Meet Imroz Uddin. The Group Director of Sales and Marketing for the two stunning iconic and award-wining luxury resorts by Lily Hotels: Lily Beach Resort & Spa and Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa. Our team at Travel Trade Maldives got to gain some insight into his story.
My name is Imroz, I recently joined as the Group Director of Sales and Marketing in the month of March for Lily Hotels Maldives. About my career background, I have 20 years of diverse experience in two different industries: one with 5 years in banking and 15 years in the hospitality industry in 4 different continents, 11 countries so far.
Why the hospitality industry? What was the reason for your start in the hospitality industry?
It’s a very interesting question. How I landed in this industry was in 2006, when the globe was moving towards a financial crisis. I was working in the banking industry from 2001 to 2006. I can say that I was one of the victims who lost the job, due to the financial crisis that hit the market. The three major industries were badly affected in the crisis: banking, real estate and construction industries. So, I was associated with the banking industry. And from there, I moved to Saudi Arabia. From UAE to Saudi Arabia. That was the transition period. Hilton International, the first time they approached me with the offer to join as the international Sales Manager for the international sales office based in Riyadh to look after the global sales. This is how I entered in the industry. I did not approach the hospitality industry; they found my career profile somewhere and offered me the opportunity. This is I can say, this is a destiny; entering into the hospitality industry.
Why do you think travelers should come to Lily Beach Resort & Spa during the COVID-19?
Lily Beach is a Maldivian brand as I mentioned. Lily Beach is the inventor of all-inclusive packages in the market, the first Maldivian resort to offer such. That is one of the biggest USP we have. Ample of services, privileges and activities that guests can enjoy makes us different from other competitors. And Hideaway is our premium luxury resort, known for its luxury services and culture we have.
Can you tell me about the challenges you have faced?
To continue the 20 years of career journey, there have been some challenges, obstacles and hurdles. I didn’t find much of a challenge that can stop my career from growing. The biggest challenge, I would say, is that there are some countries which I have worked in where there is a high challenge of a language barrier. For example, before I joined the Maldives, prior to the role at Lily Hotels, I was in Vietnam. 95% of the Vietnam population speaks the Vietnamese language. That was a big challenge for me. I had a team of 38 associates, as I was responsible for 5 properties in three different cities. These were 3 modular properties; resort island, business hotel and inland resort. So this is a combination of different categories. Out of 38 associates, 32 were Vietnamese. Some of my associates don’t speak English, they cannot write emails in English. They didn’t have the basic knowledge required. However, I fully delivered a good result, which made a significant impact in my last role.
What are the achievements you have in the hospitality industry?
Every role has a different significant success story, which is close to my heart. I really take it as something I did, fantastic. Which is in my third last employment with Marriott International. I was holding a position of Area Commercial Director, responsible for 3 properties in Cambodia, that is in Southeast Asia, Indochina. I delivered a significant result here. For example, when I took over the role in 2016 July, there is an overall segment called MICE in the business, MICE was standing at 6% for the last 13 years. After I took over, I brought high growth to this segment where the percentage rose to 36%, in three years. This is what I consider as one of my greatest achievements in my career so far. And hopefully, I will continue to do the same in the future.
What advice would you give for the people that are pursuing their career in the hospitality industry?
If you see my background, my career experience, how I started my career as a banker, which is a totally different industry. And my education background, I am an MBA graduate with a major in Finance and a minor in Marketing. So, I switched after 5 years in banking and for the last 15 years, I have been associated with the hospitality industry. So, I can say that hospitality is a beautiful industry that can give you the opportunity to travel and see the world, which I am continuing doing now. Dedication, enthusiasm and focus is required. These three features are needed to become a successful hospitality professional. Every young person has to adapt to the attitude and character required and they will succeed.
My message to my guest is:
We are ready to welcome you. We have taken all safety and hygiene protocols into account and implemented them according to the HPA guidelines. We are looking forward to welcoming you again, the doors are open for Lily Beach and Hideaway. So, see you soon.