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Serendipity Contributes to a Life-time Career
Foreigners in China
Gentle, nice, energetic, these are adjectives that apply to Mr. Meng Lo, General Manager of five-stared China Hotel Guangzhou. Mr. Lo is from Malaysia. After some four years in Shanghai and Chongqing, he settled down in Guangzhou in early 2006.

No regrets about joining the hotel business
For a person who does not like sitting in the office and eagerly wants to have the opportunity to interact with people, what kind of job is to his taste? Lo went to see a student consular after finishing his A-level in high school. The counselor offered him the idea of a career in hotel or tourism industry which seemed irregular, for such an occupation was not as popular as accountancy or teaching at that time. However, the "irregular idea" sparked something in the heart of the schoolboy who knew himself inside out. This was the beginning of his story. He has built up a 23-year friendship with this career since then.

Good Service is multi-definitional
What is the definition of "A Good Service?" "Of course there is good communication, better understanding and the right equipment", he said. "In the international field when we talk about a good service," Mr. Lo remarked that, "How do you anticipate the needs of your guests even before they are stated? If a hotel can achieve this, you are well on your way to providing a good service."

Tense competition is part of business
Many luxury hotels have been tempted to enter the Guangzhou market in recent years. Is it a tough time for the high-end hotel business? "Tough time? No!" Mr. Lo stressed that he "wouldn't call it tough times, because the market is expending. If there is no competition, there is monopoly." He said. "In such a big market, any competition is expected. Only when you realize how to beat the competitor, can you win the game. Is it difficult? Sure it is. But that is part of business."

A good philosophy leads the company to success
China Hotel is managed by the US-based Marriott International. As for how western business culture integrates with the local Chinese, Mr. Lo has his answer. "Marriott International has lodging properties in more than 60 countries and territories throughout the world, which gives the company a privilege of managing experience. Marriott has a very good philosophy, making the veteran handle things very well in any market in any situation."

The culture makes our associates different
Mr. Lo had rich management experiences in hotels of other countries and regions before he came to Guangzhou. The Malaysia said, his local Chinese associates made a special impression. "Different cultural background and educational systems give varied marks to every associate in every country. But one thing I do find in our Chinese associates is that they are gracious. They are very respectful to our guests. This is very different from any other part of the world."

At the crossroad to a new level
As a general manager in a landmark Guangzhou hotel in charge of 1600 associates, Mr. Lo said the challenging job brought him great satisfaction. "The China Hotel is now at the crossroad of transformation and I am right in the middle of this tremendous field, leading the hotel from one level to the next."

24 hours a day is not enough sometimes
Like a busy bee working in his career field, Mr. Lo said 24 hours a day is not enough sometimes. "I like to spend time with my family to do the basic things families like to do such as go swimming. Time is so precious and I enjoy time with my family."

What if Mr. Lo chose the tourism field for his career 23 years ago? I think our interview would still be taking place, but at another location and on a different topic.

(Reported by Carrot Chan, Alan Devey Source: lifeofguangzhou)


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