BusinessDay

Rita Opiah, General Manager, Park Inn by Radisson Serviced Apartments, VI, Lagos

Rita Opiah is the General Manager, Park Inn by Radisson Serviced Apartments, Victoria Island, Lagos. She is a hospitality veteran with nearly two decades of quality experience in the industry. Rita joined the Radisson Hotel Group in 2018, leading one of the swiftest transitioning and opening projects by the Group in Africa. In her current role as General Manager, she oversees daily operations and executive management of a team with well over hundred employees, as well as the rollout of a multi-million-naira revamp and upgrade program which is well underway.

Through her years of service, she has become an asset to the Park Inn by Radisson brand, making her the first female Nigerian to occupy her current role as General Manager within the hotel group.

Her view of the dynamism in her industry is what she says has kept them going till date. According to her, despite the unpredictability of the hospitality industry due to its ever-growing demands, in her years so far, the original concept of hospitality has remained unchanged.

“However, with the development now being experienced in technology, this has led me to one of my greatest learnings so far, that, the hospitality industry must continue to shift across all its facets in better adapting to the increasing demands of today’s travellers.” Rita said.

On managing over a hundred staff, she agrees that they do business in an industry wherein the operating cost for workforce is significantly on the increase, hence the need to hire right and manage staff effectively to maximize their potential. For her, the crux of her management skill is emotional intelligence.

“To effectively succeed in managing my team, it is fundamental that I understand the complexities of human behavioural pattern, and I have developed myself to be deliberate in this mind-set over the years. I have developed a solid understanding of each department in my hotel” she stated.

On why Radisson chose to diversify into serviced apartments, she says the demand for serviced apartments is on the rise in Lagos and it is essential for the Radisson Hotel Group to be the foremost international brand to take advantage of this developing market as the Group continues in its push to diversify its core hotel business.

Being the first female Nigerian to occupy her current role of General Manager within the hotel group, Rita says she is grateful to God and humbled by the trust which the Group has placed in her and how they invest in her. “A great deal is said and written about the pathways and barriers to women advancement into leadership positions, and I am not unaware of them. My journey is one that shows that when hard work and talent is aptly recognised, the infusion of women into leadership roles has the potential for many positive outcomes for all types of organisations across all sectors.” Opiah stated.

Rita holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and a masters’ degree in International Relations from the prestigious University of Lagos.

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