Sutan Aulia Masjhoerdin, General Manager, Aston Priority Simatupang

(Photo: Prive. Doc)

A Brilliant Career with High Discipline, Commitment and Consistency.

IO – Sutan Aulia Masjhoerdin has served the Hotel Aston Group under the banner of PT Archipelago International Indonesia for almost two decades. “I joined in 2002, approximately 19 years ago,” recalled Aulia, in a conversation with the Independent Observer.

Before joining the hospitality world, Aulia completed his study majoring in a Management Science degree or S1 and additionally took another tertiary diploma in Hospitality Management at a university in Australia. He then went to work at several multinational companies in Jakarta. However, he admitted that working in the hospitality sector was nothing unfamiliar to him. “When I was in college in Australia I worked as a cleaner, waiter, breakfast cook, and even served as an Assistant Manager at Pizza Hut after finishing his tertiary education” he said.

Aulia mentioned how, before joining the Aston Group, he had worked in Sahid Jaya Hotel and Towers Jakarta, as a Sales Manager, specifically to handle clients from the embassy segment in Jakarta. “I also worked at the Ascott hotel in the pre-opening team in the sales department. Then I also worked in a totally different sector working in the logistics industry working for several reputable multinational based companies for approximately 8 years

(Photo: Prive. Doc)

However, his longing to work in the hospitality sector led him to join the Aston Hotel. Aulia started his career as a Sales Manager at Aston Sudirman Jakarta (now known as the Aryaduta Suite). At that time, the Aston brand only had 3 units in Indonesia, namely, Aston Sudirman, Aston Senen, and Aston Benoa in Bali.

After serving as a Sales Manager where he also was posted to become an Assistant Director of Sales & Marketing in Aston Sudirman, in 2004 Aulia was promoted to become Director of Sales & Marketing of Aston Rasuna. At that time, Aston Rasuna was a newly-operating hotel, with a preopening Occupancy YTD target of 68 % Aulia accomplished to successfully achieve to close a high YTD 85 % occupancy, where the following years he managed to successfully maintain the same high Occupancy level or even occasionally to achieve higher on an YTD scale. From the success achieved at Aston Rasuna, Aston then expanded with other units, such as the Aston Marina, Aston Braga in Bandung, and Aston Balikpapan. After 1.5 years, Aulia was again promoted to Executive Assistant Manager, until 2008, when he was entrusted with the position of General Manager. “Praise God, during the year our average occupancy was at least 85%,” he said proudly.

Due to the success of Aston Rasuna, which is also located in the Epicentrum Rasuna complex, The 5 star Grove Suites managed by Archipelago International emerged and Aulia was put in charge as its pre-opening General Manager serving to be the General Manager of the Aston Rasuna and the Grove Suites at the same time.

(Photo: Prive. Doc)

According to Aulia, every job has its ups and downs. However, the most important thing is to enjoy our daily duties. “We work in the hospitality world to serve the guests. There are joys and sorrows, we face guests and employees with different characters and from here I certainly have to have a strategy for how employees can work together, synergize effectively. As a General Manager, of course, I have to think about the best, win-win solution, both for fellow employees, guests, company owners, and the brand” he explained.

Aulia’s principles in work are discipline, commitment, and consistency, and working together to provide the best solution when problems occur. Besides, there should also be a sense of honesty, concern, and fairness to yield maximum performance.

As General Managers, we must also have a high sense of responsibility to all stakeholders’ expectations of the company and owners. The most appropriate type of training is provided for employees so that they can deliver optimal service for each of our guests. “Apart from that, we must be able to solve problems appropriately and quickly, because with a sense of responsibility and the best service, of course, it will have an impact on the overall revenue. The most important thing is that we have to create teamwork that has one vision and one mission,” he exclaimed.

During this pandemic, we consistently conducted a market analysis to keep the hotel operating efficiently. In normal times, the market is very broad, but during the pandemic, we search out potential markets that can be reached. “Currently, we prefer to go to the local market which is still looking for business needs. Besides, we strongly also apply the health protocols from the government in the hospitality sector, such as the need for MICE by imposing visitor restrictions, opening restaurants and meeting venue according to government regulations. Besides, we must focus on maximizing revenue used for the hotel operational expenses and minimize other expenses where required,” he adds.

“Especially during this pandemic, we still prioritize services for guests by implementing new normal protocols that must be followed by all employees and guests. Carrying out the health protocols will surely make the guests feel much more secure and comfortable within the hotel premises.”