NewsSeptember 5, 2023

Crown and Champa Resorts Celebrate Graduation of Five Participants from Cornell’s GM Program

Five participants from Crown and Champa Resorts graduated this year from the prestigious Cornell School of Hotel Administration’s General Managers Program. The five participants include Fathuhulla Ibrahim, General Manager of Veligandu Island Resort & Spa, Ali Navaz, General Manager of Komandoo Island Resort & Spa, Mohamed Zahir, General Manager of Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa, Areef Ahmed, Director of Operations at Meeru Maldives Resort Island and Mohamed Nazeer, Director of Operations at Kagi Maldives Resort & Spa.

The program was divided into two parts where the participants first attended online sessions beginning from February 2023 until June 2023. For the latter part they attended Statler Hotel Cornel University on June 2023.


According to the participants the major course takeaways include identifying the key challenges and opportunities facing hospitality businesses in the contemporary world. The program was about surfing ideas for state-of-the-art hospitality products and services that can stimulate demand and address consumer expectations.

“It guided me to assess the strengths that are key to my personalized approach as a manager. We also learned to develop context-specific solutions for HR challenges” expressed Nazeer, DOO of Kagi.

“I would like to highlight the discussions we had on post COVID-19 challenges. This includes the behavioural changes of guests that has led to current and future challenges. This course has equipped me to formulate an action plan for a successful professional career along with a global network of hospitality professionals” Vilamendhoo GM, Zahir emphasized.

Throughout the program the participants acquired extensive industry knowledge by developing a deeper understanding of strategic agendas and learned to assess competitive scenes and make informed decisions.

“The course enhanced my ability to lead and motivate teams, manage conflicts and adopt a positive organizational culture. Additionally, I gained knowledge in financial analysis, marketing strategies and leveraging innovation to drive business growth” noted Komandoo GM, Navaz.

This experience has been a remarkable opportunity for the graduates to connect with general managers and senior managers from all over the world, by sharing information and learning from each other.

“Lots of important tools to share with management and other team members, coaching one on one sessions as well, through training department. How can we satisfy customer needs and wants more effectively and efficiently than competition? Today we have to understand and learn changing consumer interests to create unforgettable experiences to share with their family and friends through social media channels for it to last forever” explained Fathuhulla, GM of Veligandu.

“I believe it as an honour to be a part of the prestigious cornel family. What I would take most out of the course is the priceless connections. We had discussions on the competing interests within a hotel to understand the concept of value creation and decision-making” Highlighted Meeru DOO, Areef.

At their very inception in the year 1922 the Cornell School of Hotel Administration created and implemented the world’s first undergraduate hospitality management degree program with just 21 students and a single professor. Now a century after that this prestigious establishment, has thrived to perfect hospitality education internationally. Cornel to this day, has been going past obstacles in the pursuit of nothing but excellence spreading its seeds of magnificence across the globe.

Those who completed the program from Crown and Champa Resorts in the past alone speaks for itself. One such example is the Chief Operating Officer of Crown and Champa Resorts, Mohamed Solah who rose through the ranks to sit at the top of the industry now.

“I believe the program facilitates you to make right managerial decisions strategically. It certainly helped me to keep up with new industry trends by enabling to network with top industry professionals across the globe. It was a refreshing experience to meet everyone under the same roof to reflect and resonate with where the industry is heading.”

All the graduates from Crown and Champa Resorts unanimously believe that their education has paved way for a remarkable professional journey.