Exclusive Interview of Abdul Shukoor of Aurora Hotels International. Edited by Powered Magazine
Abdul Shukoor is the CEO at Aurora Hotels International. We reached out for an interview. Read more to find out how you can succeed as a leader in a Hospitality Industry.
Tell us about yourself and your business
I am an innovative hotelier who has had the great privilege to collaborate with some of the top hotel companies across the globe. My abilities to manage change and crises make me stand out. I grew up cutting and polishing Diamonds for my dad. I use to be very good at Gems but that memory is fading away. Today, I polish and groom the younger generation for success. My ability to analyse and synthesise information has allowed me the flexibility to think outside the box and reconsider existing business approaches. As CEO of Aurora Hotels International, I'm establishing the company's reputation for success in the countries of China, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, India, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Aurora One, Infinite by Aurora, and Aurora Suites are all flourishing. Also, we are composing our fourth, which is dedicated to the nation of Sri Lanka.
What were your biggest challenges when you joined Aurora Hotels International?
It might be tempting to launch without much forethought due to the enthusiasm of a new company or business concept. But, a lack of preparation might result in your company running out of money or leaving you unprepared for crucial tasks like marketing or working with suppliers. Solution: Make a thorough business strategy that addresses matters like marketing, hiring, finances, and sales. As your business grows, examine and revise your plan frequently.
How have you handled success and failure over the course of your career?
To begin with, never justify a failure. Take everything as it comes, particularly the "learning," and move past the setback. Create several success tales from the failure by seeing it as a little movie in your head. Avoid focusing too much on the failure; instead, build on the solution and provide a safety net to prevent more falls and, in the event that you do, to enable you to rise once again.
What strategies do you use to stay competitive in a changing market?
The Business Encyclopaedia doesn't need to be rewritten. To maintain competition in this changing market, a successful growth plan may be built on the effective integration of people, product, pricing, place, marketing, and presentation. We need to enthral our clients if we want to remain relevant in this cutthroat market.
What motivations drive you to keep pushing forward in the face of adversity?
We should accept hardship as a chance for opportunity since every obstacle contains a germ of greater good. Adversity and hardship are a part of everyday life. Humans mostly develop resilience as a result of challenging circumstances. Sometimes opportunities are presented by adversity. We have the possibility to alter our route, reinvent ourselves, or locate the "magical" bridge that will enable us to cross over this obstacle while we are going through difficult times.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in their chosen field?
The times are different now. The Z generation will be the first to set foot in reality or, as you put it, “their chosen field.” Advice for Z's is to embrace hardship, be modest, and reach tremendous heights. Along the road, you will undoubtedly make errors, but that is part of the adventure's charm.
How have technological advances affected the way you conduct business or operate your venture?
We must first adopt an "investment specific" mindset. The way that hotels do business and engage with consumers has evolved and is still evolving as a result of technology. With direct booking, smartphone key cards, QR ordering from hotel rooms and restaurants, and even contactless check-in and check-out, we can see how technology is transforming the hotel experience on the surface. In summary, technology development has greatly contributed to linking customers and their needs to the staff members serving them. Costs are to be cut, while profits are to be increased. The next wave of transformation is being driven by digital, but we must not lose sight of the fact that everything is dependent on return on investment.
In what ways has customer feedback or response influenced how you prioritise goals or objectives for your business or venture?
We must prioritise customer, owner, and associate input when creating goals and objectives since it is an essential component of our daily operations. Also, it is crucial since it raises the calibre of our goods and services. In the end, this enhances the training procedures for our employees, which raises customer and visitor happiness.
What trends do you see emerging in your industry that are likely to shape its future growth and development?
The trend towards digital and contactless services has undoubtedly picked up steam. Customer-facing services have often undergone a transformation. Having stated that, sustainability, a global viewpoint, striking a balance with new housing alternatives, and increasing demand are the major themes facing the hospitality sector.
What have been the most rewarding and difficult aspects of your chosen career or business path?
It enables me to assist others.
I find it rewarding to develop talents and allow them to grow in the organisation.
There are ample advancement opportunities for outperformers.
travelling around the world and putting smiles on people’s faces.
Hiring the right people can be difficult at times. As you know, there is a major shortage of skilled associates in the hospitality sector today.
Are there any skills or areas of expertise that you think are essential for success in your field?
A CEO must be able to inspire and lead their team to success by possessing great leadership and team management abilities. They must be able to establish and sustain strong bonds with their team members, stakeholders, and partners in order to foster a culture of cooperation and trust.
How has working remotely or online impacted your business or venture over the past year?
To say it loudly, it has really reduced our costs while also enhancing the health and welfare of one of our colleagues. But, in my opinion, it negatively affected the corporate culture in various aspects. Developing deep bonds with co-workers is difficult while working remotely.
What tips would you like to offer to others who are in a similar position to you but looking to take their careers or businesses further?
Establish a culture of openness and transparency. Make work more fulfilling for your staff. Ensure the accomplishments, development, and advancement of personnel. Employ tools that help staff members remain engaged and productive.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers that we haven't already discussed?
Yes, unless you go ahead, act, and awaken, dreams stay dreams. Have faith in yourself!