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David Kurniawan Interview, Hotelier Indonesia, April 2012
David Kurniawan Interview, Hotelier Indonesia, April 2012
David Kurniawan Interview, Hotelier Indonesia, April 2012
David Kurniawan Interview, Hotelier Indonesia, April 2012
David Kurniawan Interview, Hotelier Indonesia, April 2012
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David Kurniawan Interview, Hotelier Indonesia, April 2012

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Hotelier Indonesia is happy to introduce David Kurniawan, an Indonesian hotelier currently living and working in Shanghai. With significant experience in both Indonesia and China, we appreciate the …

Hotelier Indonesia is happy to introduce David Kurniawan, an Indonesian hotelier currently living and working in Shanghai. With significant experience in both Indonesia and China, we appreciate the value he brings to our publication.

[HIC] What is your current position, and what is the chief focus of your work-day?

[DK] I built China Hospitality Synergy (CHS) mid of 2011, a company based in Shanghai. I am the Chairman and CEO of the company. The first CHS project is in Qingdao where we took over the management of Tiantai Golf Club and Tiantai Hot Spring Resort. I am leading the golf club and resort as the General Manager.

Our focus is to re-design the service concept and improve the service standards of the golf club and resort to the 5 star level. We will bring a new experience and brand value of Tiantai to the members and also the villa owners. TianTai Group is the top 5 real estate group company in Qingdao.

[HIC] Golf clubs and resorts have been a large part of your professional career. What venues have you worked at in Indonesia?

[DK] I studied in Bali Tourism School (previous called BPLP) in Nusa Dua. After graduation, I started my career with Hilton International opening the Bali Hilton as Front Office Manager. Hilton gave me lots of training experiences and principles of running 5 star hotels. Five years later, I thought that I would try a different experience in running boutique resorts, which at that time was a new concept of hospitality introduced in Bali, pioneered by Amanresort. I joined its sister company called GHM (General Hotels Management) opening The Chedi Ubud as an Executive Assistant Manager. It is a totally different approach in running big hotels like Hilton hotels compared to boutique hotels.

[HIC] What prompted you to make a move to China?

[DK] Four years later, GHM assigned me to be a Resident Manager to support the General Manager to open its first operations in mainland China at the Fuchun Resort. Fuchun Resort has an 18 holes member’s only golf club, villas and hotel. GHM had 2 properties to operate in China, the Fuchun Resort in Hangzhou and a T8 Restaurant in Xintiandi, Shanghai. Both properties became a trend setter of China's boutique resorts and restaurants.

Though China is a huge country with significant developments in the IT and real estate industries; back in year 2000, China did not have any high-end resorts which focused on the service quality. Although China rich in culture, they lacked the level of hospitality acceptable to the international communities/clienteles.

Fuchun Resort and T8 offered the first quality service resort in China with totally different approaches; for example, the resort offered simplicity and the experience of living in China's environment. We tapped into a growing trend at that time, bringing luxury, glamour and modern European lifestyle experiences to the people in China.

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  • 1. Hospitality InvestmentWorld Indonesia 2012the world top 100Martin KublerSocial Media Part 2David KurniawanResort World ManilaHOTELIER INDONESIA 1
  • 2. Anantara Xishuangbanna Resort & Spa 60 2214 42 48 INTERVIEWS DAVID KURNIAWAN - CEO CHINA HOSPITALITY SYNERGY 14 Mr. Nick Aristou - Four Season Limasol Executive Director 64 Eugene Win, Director of Rooms,- Anantara Xishuangbanna Resort and Spa 61 Ryan Brandeburg - Director of Golf at both Kauri Cliffs and Cape Kidnappers 25 GUY HEYWOOD - CEO ALILA 22HOTELIER INDONESIA 4
  • 3. DAVID KURNIAWAN “If someone decides to be a hotelier for his/her career, it is best to have interna- tional exposures as it will help the person to understand dif- ferent cultures and different ways of managing the hotels/ resorts. “ CHAIRMAN AND CEO CHINA HOSPITALITY SYNERGY Hotelier Indonesia is happy to introduce David Kur- Manager..Our focus is to re-design the service concept niawan, an Indonesian hotelier currently living and and improve the service standards of the golf club and working in Shanghai. With significant experience in resort to the 5 star level. We will bring a new experi- both Indonesia and China, we appreciate the value he ence and brand value of Tiantai to the members and brings to our publication. also the villa owners. TianTai Group is the top 5 real estate group company in Qingdao. [HIC] What is your current position, and what is the chief focus of your work-day? [HIC] Golf clubs and resorts have been a large part [DK] I built China Hospitality Synergy (CHS) mid of of your professional career. What venues have you 2011, a company based in Shanghai. I am the Chair- worked at in Indonesia? man and CEO of the company. The first CHS project [DK] I studied in Bali Tourism School (previous called is in Qingdao where we took over the management BPLP) in Nusa Dua. After graduation, I started my of Tiantai Golf Club and Tiantai Hot Spring Resort. I career with Hilton International opening the Bali Hilton am leading the golf club and resort as the General as Front Office Manager. Hilton gave me lots of train-HOTELIER INDONESIA 14
  • 4. ing experiences and principles of making the move to China? For [DK] Although China is a very fast running 5 star hotels. Five years later, instance, did you speak Mandarin growing country, the development I thought that I would try a differ- before landing in China? And any of the human resources is not keep- ent experience in running boutique other issues? ing up with the rapid growth of the resorts, which at that time was a new national economy. Indonesia by [DK] Maybe it is difficult to under- concept of hospitality introduced nature has many different cultures; stand, but when I entered China in in Bali, pioneered by Amanresort. I the people are nice and courteous. year 2000, I spoke none of Chinese joined its sister company called GHM words. I lived in a third tier place, If you are working in an international (General Hotels Management) open- which is a small town called Fuyang, chain resort, the management com- ing The Chedi Ubud as an Executive a 45 minutes drive from Hangzhou. I pany normally brings the standards Assistant Manager. It is a totally had mixed feeling between frustra- of the company to be implemented different approach in running big tion and challenges. at the new site. It is probably similar hotels like Hilton hotels compared to to the implementation of the com- boutique hotels. I worked in a Chinese speaking envi- pany’s standards in other countries. ronment and I thought none of the I personally believe that in order to people in Fuyang spoke any English. implement good and consistent stan- [HIC] What prompted you to make The best place to live and have meals dards of services effectively in China a move to China? were in a local 3 star hotel. Dinner (in particular), we need to adopt to started from 4.30 pm and the town [DK] Four years later, GHM assigned the local culture. was quiet after 6 pm. I needed to me to be a Resident Manager to sup- drive 45 minutes to Hangzhou to get We could not implement the Indone- port the General Manager to open its a decent dining experience. I love sian hospitality standards to the Chi- first operations in mainland China at the Hangzhou cuisine, the city and nese people, but we have to under- the Fuchun Resort. Fuchun Resort has the people; it balanced my feeling to stand the Chinese culture to set up an 18 holes member’s only golf club, overcome the pressure and difficul- the new standards for the resorts. By villas and hotel. GHM had 2 proper- ties as a first timer living and working doing so, it means that the employ- ties to operate in China, the Fuchun in China. ees’ satisfaction level will be achiev- Resort in Hangzhou and a T8 Res- able and we could also maintain the taurant in Xintiandi, Shanghai. Both services standards steadily. properties became a trend setter of [HIC] Which facilities have you China’s boutique resorts and restau- Managing human resources in worked at in China? rants. Indonesia is not as complicated as [DK] After spending almost 5 years in China. I think, if we could adopt Though China is a huge country with in Fuchun Resort, I moved to south the human resources management significant developments in the IT of China in Guangdong province system in China into Indonesia, it will and real estate industries; back in opened a hot-spring resort called help a lot of resorts’ efficiency and year 2000, China did not have any the Pattra. After Pattra I moved to improve the performances. high-end resorts which focused on Beijing, the capital city of China. the service quality. Although China [HIC] As your efforts in China relate rich in culture, they lacked the level of I spent 4 years in Beijing opened a closely to the golf industry, are hospitality acceptable to the interna- luxury members-only golf club in there many differences in how golf tional communities/clienteles. Beijing called Bayhood No. 9 Interna- clubs operate? tional Golf Club. Fuchun Resort and T8 offered the [DK] The goals and the golfers’ satis- first quality service resort in China 4 years later I moved to Shanghai to faction levels in China and in Indone- with totally different approaches; for open a luxury golf resort in Chong- sia are different. It will affect the golf example, the resort offered simplic- ming Island in Shanghai called The club’s facilities and services concept ity and the experience of living in LanHai International Golf Club. It has built in the golf clubs too. Although China’s environment. We tapped into 36 holes Jack Nicklaus-designed golf China’s golf industry has just been de- a growing trend at that time, bring- club and resort. During this time, I veloped about 20 years ago, the golf ing luxury, glamour and modern came up with the idea of opening up history in China has been dated back European lifestyle experiences to the my own company. to the Southern Tang Dynasty, 500 people in China. years before golf was first mentioned in Scotland. [HIC] Are there many differences in [HIC] Were there any issues you had how Indonesian & Chinese resorts to work hard to overcome when operate?HOTELIER INDONESIA 15
  • 5. Golf club development in China has been very fast in the past 10 years. The developers are all trying to be the best among the best by offering unique design, concept and benefits. If we could develop a unique concept of a golf club, and we can create an exclusiv- ity of the golf club, with a bit of luck, we could sell the membership at a very expensive price. [HIC] Is there a difference in how the governments control golf development in Indonesia & China? [DK] I am not familiar with the Indonesian govern- ment policy in controlling the golf course develop- ment; but I guess the government does not have solid plans in developing golf courses as one of the potential attractions for the locals and international golfers. Galf can be developed to actually help im- prove the local community and economy. With 11 years living in China and working in the golf and resort industries, it clearly shows that the Chi- nese government has aggressive plans in developing the second and the third tier cities. Hainan Island for example, has been selected as a destination for golf- ing. There are around 100 golf courses either built or being built in this island. [HIC] Is there a large number of Indonesians in the China Hotel & Leisure market? [DK] Not that many. I think the biggest challenge for Indonesian hoteliers to enter China is the inability to speak fluent Mandarin. Although the major cities in China have been the international tourists or busi- ness destinations, but I must say that 70% of their guests are Chinese. This could be Taiwanese, people from Hong Kong and people from the MainLand of China itself. They are unfortunately not speaking English well. [HIC] Do you feel international experience is of benefit to a young Indonesian hotelier? [DK] If someone decides to be a hotelier for his/her career, it is best to have international exposures as it will help the person to understand different cultures and different ways of managing the hotels/resorts. Hotelier Indonesia wishes to thank David for his multimayaka participation in this interview. We are encouraged by his successes in Indonesia and China. We wish him hardware and home appliances specialistService CentresJAKARTA 1. Kawasan Industri Pulogadung, Tel. (021) 46832522 (hunting) Fax. (021) 46826823 /(021) 46828645 / (021) 4602823 2. MGK Kemayoran Tel. (021) 2664 7190 Fax. (021) 2664 7191 3. Fatmawati Tel. (021) 75908858, 75908861 Fax. (021) continued success with his ventures.75908941 BANDUNG Tel. (022) 4267788/99 Fax. (022) 4230474 CIREBON Tel. (0231) 205519 / (0231) 201 909 Fax. (0231)204580 SEMARANG Tel. (024) 8418620/21 Fax. (024) 8314982 SURABAYA Tel. (031) 5349414 (Hunting) Fax. (031) 5349413DENPASAR Tel. (0361) 417079 / (0361) 417077 Fax.(0361) 417098 / (0361) 417078 MEDAN Tel. (061) 687 1619 Fax. (061)4521660 BALIKPAPAN Tel. (0542) 7209575 / (0542) 720 9573 Fax. (0542) 7261276 MAKASSAR Tel. (0411) 4720 259 Fax.(0411) 449104 PONTIANAK Tel. (0561) 742699 / (0561) 742128 Fax. (0561) 742737 BANJARMASIN Tel.(0511) 4412271Fax. (0511) 3362947 SAMARINDA Tel.(0541) 270175 Fax. (0541) 271464 PALEMBANG Tel. (0711) 717148 Fax. (0711)715592Authorized Service DealersBATAM Tel. (0778) 472318, 472319, 472062 Fax. (0778) 472024 LAMPUNG Tel.(0721) 486764 Fax.(0721)474357YOGYAKARTA Tel. (0274) 521559, 562680 Fax. (0274) 584379 PURWOKERTO Tel. (0281) 640667 Fax. (0281) 632829 HOTELIER INDONESIA 16

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