Business of Happiness

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MOHAN AYAHSAMY

MICE BANQUET MANAGER

RESORTS WORLD SENTOSA

How long have you been in the industry? I’ve been in this industry for more than 15 years.

Can you share a little bit about your career journey so far? I started as a part-time banquet waiter after my studies and that’s how I developed an interest in hospitality. I then joined Conrad Centennial Singapore as a waiter, and was promoted to Senior Captain. After that, I joined the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) banquet services team in Fairmont Singapore and was promoted to a Senior Team Leader. In 2014, I joined Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) as an Assistant Manager, and now I’m a Banquet Manager.

Tell us more about your current role. What do you do on a daily basis? As a MICE Banquet Manager, my job is to make sure that all the event rooms are properly set up for our guests. I’ll liaise with the events services team and the kitchen staff to make sure that all the food and beverages are prepared on time. Here at RWS, we take pride in the quality of our food and we ensure that our food is served hot and fresh.

After every event, I will speak to the clients to get their feedback and I’ll share the feedback with the respective departments so that we can all learn and improve on our service.

What made you decide to join the hotel industry and the Food & Beverage (F&B) department in the first place? I have a passion for service, and the hotel industry offered me a chance to pursue my passion and to also meet different people.

The F&B department offers me a chance to experience diverse cultures, different cuisines, and distinct events. I thought that there was much to learn and experience in F&B, which was why I decided to join the department.

Throughout your career, did you have any mentors? What are the most important lessons you learnt from them? I’ve been working with my current director for over 10 years. He’s been the one coaching and mentoring me throughout. He encourages me to take up courses on leadership and communication to improve myself as a leader.

The most important lessons that he imparted to me were about discipline and patience. He taught me that I cannot let my emotions get the better of me. There were definitely times when I felt overwhelmed or stressed, but he told me to just take a few minutes to calm down and catch a breath. Only then will I be able to deliver good service to my guests.

What do you enjoy most about what you do? What I like about working at RWS is that we have various event venues, each with its own unique features and challenges. We have the Ocean Gallery, the lawn at Equarius Hotel, and sometimes we even have events in Universal Studios Singapore. This keeps my job exciting because I have to stay on top of my game to make sure that I am able to give our clients my best service at all the different locations within our property.

How do you think you contribute to a guest’s happiness during his or her stay? First and foremost, I make sure I understand the needs of my guests. That way, I’ll be able to anticipate their needs and wants during their time with us, and I’ll be able to deliver to expectations.

Apart from that, I do my best to ensure that every guest at my events are able to enjoy hot food of the highest quality. That’s my recipe to make my guests happy – a plate of hot, delicious food.

What has been your most memorable experience or story in your career so far? We once had to organise a major event for a client where they booked out the entire resort. We had to set up the ballroom for a conference, and then convert it into a dinner venue. On the second night, they had a gala dinner at the Universal Studios Singapore theme park. They even had a small dinner gathering at the S.E.A. Aquarium as well.

Because the client had multiple events in different places, I had to run around a lot to make sure that everything was running smoothly. We also had to hire freelance staff for the event, and we had to train them properly before the event.

It was extremely challenging, but our teamwork really came into play and everything went according to plan. The guests were so happy with our service that they came back to have that same major event with us three more times.

Do you have any goals that you hope to achieve during your time in the hotel industry? I hope to become an F&B Director within the next five years or so. Every week, I spend some time to learn from my mentor and I’m taking up a lot of training courses to prepare myself for that role. All these efforts motivate me to keep working hard so that I can achieve my goal.

What advice would you share with someone who is interested in joining the hotel industry? There are many diverse opportunities in the hotel industry for you to find your passion and to develop it, but you have to put your heart and soul into it. Then you’ll reap the rewards.