do have a quota for how much we should spend on advertising. We make sure the money we spend will give us profit. Minimizing costs on marketing and advertisements is something that needs to be well planned and something that we need to have calculated risks on. We look into options that requires less capital like social media”

 
4) How do you select your employees? Are there any basic requirements?

 

 

“Currently we have around 50+ employers in different departments - operational, housekeeping, banquet, maintenance, laundry, public assistance, concierge, restaurants.

I help out with HR. How we select is we base on experience and not much on qualification unless its management position. Personally I want employees who have the incentive on learning and those who impose realistic expectations upon themselves and what the company can offer them. I think a work attitude and positive drive is important. We tell our employees that we start with a basic minimum salary and base their increments on their performance. We give them 3 months probation period. I was not exempted from this rule! When I first came in I was just as startled but what I learned along the way made me appreciated my work more. “

 

 

5) Did you have any business background before starting up? Is this your first business?

 

“My background is International Business. I was given the chance after applying for many jobs and was unemployed for months. I figured that it’s something I have to live with and make something useful out of it. I feel that educational background does not really matter. Our PA (who is really amazing) has a background in History - something out of her forte. In conclusion, I think that the skills we learn in university such as making quotations and payrolls are important but what’s more important are the trainings given and also the drive to learn. “

 

 

6) What kind of product service do you offer?

 

“We offer hotel rooms, Food and Beverage outside catering, events space and pool party packages. Our mini water park is our main attraction. We invested quite a lot in the water park. It’s the ideal service since Jerudong Park is 10 minutes walk away!”

 

 

7) Who are your major clients/competitors? What sets you off from them?

 

 

Our major competitors are hotels that give out cheaper rates. What sets us out from them is our main feature which is the water park. As mentioned earlier, as a private business we would take in calculated risk. Therefore lowering our prices would not be feasible in order to sustain the business. What we do is make the packages more interesting such as free breakfasts and entry etc. This shows how marketing plays an important role in the company.

 

8) How do you describe the industry today and its market trends?

 

 

“Social media is a trend and one of the key influences to our success now. Our hotel  was previously under a different management. We use social media and its influence to strategize our rebranding. With social media as well we increased our followers and fans over the past months and into knowing the existing Star lodge hotel. “

 

 

 

9) What kinds of business strategies are you facing now and what are your strategies to overcome it?

 

 

“The location itself is a limitation. Most tourists would prefer hotels with lots of shopping places around. To overcome that, we do offer shuttle and transport services.

Another challenge is a personal challenge. Being abroad for almost 7 years, it was hard to integrate myself into the community. Only 20% of what I do is in social media while the rest are outside work. I try to put my personality into my marketing element.  With marketing, I realized that we have to aware of our approaches. “

 

10) Where do you see your business in the next 5 years?

 

 

“I see our business doing really well.. not only for Starlodge but also sister companies. Jerudong Park and the area are generally booming. With Jerudong Park being developed in phases, I see a lot of potential especially for family gateways and nearby visitors especially from Boneo. The food court itself is something to look forward to!

 

The way I see it, I am looking forward to get reviews - both good and bad. This way we can continuously improve ourselves and be better equipped for the future development plans.”

 

11) What is your strength of success in this business? is quality of your service? Your employees or the product?

 

 

“I think what sets us apart is our vision. We have a vision to make Starlodge hotel as a local escape. This is because nowadays there is a need for families to spend time together without breaking the bank. Not everyone has the time and money to go overseas to spend time with their loved ones over the weekend. We think Starlodge has the potential for that as the area is currently expanding and famous for its family friendly activities. “

 

12) Do you have your board of directors/ who are your team members?

 

 

Yes we do have our board of directors who are also our investors. We work very well despite our of age gaps! They are always open to our suggestions and take our ideas on board. As for my team of marketing and sales, we have 3 people in our team.

 

 

13) How do you think your business is serving society?

 

 

“We offer our best to serve the society. We employ locals to work at the hotel as part of our initiative to reduce the unemployment rate in Brunei. We also get attachment students and train them on hospitality. Our main aim is to be good leaders to them and hope this will open their eyes in working in the private sector. Our approach is to make work environment fun while at the same time building useful skills.

We also work closely with Pusat Ehsan where we hold events for them at our water park. We also train workers with special needs on basic skills building such as laundry folding, bed making and customer service. That is our part in empowering the community. “

 

14) Any messages to potential/new entrepreneurs out there?

*laughs*  “Keep it up and go for it!” 

 

 

 

 

Check out www.starlodgebrunei.com for more info. For reviews and press release email us at [email protected]

 


 

Source:
@BRUDIRECT.COM

by Brudirect.com

 

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