With strong business acumen and a penchant for solving problems, Andreas has successfully managed many hotels, mostly the luxury brands, with finesse.
Having dedicated more than 18 years of his time in South East Asia to the hospitality industry and with multi-functional exposure, nothing surprises Andreas and more importantly no problem is too big for him.
His positive attitude, calm demeanour and structured approach to problem-solving have seen him overcome many challenges and an example of which would be the way he handled the flooding of the hotel he managed.
In this situation, the disruption to the guest and the hotel operations were minimised because Andreas was able to nail down the root cause, put in place a stop-gap solution while scheduling for a permanent fix – Just another day in the life of a Hotel Manager.
His door is always open, a metaphor that reflects his genuine interest in engaging his staff and guest, which typically leaves a lasting positive impact.
Andreas takes pride in the successes he has achieved in managing the hotels and having clear plans for business growth and productivity improvements, which is the bedrock of his success.
1. An overview of yourself
I started out as a Hotel Concierge at Kempinski Hotel (luxury hotel of Raffles-like fame in Berlin) during my school holidays and weekends while completing my Baccalaureate.
Kempinski retained me for a full, structured and comprehensive Apprenticeship, which eventually led me to a commercial degree in Hotel Management.
I advanced through Front Office and Rooms Division Management, Sales & Marketing and F & B exposure to pre-opening and managing hotels.
Originally a German citizen, I migrated to Australia and subsequently to Singapore, where I became a Singapore PR in 1997, and called it my new home.
Utilizing my European hospitality training and experience I have gathered over the years of working in the industry, I worked with well-recognised International Hotel Companies and Independent Hotel Owners in South East Asia / Pacific Oceania to open new Hotels & Resorts and manage existing ones.
2. What made you decide on keeping your focus on the Singapore hospitality industry?
After managing the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel as its first General Manager for 2 years, the breakout of SARS in Singapore impelled me to look for work first in Sydney.
In Sydney, I revamped the Customer Service of a Traditional Gaming Club and later looked after a 4-star Hotel in Parramatta.
This was followed by 3 ½ years as Resident Manager for Shangri-La in China, managing and renovating their Hotel in Xian and then launching their new hotel in Baotou, Inner Mongolia, before moving on to Hong Kong.
Having worked in many countries in Asia, I decided to return to my home country, Singapore and to reintegrate with the community of Singapore hospitality operators.
Subsequently, I managed the Riverview Hotel for 3 ½ years.
3. What are you currently looking for?
I would like to find a hotel management role in which I can be part of shaping the future of the business and enhance the overall value of their operation by focusing on team building, upgrading and enhancing operational productivity.
4. What is your greatest professional achievement?
I joined a soon-to-be-opened hotel as General Manager and as their 3rd staff member on board.
I was given only a short 2 months’ time (usually 6 – 12 months minimum) to hire the entire staff from department heads to line staff, buy all the equipment needed to run the operation, launch the hotel’s sales & marketing efforts, supervise the final touches of the construction crew and ensure that all hotel services from Rooms to Food & Beverage outlets were ready for a major sports event in our city.
5. What is the most significant challenge you overcome at work
During my latest hotel pre-opening for Shangri-La in Baotou, Inner Mongolia, China, we had to overcome repeated delays of the building contractors, train a team of mostly former second-line department heads into performing departmental leaders, deal with hotel lobby flooding water pipe bursts in -20°C winter temperatures and establish the city’s first international luxury hotel in a market that was used to motel-style and local low-cost accommodation.
Finding sufficient local staff was nearly impossible due to the well-paying local steel industry attracting all available labour and we brought in close to 100 staff from other Chinese cities to compensate.
6. What is one philosophy you bring to work?
Look after your team and they will look after you. This entails finding the best way to work with each of your staff to nurture and support all your staff to always be their best!
7. Who influenced you the most in your career and why?
Working as General Manager at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, my Senior Executive Vice President – Franz Zeller – kept me on my toes from day one.
He helped me to fine-tune my approach to the unique specifics of the company’s operations, offered me valuable insights on all the individuals we were working with and provided me with his assistance in developing a new and very effective daily work approach and routine.
We had a fantastic constant flow of internal communication providing me not only with work-related support but also with a regular update on my overall performance providing me guidance to be even more efficient.