Arun Pillai is director of rooms, M Hotel Downtown by Millennium Arun Pillai is director of rooms, M Hotel Downtown by Millennium

Director of rooms at M Hotel Downtown by Millennium, Arun Pillai says it is important to take on additional responsibilities and identify key areas of improvement.

When did you join M Hotel Downtown by Millennium, and where did you work before?

I have been working at M Hotel Downtown by Millennium since August 2017. I have more than 11 years of experience in the hospitality industry. I have previously worked with major brands such as Kempinski Hotels, JA Resorts and Hotels and Club Mahindra Resorts.

What duties does your role involve?

I am responsible for leading and directing the room department team to maintain, and even exceed, the highest quality standards. I also coordinate all the organisational and administrative functions for the room division. I am responsible for ensuring that everything is carried out as per the policies and standards set by Millennium.

How has your role evolved over time?

As the director of rooms, it is important to continue learning new skills and take on additional responsibilities and identify key areas of improvement. One must also be keen to achieve the hotel’s commercial goals.

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What do you most enjoy about your job?

I am a people person, and I enjoy interacting with people from diverse nationalities. I always feel delighted when I know that guests have enjoyed their stay with us.

What are the biggest challenges of the role?

Hospitality is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the world. We have to continually ensure that we enhance our offerings to meet the  changing expectations of the  guest who visit us.

Another major challenge we face as hoteliers is the high rate of growth in hotel supply. The city is booming with the opening of new properties, and hotel operators and owners are facing stiff competition in attracting a bigger share of the region’s market.

How do you monitor guest feedback?

We get guest feedback through direct interactions and several other channels. It is important to analyse feedback and respond immediately. It is also important to appreciate team efforts, and take necessary action based on constructive feedback.

How do you deal with difficult guests or other tricky situations?

We have to stay calm and listen to the concerns of the guest, as well as assure them that their problems will be well taken care of. You also need to apply problem-solving skills to overcome difficult situations you face.

How do you keep yourself motivated?

I enjoy learning new things through enthusiasm and team work and celebrating the little wins. I think thatlLeading the team to success gives me a sense of accomplishment.

What part of your role are you most proud of?

I like to think that my role is similar to that of a captain of a cricket team: I play with my team and coach them at the same time.