Zaharudin Abd Jalil, General Manager, Berjaya Waterfront Hotel, Johor Bahru – Malaysia
JOHOR, JUNE 2015 – As the southernmost city in Malaysia neighbouring Singapore, and home to integrated developments and tourist attractions such as Legoland Malaysia and Puteri Harbour, Johor Bahru is a bustling commercial hub and a popular stopover for those travelling between the two borders. Always welcoming and always connected, Berjaya Waterfront Hotel, Johor Bahru (BWH) with its prominence as an arena for non-stop entertainment and business rendezvous, ideally situated in the region, is excellent for business travel and leisurely stays.
As with the title of General Manager, comes a great deal of responsibilities, and after serving the hospitality industry for almost four decades, Zaharudin Abd Jalil in his extensive experience of leading, finds that the most integral component are always his associates, and that true leaders focus on people. With this, he seeks to support and empower his followers as a priority, since the concept of leadership through service results in considerable implications for the service aspects of the property in creating value-added and memorable experiences for guests.
“The heart of any hospitality business is its people. Where a manager only focuses on the systems that must be in place in order for a hotel, resort, or any entertainment entity to run smoothly, a leader looks beyond those processes. It is important to observe the strengths and weaknesses of your people, and find ways to utilise their skills to the ultimate benefit of the company and the individuals themselves,” elaborate Zaharudin on his passion and efforts to nurture his staff and ensure they are able to reciprocate the best service standards for the hotel guests.
While no business can be prepared for every eventuality, Zaharudin’s sharp instincts and approach of always looking ahead and preparing for the long-range enables him to dodge most difficulties and capitalise on other opportunities. From the smallest details in managing customer expectations upon their arrival, right up to driving the F&B to hit the mark, managing the entire team at hotel and strategizing on raising standards for the hotel in total, the General Manager makes it a point not to neglect even the smallest details so as to provide assurance and confidence in every way for guests.
When asked what it is about the industry that appeals to him the most, the good-natured General Manager simply replied, “Being in the hospitality industry is an avenue for me to showcase my passion. I have a genuine interest in making people happy. Seeing guests enjoy their stay here or attendees of events having a good time at the hotel speaks a great deal of satisfaction for me. That's the most important, and the most enjoyable, part of my job.
While I have gained a lot of experience in the industry and I am very passionate about it, I simply refuse to conform to the status-quo. To me, hospitality holds so many opportunities, and there is so much inspiration to draw from – our heritage as hoteliers, or even modern and new concepts tailored to our brand by our own people.
This is why innovation, talent development and food & beverage are top priorities at BWH. I encourage staff on all levels to come forward with ideas to further enhance what we offer our guests. This is an extremely competitive industry, so we must constantly look to improve our offer by providing a unique experience to truly portray the Berjaya brand.”
In addition its strategic location between the Malaysian and Singaporean border and its advantage as an all-in-one destination for guests to explore sumptuous dining options, duty-free shopping outlets and adjacent tourist attractions, as well as the various sights and sounds Johor Bahru has to offer, BWH is regarded as one of the finest destinations for various business and leisure events, and is also the preferred venue for Meetings, Incentives, Conventions & Exhibitions (MICE) in the region with its versatile function spaces, state-of-the-art facilities and accommodative capacity.
“In light of the country’s prospering MICE sector, we are also evolving to meet the various demands. We focus on providing undivided support from the very beginning right to the very end of each event for a smooth flow of events. Further, it is important to work closely with clients to understand what they want, then carefully review every detail to create opportunities that push the envelope and make every event unique and memorable,” said Zaharudin as he explained his pursuits for the property.
It is with a genuine care, a fervent passion and great devotion that Zaharudin leads the entire team at Berjaya Waterfront Hotel, Johor Bahru to make every stay and encounter a spectacular one for guests. As it is of utmost importance that guests are able to gather, stay, recuperate and dine with absolute confidence and complete satisfaction, expect nothing less of quality and exquisiteness with him at the helm. Now all one has to do is enter the hotel’s doors for a complete and wholesome experience.