Meet Thaaif Ahmed, from Addu City, Hithadhoo who is currently working as Director of Sales at Anantara Dhigu Resort, Anantara Veli Resort & Naladhu Private Island Maldives. Our team at Travel Trade Maldives decided to gain some insight into his inspiring story.
How did you get started?
I was always fascinated with the hospitality industry, as many of my family members worked in the industry and spoke very fondly of it. It was therefore my dream to join the industry. My dream came true when I joined the industry in 2005 right after my school. Over the last 15 years, I have achieved significant personal and professional development and embraced several challenges.
I started my career at Vilu Reef Resort as an office boy, progressing to positions like Receptionist, Reservations Officer, Senior Reservations Officer and Assistant Reservations Manager. In 2007, I got the opportunity to join Minor Hotels at Anantara Maldives. I have been with the group for over 12 years and I have grown from a Reservations Agent, Reservations Supervisor and Reservations Manager. In 2012, I joined Six Senses Laamu as a Reservations, Revenue & E-Commerce Manager, before re-joining Minor Hotels in 2013, wherein I was given an exciting opportunity to set-up the Central Reservations Office for all Minor hotels in the Maldives. I then transitioned to Cluster Reservations Manager, Area Reservations Manager, Area Director of Reservations and eventually to my current role of Director of Sales.
It has been a very exciting, inspiring and challenging journey, wherein I learned with passion, determination and perseverance one can overcome any difficulty. I owe a lot of my professional growth to the support and empowerment bestowed to me by Minor Hotels, which consistently empowered and supported me in my decisions, recognized and appreciated my work and provided me with multiple growth opportunities.
What are some of the challenges you have faced?
Joining the industry fresh out of school with no prior experience was a major challenge and there were many more over the years, but with hard work and dedication I overcame them.
What are some of your successes?
I have experienced a lot of success stories in the last 15 years, but one of the biggest highlights would be setting-up the Central Reservations Office for Minor Hotels in Maldives. I had a challenging task to bring 6 luxury hotels reservation systems under one umbrella. I overcame the operational, technical and system challenges, by working very closely with the hotels and understanding their requirements and collaborating with vendors to ensure it met the team’s requirements. The solution was successfully implemented, and it is the only Reservations Office in Maldives which is open 24Hrs. I would like to thank the great team who was behind me on this success and I would never achieve that without their great work and dedication.
What is your advice for young adults who wish to pursue a career in this industry?
Having the right attitude, mindset and determination to succeed is of critical importance. There are lots of opportunities within the industry, but one needs to be open to embrace and accept opportunities, even when they might present themselves as challenges. It’s very important one always look at the bigger picture and is passionate about their work in order to achieve professional development.