Name: Wim N.M. Fagel
Position title: General Manager, Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok
Company name: Centara Hotels & Resorts
When and why did you join the industry?
1980 when I was a student at the Hotel School in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. After my studies, I wanted to work with people. My parents took me to restaurants and hotels during our holidays, where you could find me behind the bars and in the kitchens because I was always interested in how the cooks prepared the food.
What do you like most about your job?
Each day has new challenges. You have to be creative to generate revenue and you have to be a team player to achieve the best out of your team. I have always played team sports (basketball, baseball and fast pitch softball), which has taught me how to be a team player. My experiences as a part of various sports teams have taken me to the highest levels – Champion of the Netherlands and European Champion – which really stretched and developed my abilities as a team player. Many of these skills I am able to effectively use as a leader of large teams in my role as General Manager.
What’s one of the biggest achievements of your career so far?
a. My current position as General Manager at Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao.
b. To open several hotels within the scheduled construction time.
c. To reposition several hotels in the market.
What’s the best advice ever given to you and who gave it?
To be yourself – do not change because someone tells you. I was given this advice from the Chairman of the Bilderberg Group in the Netherlands.
Who do you admire and see as a role model in the industry?
Kurt Rufli, the former Managing Director of Amari Hotels & Resorts.
What can people expect from your company and what sets it apart from the rest?
Centara ensures that our staff are well taken care of and provided with opportunities for personal and professional development. There is also attention focused on succession planning within Centara Hotels & Resorts. Even though we are a large organization that spans many different countries, Centara maintains their core values and delivers on the promise to our team that Centara is their extended family.
What destinations are on your travel bucket list?
1. Mount Everest
2. Australia and New Zealand
3. South Africa
4. Thailand. There are still several places within Thailand I have not visited.
What’s a memorable travel experience you’ve had (good or bad)?
The earthquake in Mexico City in 1985. I was in Mexico City when this happened and not far from the centre.
What are three things you always take with you when travelling?
1. A watch
2. A wallet
3. My family
What direction do you see the industry heading in over the next five to ten years?
Now more than ever before and in the future, we will have to be more creative to get the guests to our properties and need to find solutions through technology and other innovative means that will allow us, Centara Hotels & Resorts, to attract the guests and to be top of mind when looking at travel to the many destinations where we have properties.