Senior Vice President of Minor Hotels, Mr. Thomas Maya, and group Director of Human Resource Asia, Mrs Sonia Brown, the Graduated Explorers and also the incoming explorers, their parents and Ladies and Gentlemen.
It’s a great pleasure for me to be here this afternoon with you. I think I have seen very smiling faces, our young Maldivians, both boys and girls, and I think this is a very good beginning for you.
First of all, I would like to thank Minor Hotels, for inviting me to be here with you this afternoon. I think it is a great honour for me. So I would like to thank Minor Hotels, especially the Chairman, Bill Hari. I have met him couple of times and I think he is a very good partner in the development of Maldives.
In this presentation people have spoken before me, and both Mr. Maya and Brown have given lots of information about this programme. And I don’t want to repeat this. I think it is a very good programme. And it is a very good partnership with the Government of Maldives. As you know the Government alone cannot, train Maldivians to meet the requirements of resorts. Minor Hotels has taken this initiative to train Maldivians in fields, such as Front Office, food and beverage and also culinary, and I am also told that the new programme will include housekeeping. I hope many other components will be included in the future.
This will institute Maldivians to have the right skills in resort management and in the resort operations. Our target is to train as many Maldivians and to localize the tourism sector. At present, we have many foreigners, which if you look, is not a good thing. I think in the course of time we need to train Maldivians and replace foreigners with them. I am sure one day some of you will be the Managers in Food and beverage, in Front Office, or in culinary, the best chefs in Maldives. So this is a very good beginning. While this is a one-year programme and while I am told one of the graduates will be joining a bachelors programme right away from here, I believe that is a very good thing.
Hopefully, some others can also join in the future. Don’t stop learning. Learning is a lifelong thing from cradle to grave. So I think that is a good motto. It is just the beginning. This is a very good opportunity for Maldivians that Minor Hotels is providing. I cannot expect you to be only employed at the Minor Hotels, but my humble request is, since you have been trained by Minor hotels, you should be with Minor Hotels, as long as you are not able to find a job, somewhere else. If you cannot find a job in Minor Hotels, then definitely you can be somewhere else. But if you can get a job in Minor Hotels, it should be in Minor Hotels. You should be loyal to them.
I fully agree, things may not always happen the way you want. Even at the Minor Hotels, you may find something that you don’t even like. You might not be happy, but in the Holy Quran there is a verse that says “Verily, Allah is with the Patient.” The verse was recited just now. I believe, all Maldivians must take heed of this verse.
We, as Muslims, should be patient with circumstance and with situation. And hopefully, you will be able to get the chance to even manage hotels, somewhere else. There are 150 Resorts, 150 properties under the Minor banner worldwide. So one day they will decide to send you somewhere else. Not in Maldives, say Brazil. I think Maldivians hardly go to Brazil. So it would be a good opportunity for one of you to be a Manager at a razil hotel that is run by the Minor group. So let’s hope this comes true. Let me give you some examples from my own experience. I joined Ministry of Finance at a very young age when I was just a young school-leaver. And I finished after holding the highest position at the Ministry. You can do the same thing. If you are dedicated to your work, if you are committed to your work, there is always room for you to progress. From a young person joining a resort, you can become the resort manager. Even in a group, you can maybe replace Sonia Brown, or even become SVP Senior Vice President. Why not?
It is dedication, a commitment. I am sure Bill Harris here will agree with me. If you come to that level definitely he will hire you. So let’s be patient and be dedicated.
Very often, we get these complaints that Maldivians don’t have work discipline. I am sorry to say lots of people complain that, Maldivians don’t come on time, and they take lot of leaves, whether it’s for Eid or if the mother is sick. Sometimes they never come. They don’t even turn up without any excuse. So my request is that you should have good work discipline. It is very important. You should turn up on time. You should finish your work that is assigned to you on time. And also your relationship with other co-employees, co-workers, is also important with management. So it is very important. You should have work discipline. I don’t want us; I don’t want anyone from Minor Hotels, to hear that complaint. You should be dedicated to whichever work is given. It may not be the most pleasant task in their resort. You should accept any task that is given and remain dedicated to your work and do that work according to the standard. I am sure you will be promoted within no time. So that’s something that you should think about. And if you are good at your work, I am sure they will send you for further studies, maybe in the Maldives, or elsewhere.
So once again I would like to say this. You should keep your work. You should attend your work. You should also reduce your downtime. It is very important. If downtime is too much, people will have to spend lots of money by assigning work to somewhere else, someone else. It is not a pleasant thing for the management. So you should reduce your downtime. You are always up. There is no down-time. Time for your sleep or some natural cause is fine. But all the other time, you should be at work. You need to work on it from a young age. When you grow old, you will be a very good worker because you would have been trained for it since young. It’s our President’s pledge to have 90 thousand jobs. And I’m sure I think Ananthara is adding to this pleasant place. So I would like to thank Minor Hotels, on President’s behalf, for giving job opportunities to Maldivians.
And I’m sure in future, it will be much more. I also would like to thank people who trained Maldivians. I’m sure you have given lots of knowledge and hired the right people to work in the resorts. Skills that are given here can be used across a variety of jobs. We can use the skills when we communicate with other people, with our friends, with foreigners, with other Maldivians. You can try to do the same. In the resorts, you might only see the guests. But when you go out of the resorts, you meet other people. You should also give others the same kind of respect, which you show to hotel guests. Give respect to others, foreigners or Maldivians. You should replicate the same kind of treatment when you meet other people. So this is a very good beginning I would say. This is a very good beginning as some people have already told you. I mean the President also mentioned, this is a very good beginning. And its not the end. This is a beginning. It’s a new beginning of your life. And it will add lots of impetus for further development.
I won’t take more much of your time. But my humble request is be patient, be committed, and have self-discipline, and work discipline. And I’m sure you will reach your life goals. I don’t know what your life goals are. Whatever your life goals are, if you are committed to attaining life skills or work ethics, I’m sure you can achieve this. You can start your life plan now. Until I reach the management of Minor hotels, this is my lifetime plan. And whether you can assist or no, I’m sure the Minor Hotels can assist you to achieve your lifetime plan and life goals. They will do it.
So I would like to thank once again the parents of the graduates. I want to also thank the parents who are sending their children to a new programme, two thousand sixteen and seventeen, and to all those who have helped the staff to train the participants. I am sure you are doing very valuable work to Maldives and to Minor Hotels.
So once again I thank Minor Hotels and the management and the dedicated staff of Minor Hotels, both in Maldives and elsewhere. And I wish you all the success. I wish all of you, all the graduates, a happy new life.
Thank you very much.