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‘Radisson brand gives Africans opportunity to innovate, go global in the hospitality industry’

‘Radisson brand gives Africans opportunity to innovate, go global in the hospitality industry’

Since assuming office in April as the general manager of Radisson Hotel Lagos Ikeja, Yehia El-Mansoury has brought his over 25 years experience to bear in his operations.

In this interview, the Egyptian-born hospitality expert, speaks to Obinna Emelike on his new role, his goals, the brand, business outlook, industry dynamics, among other related issues.

Excerpt.

How do you see the Nigerian market?

Nigeria is a big market with vibrant cultures, warmth and rich experiences, which is great for hospitality. I am coming to Nigeria from Tanzania in East Africa where I managed some internationally branded hotels, and the people were friendly as well. As an Egyptian and having worked with many multinational brands in different countries, particularly in the Middle East and Africa, I met friendly people too, but Nigerians are exceptionally friendly. I am excited about being here and the great team I have here has made it such a great move. It is widely known that Nigerians are achievers and so far, I have had no reason to see any less of that.

Read also: Transcorp Hotels sustains growth momentum in Q3

Do you think that the economic realities are impacting hotel business in Nigeria?

The hospitality industry thrives on a strong economy and as I have said, Nigeria is a big market. I have 96 rooms to sell, and they are doing well because we have a diversity of patronage across many nationalities and market segmentation, allowing us to rely on both local and international patronage. Despite the challenges, which are not peculiar to our sector of business or this country alone, we are doing well. Recall I mentioned that my plans are ambitious, it is because the opportunities are also available in the Nigerian market.

How do you feel leading this hotel?

I feel great about it and glad to have the opportunity to do so from both Radisson Hotels and Avalon Intercontinental Group. Ours is an upscale property, which is centrally located in the commercial hub of Lagos with great travel convenience to guests, considering our proximity to the local and international airports. My focus in leading the team is to ensure that we offer the best hotel experience to every guest. As said, I am happy being here to lead my team of professionals to offer guests the most memorable experiences, make delightful business for my local owners and overall, to contribute substantially to achieving set goals for the brand.

How has the business been since you took over?

I have been here for seven months and again, it has been great so far. Of course, it has not been without its challenges, but these are norms in every process flow. However, my focus is unwavering. Our hotel is well positioned amidst competition, so my aim is to ensure that my team equally keep their focus on value additions to all guests. My vision for the hotel is ambitious and clearly communicated to my team, we are working hard to ensure we achieve it and not lose sight of it in anyway.

How do guests differentiate the two Radisson brands in the same location?

The Radisson Hotel and Radisson Blu Hotel are both upscale properties, although the Radisson brand is more affordable. Whilst we are in the same market and collaborate effectively, we see that our guests value the personalized services received at our hotel, when compared to others in our vicinity. Our hotel and amenities are simply designed to inspire valuable experiences for every guest and the feedback is that the services we offer are noticeable to our guests, who then recommend us to others. My team is equally well-trained in helping our guests whether corporates, leisure, or business travellers to find the right balance for their stay by taking away the discomforts that travelling or activities such as events planning and so on can bring. We also hear from our guests that they love and value the personalized attention from my team, coupled with the serene ambience of our hotel and its many contemporary amenities, which are functional and effective for their varied needs.

Read also: Hotel: Nigeria second in Africa for investment in 2023

What are the offerings in the hotel?

Our offerings are extensive across 96 comfortable and well-furnished rooms with varied room types to meet the need of every guest. Our restaurants and bar are world class with specialty cuisine offerings. Our meeting and events facilities are functional for business meetings, trade shows, wedding receptions and more. The swimming pool among other facilities are aesthetically pleasing and functional for guests.

What is your target market?

Our market segmentations vary in catering to airline crews, business travellers, and leisure guests who especially come through our doors at the weekends for Friday evening hangouts, Saturday night dinners, Sunday brunch, our specialty pizzas and seeking other value-added services. Our corporate guests equally remain key to us, reaching out to us for varieties of meeting room bookings, also, our leisure guests with birthdays bookings, weddings, promo events and other social events.

What are you doing to get the team to key into your goals?

I am not only aiming to make valuable contributions to the success of the hotel, the ownership, and the Radisson brand, but also sharing my knowledge with my team and making the goals for the future, concise and clear to them. In doing so, I am creating an enabling environment for contributions from individuals within the team also ensuring that they are equipped with the right training and skills to function effectively in their roles. I am instituting a knowledge sharing culture, which establishes to them, our picture of success. It is important that they can conceive and visualize our team success, so we can all work and contribute to achieving it.

How do you see the Radisson brand?

Having worked with other international hotel brands, I must say, the Radisson brand is excitingly dynamic brand. The Radisson brand gives Africans opportunity to innovate and go global in the hospitality industry.

It is a brand that grows talent, allowing you in any area of your specialty, the opportunity to create, innovate and grow.

These are some of many qualities I love about the brand, and they are contributors to most hospitality experts seeking oopportunities with the Radisson Hotel Group.

Read also: Killers of hotel owner not our students Kwara Poly

Who really are you?

My name is Yehia El-Mansoury. I am from Egypt, and I am a passionate hospitality professional with experience that spans over 25 years in the Middle East and Africa across multinational brands. I am always working to take my team to the next level. I am passionate about driving diversity, inclusion and creating innovative and sustainable solutions for my hotel operations.