INTRODUCTION

Miquel Angel comes from Catalonia. His talk and share with us won’t be too long. He just prepares 5 slides only. He preferred us to ask questions, feel free to stop him.
He’s been in Vietnam for 19 years. He used to live in Ha Noi, Ha Long, Sapa and now he’s living in Ho Chi Minh city. Many people asked him the reasons why he’s been in Vietnam for too long? He said that he looked at us –students in several universities – and considered it potential. His job in Vietnam is to create leaders. He makes us, in the next 5 years, can become managers, directors,.. owning many staffs. He’s happy with teaching people.
His job is to create and develop leaders for next Vietnamese generations. Many of his ex-staffs in Vietnam now make a family work outside Viet Nam. They’re managers and leaders. They administer, maintain, focus, control and access the process. When they’re managers, they have a lot of responsibilities and many people under them. Being a leader has some differences. Because they need to think a little bit more. They need to innovate and create new things.

SKILLS YOU HAVE VS SKILLS YOU NEED

Adhered skills

  • Speaking Vietnamese
  • Understanding Vietnamese culture
  • Removing shoes at home
  • Cross a red and green light
  • Drive under the rain
  • Stay in a 2-star hotel
  • Cook “Bun cha”

Learned skills

  • Speak 2 other languages than Vietnamese
  • Travel outside Vietnam
  • Help to cross the street to a senior person
  • Visit hotels in your free time
  • Buy a book on management
  • Check your grooming before going to an interview
He assures that we can speak Vietnamese and English. But few of us speak other languages. If you want to be better than the average in Viet Nam, you have to learn other languages. Now it’s your time to learn another language, any language you like. He also volunteers to teach us Spanish for free. English is just his 5th language. Spanish, Italy, German and Latin are the four languages that he knows. So choose what you like and start learning as soon as possible.
Nobody in Viet Nam wears shoes inside their home. In Europe, they do not take out the shoes when they arrive home. Miquel goes into his home with his shoes on. So if you’re working in hospitality, you can be shocking if your customers are from other countries not taking out the shoes when they come home.
Next, he asks us if we see anyone cross a red light on a motorbike? Do you have a raincoat on your bike? Have you ever stayed at a 2-star hotel? Do you know how to cook “Bun cha”? All of these are assured by Miquel that we already know. Now turn to the “Learned skills”: go see the world, not ignore but help people to cross the street. Every day, try to help one person to cross the street – Just one minute, we make Vietnam be better.
When Miquel is in Ho Chi Minh City, he visits hotels in his free time, which helps him learn a lot of things. He also goes to the bookstore, buys some books about hotel management, leadership, public speaking,… He says:always keep learning.

OAKWOOD WORLDWIDE

Miquel has 2 branches in Vietnam now: one on district 3, the other on district 7, next to Vivo City. They have the hotel in 120 countries worldwide, including Australia, Singapore, Japan, Korea,…

Why do you think Oakwood Worldwide came to Viet Nam?

Miquel’s mother used to think it’s dangerous because at that time Vietnamese were fighting with Chinese, Japanese,… He considered it challenging. Now he works in Vietnam and his mother comes here for holidays. He’s changing the way he thinks in Europe. Oakwood also found it was a potential place and decided to invest in Vietnam.
How many foreigners came to Ho Chi Minh City last year? Around 6.5M international travelers. But 25M Vietnamese came to Ho Chi Minh City last year. That means we like to move: from Vung Tau, Can Tho, Phan Thiet,.., which can make money.
If you make money and enjoy your work, it will be so funny. Monday is the day everyone goes to work, but that is the favorite day of the week to him. Because of Miquel, after Monday is gone, it’s weekend.
When people in Viet Nam travel by train, they buy foods and drinks. After eating, they leave them outside the window. He’s trying to educate people recycling. In his country, people make lots of money with garbage.

What’s he looking for when recruiting Vietnamese people to his company?

Focus on your essential skills:
  • Service and smile going together: It looks easy but some people never do.
  • Listen, report, the action is needed: Your customers have problems, you need to listen, take note and give action to solve the problems.
  • Guests do not have same habits and cultural background as you: for example in Europe, people will never reuse plastic slippers as Vietnamese.
  • The international standard is the key: you need to travel, you will see the world outside. Go and see what’s happening there.
  • Learn always, never stop learning:
  • Do to all what you would like to receive
  • Always positive

CLOSE YOUR EYES, WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN THREE YEARS TIME?

A big problem in Viet Nam is nobody plans. Do you know what you will have for dinner? What will you do for Christmas this year, or Tet next year? Nobody knows. Because we don’t plan. He has his own plans so he can take advantage, he can pay the tickets cheaper than other people.
Having a boy/girlfriend will impact on your career. Miquel’s suggest is: marry after 30. You need to see the world, finish your study,… Everything can impact your decision. You need to decide: nobody else but you. It’s your life, not your family’s.

Q&A:

What did he decide to do in hospitality?

In his country, there are 75 million travelers every year. He wants to make people happy and satisfied when traveling to his place. This is the reason why he worked in hospitality as he was a child. In his family, they always have restaurants and warehouses. And he started to work when he was very young. He expensed his own money by himself.

He also foresees that Vietnam is one of the potential markets to work and investAlmost foreigners would like to work in Vietnam, especially Ho Chi Minh City.

What are differences between hospitality in Vietnam and in other countries?

Tourists come to Vietnam only one time. They visit almost spectacular attractions in Vietnam such as Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh, Da Nang, Hoi An and Nha Trang within 1 or 2 weeks. However, hospitality service in Vietnam is quite bad, only the better is in Phu Quoc or Ha Long Bay. He found that hotels in Vietnam are new ones and cheap price. But the staff has difficulties in communication with foreigner tourists.
On the other hand, Thailand or Malaysia is better. Their service is much more friendly and professional. European tourists travel every year and they spend money a lot. The countries they will come back is not Vietnam, it is Thailand that will be their first choice because of the service, culture and the people there.

What secrets does he have in his hotel?

He hires people who always smile at customers to welcome them. He refers that some people in Vietnam don’t like smile even though they work in hospitality. It’s quite bad.

What is his plan in Vietnam?

His company grows fast and Vietnam is always challenging. He seriously emphasizes that people should do what they have to do so that they grow fast. He supposes that he still here in Vietnam for projects, plan for marketing, structure, staff in new opening places. He also is a partner of the Japanese company to open a huge hotel in Hue with more than 100 rooms. He says he will increase opportunities for graduates in Vietnam. It’s about the win-win situation. He trains and educates his staff and he also learns a lot from them through they are young.

How to prepare for an interview in hospitality?

+CV with less spelling mistakes, if not sure: choose another word
+ Feel relax, don’t have any pressure
+ Search company’s basic information
+ Be on time/punctual
+ Good communication

What should we work in another country?

He advises people should get university degree first, then choose whatever they like and need experience. People learn a lot and keep learning, keep improving, no problem what position you are in.
What does he think about “Service is a servant”?
He enjoys being a servant. That is not a problem. He just serves them when he worked as a waiter in Europe. He doesn’t mind about level. Everyone is at the same level. Just do whatever you want regardless of other criticism. Your life is your life, you decide your life better than others do.
He tends to pay them the good salary, in turn, he can hire better employees. He recruits people better than him in each department and pays them the best he can so that they enjoy the job. Training and improving his team are his priority.
As well as that he also keep the country clean by collecting plastic and selling. He makes green compost for his garden inside the hotel. He believes that dwellers should keep their country clean by making money with rubbish.

What is his company plan for next 5 years?

They will open new apartment in Hanoi in 2019. Nha Trang and Hai Phong are two places they will consider to open also. But they have not confirmed yet. And around 73 more in the coming years around Asia.

What is his plan in Vietnam?

His company grows fast and Vietnam is always challenging. He seriously emphasizes that people should do what they have to do so that they grow fast. He supposes that he still here in Vietnam for projects, plan for marketing, structure, staff in new opening places. He also is a partner of the Japanese company to open a huge hotel in Hue with more than 100 rooms. He says he will increase opportunities for graduates in Vietnam. It’s about the win-win situation. He trains and educates his staff and he also learns a lot from them through they are young.

How to prepare for an interview in hospitality?

+CV with less spelling mistakes, if not sure: choose another word
+ Feel relax, don’t have any pressure
+ Search company’s basic information
+ Be on time/punctual
+ Good communication

What should we work in another country?

He advises people should get university degree first, then choose whatever they like and need experience. People learn a lot and keep learning, keep improving, no problem what position you are in.
What does he think about “Service is a servant”?
He enjoys being a servant. That is not a problem. He just serves them when he worked as a waiter in Europe. He doesn’t mind about level. Everyone is at the same level. Just do whatever you want regardless of other criticism. Your life is your life, you decide your life better than others do.

UEH Connected is honored to have Miquel Angel being an inspirer. We hope that this workshop can bring new knowledge and help you understand more about hospitality. Let’s put it into practice, to improve yourself and become a potential factor for this industry.


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