Everyone starts at some point in life. People have big dreams and values that they want to achieve to attain their desired roles in terms of profession. Denis Sorin has worked hard to reach his goals and continues to work exceptionally.
We wanted to know how his journey started and his pathway to success.
Upon asking how his career started, Denis Sorin replied, “Well, I started my career in hospitality as a busboy where I learned everything I could from cafeteria-style to Michelin starred restaurant where I got eventually promoted to Captain (a title that doesn’t exist anymore!), before moving to the Front of the House department where I was first Night Auditor until I was promoted to Front Desk Manager and eventually Rooms Division Manager, before becoming General Manager and up.“
He further continues, “To make a long story short, I worked for a great number of properties from economy hotels to palaces, from 30 to 1,000+ rooms mostly for international brands (which gave me the opportunity to travel the world!), where I happily learned to clean rooms, dishes (yes, I also worked in housekeeping and stewarding!) and everything else. The only department where I never worked is Engineering because I’m very bad at DIY!“
Denis Sorin also mentioned how he had never gone to a hotel school. Hence, we can say that his skills came into use. He was even an invited teacher at École Hôtelière de Lausanne, one of the world’s most prestigious hotel business schools.
And What About Guest Satisfaction?
Denis Sorin is highly dedicated to guest satisfaction as a part of the hospitality industry. During our interview, Denis mentioned, “I’m very happy that I had all these jobs because it helps me make the right decision every day. Whenever I make an operational choice, I think of those who will implement it because I’ve done it myself. And also because I care about our guests’ satisfaction. We need to provide quality and address all of our guests’ expectations. It’s only possible if what is asked from our operational teams is feasible. You need to have done it yourself to know what is truly feasible and not.“
How Denis Sorin Went From Busboy To A Leader
Denis and his growth with Amsa Hospitality as a president are highly visible to us. This increasing growth and recognition are what brought us to interview Denis. That’s why, during our interview, we asked him if he had any advice for beginners.
Denis says, “Even if you come from the best hospitality school in the world (such as the region’s Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management of which I was a founding member), don’t be shy to work hard and prove yourself first at Rank & File positions. It will make you a better manager and decision maker.”
He further continues, “I believe this is the reason why I went from busboy to hospitality groups CEO and President and all the jobs in between without battling to get these positions – it just happened. I always fight for the company I work for, its employees and guests – in that order. Not to be promoted.“
The career of Denis Sorin proves that this strategy is beneficial to all and that it works!
Words About The Visionary Behind Asma Hospitality
A company or group can’t be formed without a goal or vision. Asma Hospitality is also the result of a vision of Mohammad Al Athel, a young Saudi entrepreneur who founded the company less than 2 years ago.
He travels worldwide, and wherever he goes, he would stay in international hospitality groups’ properties promoting their countries of origin culture – mainly Western Europe and North America, but also increasingly Asia and now Africa. But nothing from the Gulf region – nothing that promotes Arabian culture worldwide.
In line with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, he decided to develop the first hospitality group that will bring the Arabian centuries-old traditions of welcoming and generosity globally to today’s world.
When we asked Denis about Asma Hospitality, he said, “Amsa Hospitality is a truly exciting project. We are not only building a hotel group that proposes to open new paths for the Gulf region native hospitality industry, but also we are doing it differently than anyone else, implementing a management style that promotes innovation and systematic thinking-out-of-the-box, through trust and accountability. We present ourselves as being the “hallmark of Arabian hospitality”. Indeed, we are the hallmark in more than one way!“
The Goals of Amsa Hospitality
Everyone has a goal that helps them get closer to their dreams and attain success. That’s why we discussed it with Denis Sorin.
According to him, “Our goal is nothing less than being the leading GCC hospitality group within 10 years maximum, before being listed among our industry world’s top ten companies.
You may think that we are too ambitious. I don’t think so. We have Mohammad Al Athel’s great vision to guide us and a dedicated team that believes in that vision and works hard together to make it happen with innovative thoughts that repeatedly prove that they are more than ideas– they are feasible and realistic innovative ideas.”
Even during challenges, Amsa Hospitality kept on moving forward towards attaining its goals. On challenges, Denis says, “By nature, everything we do at Amsa Hospitality is a challenge. We are developing something that no one else has done before in the Middle East. Our management style is so innovative that it is often unsettling to new hires until they find their marks and understand that ‘with great freedom comes great responsibilities’, if I may paraphrase, and eventually adapt their mindset accordingly. At the same time, it is that challenging work organization that allows us to successfully move forward.“
He further quotes, “Nothing is more dangerous than routine. Challenges are what keep you on your toes.”
Unity And Teamwork For The Pathway To Success
During all the crises and challenges, the team is something that can take the company from land to sky. Similar goes for Amsa Hospitality. Denis Sorin has great views on team and integrity.
According to him, “A successful team is a team who knows how to work as one. You know, Amsa Hospitality’s core values all start with the adverb ‘Together’. I think this is what makes us successful. We do our best not to work in silo. Instead, we work as one, together, naturally helping that colleague who has difficulties finalizing a task beyond our parameter of competency. I believe it is Belgium’s official motto that says ‘Unity is strength’ and it could be ours too.“
We also asked him, “How important are employees’ energy levels to the success of Amsa Hospitality?” Denis says, “Amsa Hospitality is not an easy company to work for. We constantly demand the best from our colleagues – you don’t have the type of goals I talked about before without being very demanding. This is the reason why Team Amsa members, as we call our colleagues, must always be motivated, their energy levels at the top. Therefore we pay a lot of attention to their work / life balance. Actually, they are not authorized to work every day after 8:00pm until 7:00am the next day, and of course all day on weekends and holidays – unless they are on duty for a reason or another. Overworked employees who are called at all times of day and night are not performing employees in the long run. We are running a Marathon. So we must give top priority to our colleagues’ well-being. It’s as simple as that.”
Technology For The Immense Growth of Amsa Hospitality
When we asked Denis about his views on technology towards business success, he said, “Actually, without digitalization, we couldn’t have built and run the company the way we are. I personally believe this is the way to go. There is no escape. The latest generations of our employees and guests (Y and Z. For Alpha, we must wait a few more years) are highly digitalized – they are almost born with a smartphone and a tablet in their hands! Therefore we must provide them – whichever industry we are talking about – with the technology they need to live as what they see is the normal way.“
He further stated, “Team Amsa members work remotely, because this is what their generations expect, they have the best possible connection to the Internet, because there is no life outside the Internet!, they have the best integrated tools to simplify their work day.“
Now, when talking about digitalization and technology, it’s crucial to throw light on security. After all, online safety is a matter of great concern nowadays.
Presenting his views on this, Denis stated, “Of course, because security is paramount these days, we have strict IT security policies, and company’s computers and smartphones are equipped and continuously monitored to prevent any leak and cyber-attack.
We also understand this when we say ‘bringing centuries-old Arabian traditions of welcoming and generosity to the modern world.
In addition, we develop an innovative mix of Arab hospitality traditions and the latest user-friendly top-of-the-art technology! We are all computerized, but we never forget the human factor. After all, we see ourselves as a ‘Human Resources company’ where people are at the centre of everything we do.
Technology is a means to achieve our goals and make Team Amsa members’ and guests’ lives much more enjoyable.“
We discussed technology, security, goals and whatnot; how can we forget about innovation?
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Innovation is the heart of Amsa Hospitality.
Let’s see what Denis Sorin has to say about using innovative ideas in Amsa Hospitality:
“To start with, Mohammad Al Athel’s vision is an innovative idea all by itself! The way we work, our office organization, and the way we search, provoke, and develop inventive ideas until fruition makes us unique – it’s rare to see so many innovative ways of working implemented simultaneously. And I haven’t mentioned Amsa Hospitality’s strong commitment to the environment yet – believe me, I’m not talking greenwashing here:
From our day-to-day work, where we eliminate plastic waste as much as possible and reduce our carbon footprint, to sustainable purchasing and developing green buildings, we innovate every morning because we think that we can always do better.
You certainly guessed it: The pattern behind all that we do is designed by our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) commitment at the highest level.“
The Matrix Type Management Style
Team Amsa members always go the extra mile. The reason lies in their out-of-the-box management style, as Denis mentioned.
Denis says, “When we discussed what type of management style we should implement at Amsa Hospitality, Mohammad Al Athel selected the ‘matrix’ type. Implementing a matrix is much more complicated and challenging than applying the usual pyramidal or silo types.
Much more complicated but more efficient and rewarding. Pyramidal or silo means people are there, at the office. Some work hard, and most don’t. Very few are motivated. Mostly, employees are physically there, waiting for the end of the day and time to go home. This is not our approach.”
Even the team has uniqueness and trust among the members. As Denis goes, “At Amsa Hospitality, we trust our colleagues. They come and go to the office (which doesn’t have any actual offices, mostly sofas and armchairs where to work, meet in a relaxed and fun environment) as they wish, whenever they wish.
There are days when they do not come at all. They are only required to come a minimum of two days a week. Of course, all Team Amsa members are supplied with top of their class laptop computers equipped with the best-secured tools, software, and applications, allowing them to work from anywhere they’re pleased.
In return, all Team Amsa members are accountable. Well-defined bi-yearly OKRs (Objectives & Key Results) and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are given to them with clear deadlines that are mandatory to meet. There is no way around it. Of course, OKRs, KPIs and deadlines are realistic and feasible. I’m happy to say that in their vast majority, Team Amsa members not only meet their deadlines but anticipate them, always in a proper and quality manner, which is also mandatory. In other words, Team Amsa members always walk the extra mile… or two!“
Lastly, we asked Denis a question which is:
Would you like to say anything else to our readers?
“There is a lot more to say about Amsa Hospitality. In a few words, we are unique in many ways.
This doesn’t come easy. It’s an everyday challenge. We must reinvent ourselves every morning to stay at the edge and forefront. Team Amsa members don’t see themselves as working for Amsa Hospitality but being Amsa Hospitality.
That is what makes the difference and allows us to successfully overcome one obstacle after the other. I wish there were more companies working similarly from any horizon and industry.
If anyone needs help jumping to the matrix, they must feel free to contact us at Amsa Hospitality. We’ll be happy to share our experience with them.“
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