Talks with Luminesce about work, professional skills and acknowledges waves of hospitality business.
“By implementing the Maikhao Dream Wellness Program we expanded the borders, and now we can make our guests truly happy, because in the truly happiness a lot depends on the health, and your spiritual harmony”…
HOW YOU GOT INTO HOSPITALITY?
Mrs.Zhanel: When I was young, I was planning to become a lawyer, but my parents wanted me to join the family business. During my university life I had a couple of jobs in the service industry, such as bar tending and waitressing, and I really enjoyed; that was the time when thoughts about hospitality and service industry have crossed my mind, despite my dreams about lawyer career.
After my graduation, marriage and birth of first child we moved from UK to Kazakhstan, so that my parents could help me. After a while, we decided to open a small restaurant, but right before that I’ve got an opportunity to open a new resort in the middle of Lake Alakol, and we realized, that’s the chance we will have to take.
Central Kazakhstan, in the middle of beautiful nowhere, with astonishing views, mountains, rivers, and of course lake itself, we had to build a resort. I can say with confidence, that it was challenging, but we did it. We started with yurts (Kazakh national houses), as we wanted to do something traditional, and picturesque. By the second year we already had 130 rooms of different types and styles. But the only challenge that we were facing there - weather.
Summers in Kazakhstan are hot, and winters are cold, and the wind is too strong, especially during the low season, it's cold and simply can knock you down. So I decided that I have to expand myself, and move on, as my child was growing up, and becoming more independent, I had more spare time to do something, to create something else, somewhere else, and that’s how I ended up here.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THAILAND?
Mrs.Zhanel: Actually, Thailand was my favourite destination to visit for vacations. And when we've got an opportunity to work here we had no second thoughts.
NOW THAT YOU ARE EXPERIENCED IN THIS SECTOR, WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR MAIKHAO DREAM?
Mrs.Zhanel: We have two properties, Maikhao Dream Villa Resort & Spa, and Natai Beach Resort & Spa. And one of our main visions is to bring smiles to people faces. We love to do that especially with the opportunity of showing the nature, comfort and elegancy of our properties at the same time. It is about creating that dream holiday, that “home-away-from-home” stay; I would even say that it’s my passion.
DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE SUCCEEDED IN DOING SO?
Mrs.Zhanel: Well, in my humble belief I do believe that there are a few very happy guests who keep coming back to enjoy their stay once again, which means that we are on the right way.
SO PRESENTLY ARE YOU LOOKING TO MAINTAIN YOUR STANDARDS OR ARE STILL LOOKING TO IMPROVE ON IT?
Mrs.Zhanel: We are constantly looking into improvement of our services, and finding the ways to improve it. We are not only following the current trends; we are also looking for ways in which we can set our own trends. How we can make that holidaying more experiential, more unique as nowadays almost every property has beautiful rooms, excellent service and great beach location. There are no limits of ideality, and I am not a person who just dreams about success, I work for it.
ACCORDING TO YOU WHAT MAKES MAIKHAO DREAM STAND OUT?
Mrs.Zhanel: Each of our Villas is unique, and can be personalized upon to your requests. We own 22 villas, and one of the main tasks, is to ensure that our guests having a family like experience. Our butler team provides a very personalized, discreet and dedicated service to ensure a truly unique and memorable stay, and at the end of your vocation you will realize that you are actually at home, and this one of our main targets.
SOMETIMES THE WATER LEVEL OF THE SEA MAKES IT DIFFICULT FOR PEOPLE TO ENJOY WATER ACTIVITIES ON THE BEACH. DO YOU THINK IT ACTS AS A HINDRANCE?
Mrs.Zhanel: It depends the season. There are two seasons – high season and south summer season. And of course our resorts are not only about beaches. Nowadays, we make concentrated efforts on our spa and fitness. By implementing the Maikhao Dream Wellness Program we expanded the borders, and now we can make our guests truly happy, because in the truly happiness a lot depends on the health, and your spiritual harmony. As for some basic activities, our guests can always enjoy the beach activities such as darts, beach bikes, canoeing, private yoga classes with our entrainment team.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE YOUR TEAM TO FOLLOW YOUR VISION?
Mrs.Zhanel: I believe that it is very important to find the right person for the right position in every life. I put a lot of emphasis on selecting the right characters, and those who can work well in a team and able to communicate the vision and mission effectively. This is the first step and after that, it’s always about working hard.
I really love working with people and see them growing and developing themselves, and exploring their full potential. We usually do not have many training sessions, but we do have friendly coaching or brainstorming sessions where we sit and share ideas, in open and warm atmosphere.
AS A WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR DO YOU HAVE A ROLE MODEL?
Mrs.Zhanel: I always am looking up to someone but it is never the same person. My mother has a huge impact on me from the very beginning, she is a businesswoman, so she is more strict, and more structural. As for creativity, and inspiration I always looked up to my father. And our CEO is a person worthy of respect, I will always be thankful for all the experience and opportunity that he provided, and for being a constant guide and saviour for me.