Pushing Boundaries - T.P. Sreejith talks with You & I

The role of a General Manager (GM), they say, is that of a team leader. They’re not only in charge of hiring, managing, and training employees, but also must ensure that said employees have all the resources they need to succeed. While the team often looks up to him or her for suggestions on strategy and operations, the role of a General Manager is much more than just planning budgets, measuring results, and identifying business threats and opportunities.

T.P. Sreejith’s ability to push boundaries and truly excel in his field led him to become an exemplary GM. Having worked with various hotels in different locations, he’s become an expert by any standard. His interest in the culinary arts and passion for the service sector fuels his attention to detail in everything he does.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I hail from Kerala, and I started my professional career with Trident in Udaipur, after completing my formal education. Subsequently, I have taken up various roles nationally and internationally. While food and beverage is my passion, maintaining a work-life balance is a priority, and I look forward to spending quality time with my wife and seven-year-old son every day. Yoga, music, and numbers fascinate me, and take up my free time.

Why hotel management?
My passion for service led me to pursue a career in the hospitality industry, a choice which has been very rewarding, both professionally and personally. Hotel management allowed me to experience leadership in a dynamic way. The operations or administrative side gave me the amazing opportunity of getting to know people from different parts of the world.

What are the challenges you face every day?
An unpredictable schedule is what describes a GM’s day the best. Whether it’s striving to match a guest’s expectation or administer methodically in the case of power outage, a GM is expected to be on his toes round the clock.

What does your typical day look like?
Meeting guests and team members occupies most of my day. Through the hours, I am tied up with administrative and operational reviews, and achieving commercial and organisational goals.

What attracts you to working with a hotel?
My ability to learn more, take on challenging responsibilities and utilise opportunities to meet new people. Understanding new working and cultural situations has taken me places and helped me work with different brands.

Your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
I believe in having a strong process in place, as it ensures results and excellence. This motto has been my backbone over the years. On the other hand, my expectations of perfection and getting things done the right way make me restless and persuasive.

Given a choice, would you do things right or would you do the right things?
In my experience, I have been doing the right thing most of the time. And whenever needed, I have made things right, too. Do it right the first time, every time. This has been a motto I always follow.

Your single best quality that your colleagues/team members can emulate?
I believe all the team members at my hotel have a unique quality that makes them the professionals they are. However, I definitely want every team member to focus on their business acumen, as it’s essential for the success of any hotel. A hotel’s progress is seen solely as a GM’s responsibility, as he must put together budgets, set appropriate pricing, control property expenses, and determine funding for various departments. If all team members take ownership of this, an organisation can achieve its goals, quite competently.

Which department of the hotel interests you the most?
Any position or situation that makes me face guests and team members alike grabs my interest.

What puts a smile or a frown on your face at work?
A smile from my guests and team members makes my life and face brighter, and the exact opposite has a mirror impact on me.                – as told to Sumana